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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleMinggong shupan qingming ji 名公書判清明集
Topic2.3 Judicial cases: historical casebooks
Historical periodAntique and Medieval period
Reprint (year of)2005
CollectionLidai panli pandu 歷代判例判牘
Number of volume2
Place of publication北京
Publication typePrint

An anthology of judicial decisions composed by “famous judges”, a majority of them from Jianzhou  建州  (Fujian). The 1261 preface has been attributed by certain scholars (see below, Chen Zhichao) to Zhan Yanfu  詹琰夫, a literatus from Fujian who authored a Taoist work in 1216; he might possibly also be the compiler of the work. The period covered is more or less the first half of the thirteenth century. The 1569 preface explicitly states that this is a handbook for officials. The original Song work seems to have been compiled for the market from materials easily available in the prefectural archives of Jianzhou. There are actually two fairly different versions: (1) the Song ed. with 1261 preface contains only 117 cases, all of them belonging to the “family and marriage” section (huhun men  戶婚門), arranged into 22 subcategories, with an introductory list of 28 different authors (among whom Zhen Dexiu and Song Ci, the authors of the  Zhengjing  and the Xiyuan jilu  [qq.vv.], respectively), of whom only 13 are represented in the extant text.  (2) The Ming ed. with 1569 preface contains 473 decisions; the  huhun  section covers  j. 4-9, with a somewhat different arrangement of subcategories and more authors [j. 8-9 are missing from the copy seen at Fu Sinian]; the rest of the 14  j. are devoted to  such sections as “officials” (guanli  官吏, 1-2), “taxes and services” (fuyi  賦役, 3, also including “academic affairs”,  wenshi  文事), “human relationships” (renlun 人倫, 10), “categories of persons” (renpin 人品, 11), and “punishing crimes” (cheng‟e 懲惡, 12-14). Zhang Siwei says in his preface that he had the text copied from two different sections of the Yongle dadian (under the characters qing 清  and pan 判, respectively); it was then edited and published by his disciple Sheng Yiren. According to He Zhongli (see below), the treatment of corruption cases  illustrates the attitude of the elites towards the political and institutional crisis of the time. De Pee (see below) considers that the work was to serve primarily as a collection of writing models, even though by that time the verdict (shupan) was no longer a required genre in examinations; along with Birge (see below), he emphasizes the strongly neo-Confucian orientation that the work betrays in its treatment of social and familial matters.  Ōzawa et al. (see below) insist that the contents of the cases demonstrate the wide resort to the courts by all strata of the population. Both Niida Noboru and Shiga Shūzō (see below) have studied family property and inheritance as illustrated in the huhun  section of the work, the latter criticizing the notion of “common family property” (kazoku kyōsan 家族共產) introduced by the former. For Lau Nap-yin (see below), the Qingming ji is a synthesis of two genres that flourished in the Song, the compilations of model cases and the dministrative handbooks; indeed, a quantity of entries deal with purely administrative matters, beginning with Zhen Dexiu‟s instructions to his subordinates (of 1222 and 1232; and see under Xishan zhengxun) that open the work: “...the  Qingming ji  is not merely a casebook but also a guidebook for legal governance, i.e., rule by the law”. ([n.p., phtc. tables et préf.] 

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