Imperial Injunctions of Emperor Shunzhi, the Founder of the Qing Dynasty


After the ascendancy of Emperor Kangxi (reigned 1662‒1722), senior officials were ordered to compile a work of selected injunctions by the previous emperor, Shunzhi (1638‒61, reigned 1644‒61). It was customary to compile selected public promulgations and important imperial edicts into sheng xun (imperial injunctions). The compilation of this handwritten work began in 1665 and was finished in the 26th year of the Kangxi reign (1687) by the imperial order of Kangxi. The original copy contained six juan, with the imperial injunctions divided into 32 headings in 113 entries. The topics covered included managing finances, assisting the populace, providing aid relief, sacrificial rites, worship of ancestors, rewarding loyalty and chastity, and so forth. Of the original six juan, this fragmented copy has only juan 4, 5, and 6, which include excerpts from sources already contained in collected statutes, called Hui dian. These are archival materials of encyclopedic nature, recording an emperor’s edicts, decrees, and speeches; they thus have considerable historical value. The printed version of this work was published in 1739 under Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1735‒96). There are differences between the handwritten and the printed versions.

Last updated: January 10, 2018