Surviving Books of the Cheng Brothers: One Juan


Cheng shi yi shu (Surviving books of the Cheng brothers) is a collection of pieces written by the two Cheng brothers, compiled by Zhu Xi (1130‒1200). Presented here is part of a Song printed edition of the work dated 1168. Cheng Hao (1032‒85), courtesy name Bochun, was also called Master Mingdao. Cheng Yi (1033‒1107), courtesy name Zhengshu, was also called Master Yichuan. Both were students of Zhou Dunyi (1017‒73), a Song philosopher of Neo-Confucian cosmology. The Cheng brothers, commonly called the Two Chengs, were the founders of Neo-Confucianism. As they were natives of Luoyang, Henan, their school of philosophy was called the Luo School. Cheng shi yi shu, also entitled Er Cheng yi shu (Surviving books of the Two Chengs) and Henan Cheng shi yi shu (Surviving books of the Chengs of Henan) are compendia of the two brothers’ words and deeds, mostly their sayings recorded by their disciples. A large number of contemporary scholars, including Lü Dalin, Xie Liangzuo, You Zuo, Su Bing, Liu Xun, Liu Anjie, and others, collected their sayings, but not in a coherent way. Their records often differed from each other or from the original teachings of the two brothers. Zhu Xi compiled, from many sources including an old copy in his own collection, a new edition, in 25 juan, plus an appendix in one juan of eight additional pieces in the form of an obituary, in the fourth year (1168) of the Qiandao era of Southern Song. That original Song edition no longer exists. In the 12th year (1476) of the Chenghua reign of the Ming dynasty, Cheng shi yi shu was included in Er Cheng quan shu (Complete collection of writings by the Cheng brothers), printed by Duan Jian. From then on it always has been included in the Two Chengs collection. Presented here is juan 15 of a Song edition with only three remaining juan. Although incomplete, it is important because it was held in the imperial collection of the Song dynasty. It has impressions of imperial seals, such as Nei dian wen xi (Documents and seals of the Inner Court) and Yu fu tu shu (Books of the Imperial Residence).

Last updated: April 14, 2017