Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Shao Chin-han

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SHAO Chin-han 邵晉涵 (T. 與桐, 二雲, H. 南江), 1743–1796, July 19, scholar, was a native of Yü-yao, Chekiang. His grandfather, Shao Hsiang-jung 邵向榮 (T. 東葵, H. 餘山, 1674–1757), a chin-shih of 1712, was director of studies in Chên-hai (Chekiang) for a period from 1734 to 1753, and for that reason Shao Chin-han spent his childhood in Chên-hai. In 1765 Shao Chinhan became a chü-jên and was highly regarded by Ch'ien Ta-hsin [q. v.], associate examiner of the Chekiang provincial examination in that year. In 1771 he passed the metropolitan examination and became a chin-shih. In the winter of the same year he was on the secretarial staff of Chu Yün at T'ai-p'ing, Anhwei, where Hung Liang-chi, Chang Hsüeh-ch'êng, and Huang Ching-jên [qq. v.] likewise officiated. When the Bureau for the compilation of the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu was instituted in 1773 (see under Chi Yün) Shao Chin-han, Chou Yung-nien, Yü Chi, Tai Chên [qq. v.] and Yang Ch'ang-lin (see under Tai Chên) were especially recommended and were invited to be assistant editors. At the same time Shao, Chou, and Yü were, by special favor, made members of the Hanlin Academy as of the year 1772. While engaged on the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu, Shao had special charge of books in the category of history. From the Yung-lo ta-tien and other early sources he recovered the text of the 'lost' Older History of the Five Dynasties known as the 舊五代史 Chiu Wu-tai shih which covered the period 907–960 A.D. This work, in 152 chüan, was compiled by imperial order in the years 973–74 under the direction of Hsüeh Chü-chêng 薛居正 (T. 子平, 912–981), who was head of the commission. After the acceptance in 1077 of the so-called New History of the Five Dynasties, Hsin (新) Wu-tai shih, compiled by Ou-yang Hsiu 歐陽修 (T. 永叔, 1007–1072), the earlier history lost much of its significance and finally was officially rejected in 1207. Owing to Shao's effort, however, it was restored and recognized once more as one of the official dynastic histories.

Another historical work on the same Wu-tai period was similarly recovered by Shao Chin-han—namely the the 九國志 Chiu-kuo chih commenced by Lu Chên 路振 (T. 子發), continued by his grandson Lu Lun 路綸 in 1064, and completed in the twelfth century by Chang T'ang-ying 張唐英. The draft of this manuscript, which Shao had copied from the Yung-lo ta-tien, he left in the hands of his friend, K'ung Chi-han 孔繼涵 (T. 體生, 誦孟, H. 葒谷, 1739–1784, Jan. 10, chin-shih of 1771), when it became necessary for Shao to leave Peking to observe the period of mourning for the death of his mother (1775). In the following year K'ung Chi-han requested Chou Mêng-t'ang 周夢棠 (T. 有香) to work on the draft which was edited in 12 chüan and later printed in the Shou-shan ko ts'ung-shu (see under Chang Hai-p'êng).

During his stay at home Shao participated (1777) in the compilation of the local history of Hangchow, 杭州府志 Hang-chou fu chih, and (1778) of the local history of his native district, 餘姚縣志 Yü-yao hsien chih. In the autumn of 1778 he returned to Peking to resume his duties. Two years later he officiated as chief examiner of the provincial examination of Kwangsi. When Chang Hsieh-ch'êng fell ill in Peking in 1783 Shao took him into his home for nursing and medical treatment. The two often discussed matters of mutual import in the field of history, and Shao confided to Chang his intention of re-writing a history of the Sung period (960–1279). His plan was to begin with an account of the Southern Sung period (1127–1279) to be entitled 南都事略 Nan-tu shih-lüeh and then expand it to cover the whole Sung period under the title 宋志 Sung chih. According to some sources the former is extant, but the latter was never completed.

When his father, Shao Chia-yün 邵佳鈗 (T. 藉安, H. 冶南, 1712–1783), died in the autumn of 1783, Shao Chin-han again left the capital for his home in the South, where in 1784 he once more labored on the gazetteer of Hangchow—a revision of the one he worked on in 1777. In 1785 he completed his work on the ancient dictionary Êr-ya (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i), on which he had worked since 1774 and which was printed in 1788 under the title Êr-ya chêng-i (正義), 12 chüan. It was later included in the Huang-ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan). Reporting in Peking in 1786, Shao became in the following year a tutor to the bachelors in the Hanlin Academy and later (1791) senior secretary in the Supervisorate of Imperial Instruction. In 1792 he was requested by Pi Yüan [q. v.] to be one of the editors of the latter's Hsü Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien. Always in delicate health and handicapped by trouble with his left eye, he died in 1796, age fifty-four sui.

Shao Chin-han's collected prose and verse, 南江文鈔 Nan-chiang wên-ch'ao and Nan-chiang shih (詩) ch'ao, and 4 chüan of study notes, entitled Nan-chiang cha-chi (札記) were printed by his son, Shao Ping-hua 邵秉華 in 1796. The draft of thirty-seven reviews which Shao Chin-han wrote for the annotated catalogue, Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu tsung-mu t'i-yao (see under Chi Yün) was printed in the Shao-hsing hsien-chêng i-shu (see under Wang Hui-tsu) under the title Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu t'i-yao fên-tsuan kao (分纂稿). Of the thirty-seven items reviewed, twenty-seven are in the field of history.


[1/487/26a; 3/130/14a; Huang Yün-mei 黃雲眉, chronological biography, entitled Shao Êr-yün hsien-shêng nien-p'u (1933); Chavannes, T'oung Pao (1916) p. 134 ff. for editions of the Chiu Wu-tai shih.]

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