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Type of Item
Maps of Shazhou in Jiangyin County
The land on which Shazhou, Jiangyin County, Jiangsu Province (present-day Zhangjiagang) is located was formed by alluvial deposits of the Yangtze River over a period of thousands of years. As the land grew and changed, local people made paintings of the area, which they petitioned the authorities to acquire. Measurements of the narrow strip of land formed by the river deposits differed, and those seeking to obtain land often conspired with officials, resulting in lawsuits and disorder. Two officials, Wu Heng and Xie Cunbin, together with the magistrate of Jiangyin ...
Annotated Edition of “The Book of Documents”
Shang shu (The book of documents), also called Shu jing (The book of history), is one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon that greatly influenced Chinese history and culture. Translations of its title into English vary and include Classic of History, Classic of Documents, Book of History, Book of Documents, or Book of Historical Documents. There are many copies and versions of Shang shu, ascribed to Confucius, but its history is obscure. The work is a compilation of speeches by major figures and records of events in ancient ...
Annotated Edition of “The Book of Rites”
Li ji (The book of rites) is one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon, which had significant influence on Chinese history and culture. The book was rewritten and edited by the disciples of Confucius and their students after the "Burning of the Books" during the rule of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, around 213 BC. The work describes the social forms, governmental system, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). Li literally means "rites," but it also can be used to refer ...
History of the Five Dynasties
Wu dai shi ji (History of the Five Dynasties) was the original title of this work by Ouyang Xiu (1007–72), statesman, historian, essayist, calligrapher, and poet of the Song dynasty. It traditionally has been called Xin Wu dai shi (The new history of the Five Dynasties) to distinguish it from another work entitled Jiu Wu dai shi (The old history of the Five Dynasties), by Xue Juzheng (912–81). This was the only authorized history compiled privately after the Tang dynasty and before the publication of Xin Yuan shi ...
Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government
Zi zhi tong jian (Comprehensive mirror to aid in government) was a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, first published in 1084 in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 Emperor Yingzong (reigned 1064–67) of the Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang (1019–86) to lead a group of scholars in compiling a universal history of China. The task took 19 years to complete and the finished work was presented in 1084 to the succeeding Emperor Shenzong (reigned 1068–85). Its subject is Chinese history from 403 BC ...
The Veritable Records of the Song Emperor Taizong
Chinese court officials often recorded a reigning emperor’s daily activities and words spoken in court, especially those that affected the country. These records, such as Qi ju zhu (Diaries of activity and repose) and Ri li (Daily records), were sources for the compilation of shi lu (veritable records) by a committee. Other sources consisted of materials collected from provinces, ministerial papers, and other documents. The official histories were written based on these veritable records. Such records no longer exist from before the Tang dynasty (618–907). The only ...
The Newly Compiled Overall Geographical Survey
The original work on which this compilation is based was completed in 1239, as indicated in its two prefaces, one by Lü Wu (1179–1255), and another at the end by the author Zhu Mu (died 1255). It was reprinted in 1267 by Zhu Mu’s son Zhu Zhu (jin shi 1256). The original work had two parts, part one in 43 juan and part two in seven juan, along with a 20-juan supplement and a one-juan appendix. This reprinted edition has 70 juan. According to Zhu Zhu’s postscript ...
Supplement to the Local Gazetteer of Wu Prefecture
Wujun (Wu Prefecture) is an ancient name used during the Qin and Han (221 BCE–220 CE) for the seat of Guiji (situated in present-day Suzhou). The words tu jing in the title denote an older type of local gazetteer, which first appeared during the Eastern Han (25–220 CE). It was not until the Southern Song that such works were replaced by more formal gazetteers. This printed work is a very rare Song edition. The work goes back to 1099, the second year of Yuanfu era during the reign ...
General Atlas of Xinjiang
This work is a hand-painted atlas of Xinjiang. The atlas is small, with frames of different sizes. There are no prefaces or postscripts, and the identity of the map maker is unknown. The atlas is executed in the traditional landscape-painting style and does not provide degrees of longitude and latitude, nor scales. Towns, rivers, lakes, and mountains are all depicted in their approximate locations. Each map covers one double-page spread. The four directions from the east to the north are marked, but the boundary lines of cities and towns are ...
Illustrated Atlas of Shanhai, Yongping, Jizhou, Miyun, Gubeikou, Huanghua Zhen and Other Areas
This work is an illustrated military map dating from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) of the northeastern part of Jingshi (present-day Beijing), along the Great Wall. It is formatted in accordion pleat-like leaves, and is large, measuring 58.8 centimeters high by 21 centimeters wide. The edges of the atlas are broken and frayed. The original collector tied the atlas on a hard board and placed it in a case, taking great care. The map depicts Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass) from Bohai Sea in the east, winding westward through Funing Xian ...
Illustrations of Guarding the Yellow River
This work is bound in accordion pleat-like leaves, in 15 folded sheets. The illustrations show the locations of flood prevention works along the Yellow River in Henan Province. Included are dykes and raised riverbanks in different areas, beginning in the west with Wushe Xian, crossing Yingze Marsh, and in Zhengzhou, Yuanwu, Zhongmou, Yangwu, Fengqiu, Kaifeng Fu, Chenliu, Xiangfu, and other towns. A number of paper slips are attached to 18 locations, with explanations of the challenges of river work at these locations and descriptions of accidents that occurred during this ...
Illustrated Work on the Storage and Drainage Activities at the Lakes and Rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal
This work was originally in the Qing imperial collection. The painting of the work was executed in an exquisite manner. A title at head of the work reads: Huang Yun hu he zong tu (The overall map of the lakes and rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal). The work depicts Dajiang (the Yangtze River) in the south up to the borders of Shandong, Henan, and Jiangnan in the north. It has detailed scenes of the tributaries, harbors, and bridges of the lakes and rivers, followed by two ...
The portrait is of Su Hui, a gifted fourth-century female scholar and poet who had the courtesy name of Ruolan (“like an orchid”). She is famous for a palindromic poem that she embroidered in several colors of silk to express her love for her husband, who had been exiled to a distant point on the trade routes to Central Asia. Different versions of the poem exist. One has 112 characters arranged in eight rows of 14 characters. They make no sense unless the reader starts with the character "husband" in ...
Chart of the Organs Revealed by Inward Illumination
This medical text shows the five major organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys) and six minor organs (gall bladder, stomach, small intestines, large intestine, bladder, and triple heater meridian) of the human body, as defined in Chinese traditional medicine. The triple heater meridian is one of 12 basic meridians used in Chinese medicine to understand the functioning of the body. Also shown are other concepts from Chinese medicine, for example, the cinnabar field. In Taoist thought, the cinnabar field is the root of the human being, the place in ...
The Plum Blossom
The plum blossom and bamboo sometimes are paired as friends in Chinese culture. Both are symbols of purity and steadfastness. This pairing is reflected in this late 17th-early 18th century painting and the accompanying poem. He Shikun was a Ming-dynasty figure who is identified in two local gazetteers as being from Xinhui, in Guangdong. The inscription here, however, identifies him as being from Wuyang, an old name for Guangzhou, to the north of Xinhui. In 1646, in the chaotic weeks before Xinhui surrendered to the Qing dynasty forces that had ...
This Qing-dynasty (1644-1911) print shows the nine-headed phoenix, a being from Chinese mythology with a bird's body and nine heads with human faces. It is one of several hybrid creatures mentioned in the Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shanhai jing), where it is said to dwell in the Great Wilds to the North at the mountain called Celestial-Coffer-at-the-Northern-Extremity. This entry is in what may be the most recent section of this work, which may have been composed at any time between the third or fourth century B.C. and ...
Two Illustrations from "Selected Arias of the Yuan Dynasty"
These prints from around 1615 show two figures from Yuan-dynasty (1279-1368) poetry. The right-hand picture illustrates a play about Zheng Kongmu, a law clerk, and Song Bin, a young man who accidentally killed a man. Zheng recognizes Song Bin as an honorable man and convinces the judge not to execute him. Instead, he is exiled to a penal colony where he has many adventures, including meeting up with and helping Zheng Kongmu when he himself runs afoul of the law by killing a woman who mistreated his children. The other ...
The People of Taiwan Parading to a Ritual Sacrifice (for Generals Fan and Xie)
The annual ritual sacrifices for General Fan and Xie at the temple to the city gods in Taipei were especially important to the people of Taiwan during the period of Japanese occupation, which lasted from 1895 to 1945. Extra trains in and out of Taipei were scheduled to accommodate the crowds that came to this event from all over Taiwan.
Raising Ducks in Taipei Province
Traditionally, raising ducks has been an important enterprise in Taiwan, especially in the northern region. Wherever there is water, families have raised ducks for food.
The Magnificent Longshan Temple in Taipei
The Longshan Temple is the most famous ancient temple in Taipei. Built in 1738 by settlers from the Chinese mainland who founded a trading post at the site 15 years previously, the temple was where local residents worshipped the Guanyin Bodhisattva and looked to it for protection and the resolution of disputes. In the Sino-French War of 1884-85, the temple became a rallying point for the successful defense of Taiwan against French troops. Earthquakes, storms, and a major termite assault obliged the community to rebuild the temple at various times ...
View of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan
Under Japanese rule between 1895 and 1945, the chief authority in Taiwan was the governor-general, an official appointed by, and sent from, Tokyo. The governor-general wielded supreme executive, legislative, and judicial power. This 1920s photograph shows the office of the governor general, which included bureaus for military and home affairs. Construction of this building, by workers imported from Japan, began in 1912 and was completed in 1919.