World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Dijing Jingwulue


Dijing Jingwulue

The Dijing Jingwulue (Chinese: 帝京景物略; pinyin: Dìjīng jǐngwù è; Wade–Giles: Ti-ching ching-wu lüeh; literally: "Survey of Scenery and Monuments in the Imperial Capital") is a 17th-century Chinese prose classic. The principal author was Liu Tong, an official with a Jinshi degree and member of the Jingling school of Chinese prose literature. His co-authors were Yu Yizheng (于奕正) and Zhou Sun (周损), two scholars outside of official circles.

The preface reveals Liu as the actual author, while Yu was a compiler with Zhou acting as something of an assistant to the other two. However, Yu was a native of Beijing, capital of Ming dynasty China, and a scholar of local traditions. Liu may have just polished the prose, but gained most of the prestige. Liu dates the preface as 1635, the same year Yu died in Nanjing, three years before troops of the new dynastic attacked Beijing.

A celebration of a city's ambiance that would disappear behind the secluded walls of a conquered city, the work features descriptions of multiple gardens and estates that would soon vanish forever. Ming dynasty Beijing, in contrast with the later conservative Manchu Qing capital, was a city of gaiety and markets and fairs. Descriptions are given of Ming period fairs with literary men in pursuit of books, art objects and antiquities. Poetry is an integral part of the book and the authors portray a scholar in verse as finding nothing in his purse, but only able to twitch his own whiskers with his hopeful hand. Along with Ming period art that was treasured in its own day, there are descriptions of western paintings of Chris] for sale. The Catholic cathedral is described and a judicious space is devoted to the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci. All of this was part of the diverse glory of the age. Seeming small and minor subjects loom large in the authors’ eyes such as the raising of crickets for the ubiquitous cricket fights of the era. Autumn mornings would find a horde of enthusiasts armed with bamboo tubes, cages and pots for the prey heading for abandoned temples with piles of old tiles and stones. At the heart of the classic was the realization of the flux of all things and the ultimate evanescence of human works and monuments in this world.


  • Carpenter, Bruce E., "Survey of Scenery and Monuments in the Imperial Capital, A Seventeenth Century Chinese Classic", Tezukayama University Review (Tezukayama daigaku ronshū), Nara, Japan, no. 61, 1988, pp. 62–71. ISSN 0385-7743
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.