Collected Works of Wang Kekuan


Presented here is Huan gu ji (Collected works of Wang Kekuan). Wang Kekuan, style name Huangu, was an important representative of Neo-Confucianism in Xin'an, Anhui Province, and was also known as a renowned educator. Some sources put the dates of his birth and death at 1301‒69, others at 1304‒72. After his unsuccessful civil examinations, over which he had a confrontation with the examiners, he returned home, devoted himself to the classics, opened schools, and lectured extensively in Anhui. His research focused mainly on Chun qiu (Spring and Autumn annals) and the importance of the "three rituals” (Zhou li, Yi li, and Li ji). This edition of the work, with a supplement in one juan, was printed during the Kangxi reign (1662‒1722) of the Qing dynasty, and was selected and compiled by Wang Maolin (1640‒88) and edited by Wang Zongyu. The edition has several prefaces, including one written by the high-ranking official Xu Qianxue (1631‒94), who was the director-general of the Commission of the Compilation of the Comprehensive Geography of the Qing Empire, a scholar, and a book collector. Also included in the work are Wang Kekuan’s portrait, genealogy, his biography, and his tomb inscription. The work contains his poems, his views on policies, such as on the provincial examinations, prefaces, postscripts and other essays written by him, as well as tomb tablets, inscriptions, and biographies. The supplemental volume contains prefaces Wang Kekuan wrote on Yuan dynasty authors. One of the seal impressions was that of the Hanlin Academy, which indicates that the copy was used and returned by the academy after copying for the encyclopedia of the Si ku quan shu (Complete Library of the Four Treasuries). One of the other seals gives the name of the book collector, Bao Shigong, whose private library in Hangzhou was called Zhi bu zu zhai, a famous collection noted for numerous rare books of the Song and Yuan dynasties.

Last updated: January 10, 2018