Memorials of Lü Xinwu


Memorials were personal memoranda presented by officials to the emperor, often with proposals for action. They were one of the chief media for communication between the emperor and his officials. The memorials provide insight into the range of views held at the time on various subjects, and are important historical sources. This is a collection of memorials by Lü Kun (1536–1618), style name Xinwu. Lü Kun was a scholar and thinker who achieved his jin shi degree in 1574 at age of 38, after he had observed the period of mourning for his parents. His numerous works cover a wide range of subjects, including politics, economics, penal laws, military affairs, irrigation, education, rhymes, and medicine. His works have been reissued over the centuries, beginning in the Ming dynasty and continuing to the present day. Among his official posts was vice minister of the Bureau of Justice. During his years as governor of Shanxi Province he published Shi zheng lu (Records on governing), a work on famine relief, personnel policy, and other topics, which was well received and read by officials. After serving for 26 years, frustrated and tired of the court politics and inaction, and following the death of his wife, he requested retirement, citing ill health. His request was granted. This collection, in two juan in four volumes, was issued by Lü Kun’s son Lü Zhiwei and printed in 1604. However, one memorial, in juan 2, was added six years later, in 1610, and is entitled You wei (Fearful of peril). The preface was written by Yang Dongming (1548–1624), one of Lü’s students.

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2 juan in 4 volumes

Last updated: January 3, 2018