Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chiang Fan

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3635438Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chiang FanHiromu Momose

CHIANG Fan 江藩 (T. 子屏, 節甫, H. 鄭堂), Apr. 26, 1761–1831, native of Kan-ch'uan (Yang-chow), was a scholar of the Soochow School (see under Hui Tung). His ancestral home was in Ching-tê, Anhwei. In his youth he studied under Yü Hsiao-k'o and Chiang Shêng [qq. v.] who inspired him with the theories of their teacher, Hui Tung [q. v.]. Being a student of the Classics, he assembled a library, and, before a drought devastated his native district in 1785–86, his collection reached some 80,000 chüan—rivalling that of his fellow townsman, Ch'in Ên-fu (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i). But he lost his fortune in the drought and was forced to dispose of his library. In 1787 he went to Kiangsi and lived thereafter under the patronage of officials and influential scholars. In the course of his work he travelled in Chihli, Shantung, Shansi, Kiangsu, Chekiang, Fukien and Kwangtung, and so had an opportunity to become acquainted with many scholars of note in his day. The patrons to whom he was most indebted were Juan Yüan [q. v.], a friend of Chiang from early days; and Wang Chieh 王杰 (T. 偉人, H. 惺園, 葆淳, 1725–1805), the chuang-yüan of 1761 whose literary collection is entitled 葆淳閣集 Pao-ch'un ko chi, 24 chüan (1815). Wang, being a Grand Secretary from 1787 to 1802, permitted Chiang to live at his residence in Peking for several years at a time—once about 1791 and again about 1797–99. Juan Yüan invited Chiang to his headquarters at Shan-yang (Huai-an), Kiangsu, where Chiang held for a short time (1813) the directorship of the Li-chêng (麗正) Academy. A few years later Juan invited Chiang to Canton to share in such editorial projects as the Huang Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan) and the 廣東通志 Kwang-tung t'ung-chih, 334 chüan, a general gazetteer of Kwangtung province. The latter work was compiled during the years 1819–22 and was printed in 1822 and again in 1864—a copy of the reprint being in the Library of Congress. The work is famous as one of the best provincial gazetteers of the Ch'ing period. After its completion Chiang Fan left Canton for Yangchow. Always indifferent to worldly gain, he spent his declining years in poverty.

An ardent exponent of the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu and Hui Tung), Chiang Fan attempted to draw a sharp line between the methods of this school and those of other schools which he strongly opposed. About 1812 he produced a notable work, 國朝漢學師承記 Kuo-ch'ao Han-hsüeh shih-ch'êng chi, 8 chüan, consisting of biographies of 56 scholars of the School of Han Learning. It traces the relationship of the various representatives of the school to each other and describes the contributions which each made. This work was published by Juan Yüan at Canton in 1818 and was several times reprinted. Certain editions have an appendix containing two other works by Chiang Fan: Kuo-ch'ao ching-shih ching-i mu-lu (經師經義目錄), 1 chüan, a bibliography of important works on the Classics by Ch'ing scholars; and Kuo-ch'ao Sung-hsüeh yüan-yüan chi (宋學淵源記), 2 chüan, consisting of biographies of 40 adherents of Sung Neo-Confucianism (Sung-hsüeh or 理學 Li-hsüeh) in the Ch'ing period. Though written with a strong partisan bias, the above-mentioned works are noteworthy as the first attempt to set forth systematically the history of classical scholarship in the Ch'ing period.

Chiang Fan wrote a supplement (pu 補) in 4 chüan to Hui Tung's Chou-i shu, which he completed about 1784. It was printed in the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh. In the field of ancient history he left two works: one, entitled 隸經文 Li ching wên, 4 chüan, a collection of essays on ancient institutions; the other, entitled 樂縣考 Yüeh-hsüan k'ao, 2 chüan, a study of ancient musical instruments. Both were printed in the Yüeh-ya t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Wu Ch'ung-yüeh). In addition to the above-mentioned works the following by him may be mentioned: Êr-ya hsiao-chien (小箋), 3 chüan, a study of terms and passages in the Êr-ya (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i) whose exegesis is doubtful; 半氊齋題跋 Pan-chan chai t'i-pa, 2 chüan, a collection of bibliographical and epigraphical notes; and 炳燭室雜文 Ping-chu shih tsa-wên, 1 chüan, a collection of prose. These works were printed in various collectanea. An introduction to classical studies, entitled 經學入門 Ching-hsüeh ju-mên, 8 chüan, published under Chiang Fan's name, is believed to have been written by others.

[2/69/37a; 7/36/17a; Morimoto Sugio 森本杉碓, 清朝儒學史概說 Shinchō jugaku-shi gaisetsu (1930) pp. 117–22; Liang Ch'i-ch'ao 梁啟超, 中國近三百年學術史 Chung-kuo chin san-pai nien hsüeh-shu shih (1926) passim; Min Êr-ch'ang 閔爾昌, 江子屏先生年譜 Chiang Tzŭ-p'ing hsien-shêng nien-p'u (1931).]

Hiromu Momose