Xiao xue, or Elementary Learning by Zhu Xi


This printed edition of nine juan in two volumes was written by Zhan Ruoshui (1466–1560), a native of Zengcheng, Guangdong Province. A philosopher, educator, and Confucian scholar, Zhan received his jin shi degree during the Hongzhi reign (1488–1505) and was appointed president of the Nanjing Imperial Academy in 1524. He later became minister of the Bureau of Rites, then of the Bureau of Personnel, and then the Bureau of War in Nanjing. Known as a famous educator, he founded in his lifetime more than 40 Shu yuan (Confucian academies). As a philosopher, he was a follower of Zhu Xi (1130–1200), the Song dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China. He was also a lifelong friend of the philosopher Wang Yangming (1472–1529), and although their intellectual paths ultimately diverged, he shared with Wang an appreciation of xin xue (idealism), Daoism, and Buddhism. This work discusses topics in Zhu Xi’s Xiao xue, a primer for educating children in their formative years. The work includes his memorial, written in 1533, offering his work to Emperor Jiajing (reigned 1522–66). This was probably also the year when the work was printed. There are two seal impressions of owners of this book: Suojuzhai jia cang yin (Seal of the family collection of the Suoju Studio) and Youbuwei Zhai (Youbuwei Studio).

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9 juan in 2 volumes

Last updated: May 3, 2013