A Kangxi Dictionary (Tongwen Book Bureau Original Printing in 1922)

1 month ago

Lot No. :LXSCYDT-180629
Centuries of Style:1922. (1661–1722)
Feature:A Kangxi(1*) Dictionary(2*) by Tongwen Book Bureau Original Printing in 1922.
Source:Private collection
1* The Kangxi Emperor (1654 – 1722), personal name Xuanye, was the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty, the second Qing emperor to rule over that part of China, from 1661 to 1722. The Kangxi Emperor's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor, had the longest period of de facto power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world. The Kangxi Emperor is considered one of China's greatest emperors. The Kangxi Emperor's reign brought about long-term stability and relative wealth after years of war and chaos. He initiated the period known as the "Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong" or "High Qing", which lasted for several generations after his death. His court also accomplished such literary feats as the compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary. China's famed blue and white porcelain probably reached its zenith during the Kangxi Emperor's reign.
2* The Kangxi Dictionary was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710. It used the earlier Zihui system of 214 radicals, today known as 214 Kangxi radicals, and was published in 1716. The dictionary is named after the Emperor's era name. The dictionary contains more than 47,000 characters, though some 40% of them are graphic variants. In addition, there are rare or archaic characters, some of which are attested only once. The Kangxi Dictionary editors, including Zhang Yushu and Chen Tingjing, based it partly on two Ming Dynasty dictionaries: the 1615 Zihui by Mei Yingzuo, and the 1627 Zhengzitong by Zhang Zilie. Since the imperial edict required that the Kangxi Dictionary be compiled within five years, a number of errors were inevitable. The Daoguang Emperor established a review board and their 1831 Zidian kaozheng ("Character Dictionary Textual Research") corrected 2,588 mistakes, mostly in quotations and citations. The supplemented dictionary contains 47,035 character entries, plus 1,995 graphic variants, giving a total of 49,030 different characters. They are grouped under the 214 radicals and arranged by the number of additional strokes in the character. Although these 214 radicals were first used in the Zihui, due to the popularity of the Kangxi Dictionary they are known as Kangxi radicals and remain in modern usage as a method to categorize traditional Chinese characters.


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