The Dunbi suiwen lu and Various Other Writings about the Taiping Rebellion

  • Masuda Wataru


In ‘Yuekou jilüe’ (Brief Record of the Rebels of Guangdong and Guangxi), in juan 1 of the Dunbi suiwen lu (Random Notes of a Defended Nose), we read as follows:

Hong Xiuquan was a man of Huaxian, Guangdong. When he was forty or more years of age, he had long hair, wasp-like eyes [sic.], a broad visage, and a fat body, and he was somewhat literate. His surname is unknown, though some say it was Zheng. In Daoguang 25 [1855] he went to Guangxi and joined a religious association. It so happened that when Hong Deyuan [mentioned earlier in the text as the leader of an association known as the Tiandinghui] passed away as a result of illness, he came to assume the surname Hong and replaced [Deyuan] as leader of the group…. In addition, he added Christianity and called himself the younger brother of Jesus and the younger, second son of the Heavenly Father Jehovah.

Comparing this account from the Dunbi suiwen lu with those of two texts cited earlier, the Shinshi ran ‘yō and the Gen Min Shin shiryaku, one can see that they are virtually identical. Inasmuch as both the Shinshi ran ‘yō and the Gen Min Shin shiryaku were written in Kanbun, they effectively lifted the sentences directly from the Dunbi suiwen lu as is. This parallels precisely the case of the Yuefei jilüe as compared to both the Shinchō shiryaku and the Saikin Shina shi.a


Introductory Remark Manuscript Edition Qing Government Japanese Edition Heavenly Principle 
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  1. 1.
    Luo Ergang, Taiping tianguo shigao (Draft History of the Taiping Rebellion), revised and enlarged edition (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1957), citing C. A. Tesns, ‘Historic Shanghai’ [which I have been unable to locate — JAF].Google Scholar

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© Joshua A. Fogel 2000

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  • Masuda Wataru

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