The Zhihuan qimeng and Related Texts

  • Masuda Wataru


I own a work entitled Honkoku chikan keimō (Introduction into the Circle of Knowledge, [Japanese] Reprint), dated Keiō 3 (1867) and published with appropriate Japanese punctuation added by the Kaibutsusha in Edo.a My copy also bears a red seal which reads ‘Seal of the Library of the Domainal School,’ though which ‘school’ is not made clear. The work is a sort of small encyclopedia, divided into 200 entries, explaining the basics of Western learning. The entire work is only 100 pages, and each page carries the English text on top with Chinese translation on the bottom. The preface is in English and is signed ‘J. L.’ These were the initials of James Legge (1815–97), the famous British missionary who lived in Hong Kong and used the Chinese name Liyage. Legge is well known as the translator of such Chinese classical texts as Shujing (Classic of History), Shijing (Classic of Poetry), Chunqiu Zuoshi zhuan (The Spring and Autumn Annals with the Commentary of Mr. Zuo [Qiuming]), and Liji (Book of Rites). Legge began his work in Hong Kong, but was later recalled to his native Scotland. He was much helped in his translation work by Wang Tao. Legge translated into Chinese the text in my Japanese edition of Zhihuan qimeng, by a Mr. Baker, under the Chinese title Zhihuan qimeng shuke chubu (Elementary School Lessons of the Circle of Knowledge), which carried the English title of Graduated Reading: Comprising a Circle of Knowledge in 200 Lessons, Gradation 1.b


English Text Elementary School Student Related Text Western Learning Myriad Thing 
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  1. 1.
    These can be found in Yamaguchi Muneyuki, Zenshū mishū Hashimoto Sanai kankei shiryō kenkyū (Studies of Historical Materials Concerning Hashimoto Sanai Not Found in His Collected Works) (Kurume, 1940, not for sale).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Ōtsuki Fumihiko, Fukken zassan (Miscellaneous Collection of Fukken) (Tokyo: Kōbundō shoten, 1902).Google Scholar

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© Joshua A. Fogel 2000

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  • Masuda Wataru

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