Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chiang Shêng

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CHIANG Shêng 江聲 (T. 叔雲, 䲔濤, H. 艮庭), 1721–1799, Oct. 1, native of Yüan-ho (Soochow), was one of the disciples of the great classicist, Hui Tung [q. v.]. In his youth he aspired to official honors, but early in his thirties, while observing the period of mourning for the death of his parents, he devoted himself to a serious study of the Classics, becoming a pupil of Hui Tung under whom he mastered the technique of textual criticism. When he was about forty sui he began to study the Classic of History, and after thirteen years of labor (1761–73) he completed his 尚書集注音疏 Shang-shu chi-chu yin-shu, 12 + 2 chüan, an exegetical study of the entire text of that classic with pronunciation of the characters and with commentaries written from the point of view developed by Yen Jo-chü [q. v.] and Hui Tung. His special contribution is a detailed study of the chapter, entitled T'ai-shih (泰誓, "The Great Declaration"). The fame of the Shang-shu chi-chu yin-shu spread rapidly and in 1793 it had the distinction of being printed in the ancient chuan (篆) characters. At the close of the seventeen-eighties Chiang was a member of the famous secretarial staff of Pi Yüan [q. v.] whom he assisted in editing the Shih-ming shu-chêng (see under Pi Yüan). In 1796, when the newly-enthroned Emperor Jên-tsung ordered that men of eminent virtue be recommended to him, the governor of Kiangsu, Fei Ch'un 費淳 (T. 筠浦, ca. 1739-1811), submitted the name of Chiang Shêng who was decorated with the Opaque White Button of the sixth rank.

As a textual critic and philologist Chiang Shêng stressed the study of the origin and formation of the characters, a knowledge of which he regarded as fundamental for adequate textual criticism. For this reason he studied the ancient lexicon, Shuo-wên (see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai) but finding, it is said, that Tuan Yü-ts'ai was occupied with the same subject, he gave up his own researches on it and sent his manuscript drafts to Tuan. A short essay by Chiang, entitled 六書話 Liu-shu shuo, is significant for its systematic analysis of the six categories in which Chinese characters are usually classified. He was particularly successful in the interpretation of the category called chuan-chu (轉注), covering extended or derived meanings. The Liu-shu shuo was printed by the Hu (胡) Family of Soo-chow in the 琳琅秘室叢書 Lin-lang pi-shih ts'ung-shu (1853–54). So devoted was Chiang Shêng to the study of antiquity that he often used the archaic chuan characters even in his more personal writings.

Chiang Shêng left several works on the Classics, among them the 論語竢質 Lun-yü ssŭ-chih, 3 chüan, a textual study of the Analects; and the 尚書逸文 Shang-shu i-wên, 2 chüan, a collection of fragments of the ancient text of the Classic of History which are not contained in the ordinary text. The former was printed in the Lin-lang pi-shih ts'ung-shu and the latter, after being re-edited by Sun Hsing-yen [q. v.], was printed in 1795 as an appendix to the ku-wên text of the Classic of History which Sun arranged and annotated. Chiang Shêng also left an astronomical work, entitled 恆星說 Hêng-hsing shuo, 1 chüan, and two literary works: 艮庭詞 Kên-t'ing tz'ŭ, 3 chüan, and Kên-t'ing hsiao-hui (小慧), 1 chüan.

A son of Chiang Shêng, Chiang Liu 江鏐 (T. 貢庭, d. 1800), who was also a scholar, died before his works were published. He was one of the chief assistants of Juan Yüan [q. v.] in the compilation of the Shih-san ching chu-shu chiao-k'an chi (see under Juan Yüan). A grandson of Chiang Shêng, Chiang Yüan 江沅 (T. 子蘭, 鐵君), was a serious student of the Shuo-wên, on which he wrote the following works: Shuo-wên shih-li (釋例), 2 chüan, studies in the pronunciation, the meaning and the form of the characters; and Shuo-wên chieh-tzŭ yin-yün piao (解字音韵表), 17 chüan, lists of all the characters in the Shuo-wên classified according to their supposed original pronunciation, with critical notes. The former was completed in 1811 and printed in 1851, and the latter was completed in 1809 and printed in the Hsü Huang Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan). Of the pupils of Chiang Shêng the most brilliant were Ku Kuang-ch'i and Chiang Fan [qq. v.].

[1/487/39a; 3/421/1a; 4/131/15a; 7/36/18a; Li Ching-kao 黎經誥, 許學考 Hsü-hsüeh k'ao (1927) 15/33a, 40a, 17/8b; Takada Hirotada 高田周忠, 轉注考證 in 漢學 Kangaku, vol. 1, nos. 1–7; Hashimoto Naribumi 橋本成文, 清朝尚書學 in 漢文講座 Kambun Kōza, vol. V (1933) ]

Hiromu Momose