Gazetteer of Puzhen


This local history of Puzhen in Zhejiang Province, in four juan, four volumes, in manuscript format, was compiled in 1787, the 52nd year of the Qianlong period, by Hu Zhuo, who gained his ju ren (provincial graduate degree) in 1774. The preface, also dated 1787, was written by Zhao You (1727–1800), a Hanlin compiler (an official whose duties included drafting imperial orders and decrees, compiling and editing historical works, and nurturing students). In his preface, Zhao You provides an overall introduction to the county and points out that in some earlier works, Puzhen had been mistakenly called Puchuan. The work begins with an overview of the county’s origin, its historical development and topographical features, its prosperity and its failures, as well as water systems, streets, and customs. Juan one contains information on buildings, temples, ponds, rivers, bridges, gardens, tombs, and the county’s ancient remains and relics. Juan two is about distinguished local personalities: 18 from the Song dynasty, 38 from the Yuan, and 36 (including the compiler himself) from the Ming dynasty, along with 37 monks. Also included are lists of those who left Puzhen and settled down in other towns and a list of provincial exam graduates from the Song to the Ming. More than 60 women are mentioned for their virtues, including steadfast widows who preferred to die rather than remarry. Juan three records mostly inscriptions from tomb tablets, steles, pagodas, and temples, including some biographies and prefaces that the compiler wrote for other works. The last juan contains poetry by renowned local literary men. At the end of the work is a group of miscellaneous writings, including one on a natural disaster. Local histories with detailed descriptions of a province, a city, or a county at a certain period of time provide in-depth information and are great resources for the study of Chinese history, geography, local economy, culture, language and dialects, biographies, as well as the administration of the local government.


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4 juan in 4 volumes

Last updated: January 3, 2018