Fang Bao

Last updated

Fang Bao (Chinese :方苞; pinyin :Fāng Bāo; Wade–Giles :Fang Pao; 25 May 1668 – 29 September 1749), courtesy names Fengjiu (鳳九), Linggao (靈皋), and Wangxi (望溪), [1] was a Chinese nobleman, courtier, orator, philosopher, poet, scholar, author and government official in the service of the Qing dynasty.[ citation needed ] He is best known as an icon of the Tongcheng school of literary prose which was influential during the mid-Qing dynasty. [2] [3]

Contents

Family origins

Fang Bao was born in Tongcheng, Zongyang County, Anhui Province in 1668 during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. He was the second son in a family of the Qing nobility with landed interests at Jiangning, Liuhe County and at Tongcheng, an area in the southern vicinity of Nanjing. [4]

His father was Fang Zhongshu (方仲舒), an imperial official and second son of Fang's grandfather. His paternal grandfather was Fang Zhi (方帜), a Xinghua County didactic and noted scholar of the Wuhe discipline. Fang Bao was the middle son of three boys, his elder brother was Fang Zhou (方舟; 1665-1701), a scholar of the Five Classics, and his younger brother was Fang Lin (方林). [5]

Early life

At the time of Fang Bao's birth, the Kangxi Emperor had not yet fully assumed power and the real dominance over the throne was in the hands of two of the Four Regents, Ebilun and Oboi. In 1669, as the Kangxi Emperor consolidated power, Oboi was also brought up on imperial charges and put to death. [6]

Fang Bao studied literature at a school which followed the teachings of Gui Youguang. He would go on to invent the concept of Yi Fa where Yi refers to the ideas or concept of an article and Fa to the structure and literary form. This concept is considered one of the basic theories of the Tongcheng School form of writing, which gained its name due to Tongcheng being Fang Bao's hometown. [7]

From 1692 to 1695, Fang served in Beijing as a senior licentiate together with his friend Zhang Boxing who shared his philosophical allegiance surrounding the teachings of the brothers Cheng Xi and Zhu Xi. [8]

Fang obtained his jinshi degree or advanced scholar degree following the imperial examination system in 1706 under the reign of the Kangxi Emperor and was given a posting at the Hall of Military Glory (武英殿) as its Director-General of Compilation (修書總裁). He was promoted within the hall to the position of Instructor-Bachelor (教習庶吉士) and then to Vice-Minister of Rights (禮部侍郎). [9]

In either 1711 [10] or 1713, whilst still at the Hall of Military Glory, Fang was involved in the Nanshan Incident (南山案). The incident surrounded the contents of a work written by Dai Mingshi, Fang's relation via his wife, titled Nanshan Ji (南山集) for which Fang had written a preface. The book was essentially a nostalgic history of one of the author's ancestors who had fought with Wu Sangui against the Qing Empire. As a result of a political realignment, the work had been judged seditious by the court of the Kangxi Emperor, who previously promoted scholarly officials. The political change on the part of the Qing court was due in large part to the emperor's awareness and perception of threat from political factions that were forming for the purpose of influencing the imperial succession. [11] Fang was arrested by the Governor of Suzhou, his friend Zhang Boxing. Dai was executed by imperial order, but Fang was spared death and punished instead with dismissal from his post and exile to Gansu Province [12] or (likely both) with the imprisonment of his entire family. [13] [14] Zhang would also later be accused of aiding Fang Bao before the court but he was unpunished. [15]

In the prison there were four old cells. Each cell had five rooms. The jail guards lived in the center with a window in the front of their quarters for light. At the end of this room there was another opening for ventilation. There were no such windows for the other four rooms and yet more than two hundred prisoners were always confined there. Each day toward dusk, the cells were locked and the odor of the urine and excrement would mingle with that of the food and drink. Moreover, in the coldest months of the winter, the poor prisoners had to sleep on the ground and when the spring breezes came everyone got sick. The established rule in the prison was that the door would be unlocked only at dawn. During the night, the living and the dead slept side by side with no room to turn their bodies and this is why so many people became infected. ... Among three of my cellmates who were beaten with clubs, one paid thirty taels [i.e. ounces of silver] and his bones were only slightly damaged and he was sick for two months; another paid double and his skin was hurt but he recovered in twenty days; the third paid five times more and was able to walk as usual that very night. Someone asked the beater, “Since some of the prisoners are rich and others poor but all give something, why draw a distinction in punishing them simply because of their payments?” The answer was, “If there was no difference, who would pay more?”
Fang Bao,Random Notes From Prison,DC, 39-41 [16]

In 1728, the death of an Eleuth leader provided an excuse for the new Yongzheng Emperor to continue his father's wars in Gansu Province. Fang Bao had written a bold critique of the Governor of Gansu Province, Xu Rong and the Yongzheng Emperor's strategy with regards to the effects of the war on the people of the region. [17] Despite this writing, by the end of the Yongzheng era, Fang was back in the imperial court's favor and he was promoted to Vice-Director of the Board of Rights.

Fang Bao's critical work of the Yongzheng Emperor proved influential in around 1735 when the incoming Qianlong Emperor used it to indict Xu Rong as a part of his larger purge of government officials to cement his hold on power. Accordingly, Fang was made the Vice-Director of the Bureau for the compilation of the Three Ritual Classics. In this role, he gained imperial support to pursue one of his most famous works, the "Imperial Anthology of Essays on the Four Books" which transformed the entire imperial writing system. [18]

Death and legacy

Fang Bao died in 1749. One of his lasting contributions to the imperial system apart from his literary writings was the establishment of the guwen style as the essay style of the imperial examination system which thereafter put emphasis on Song dynasty neo-Confucian theory. This influence drastically changed the imperial examination system which imposed standards and made the guwen essays the foundational part of scholarly writing across the Qing Empire. [19]

Fang Bao is an ancestor of Fang Gongcheng, a tutor of the Qing imperial court, of Fang Guancheng, the Viceroy of Zhili, of Fang Chih, the influential cold war-era statesman of the Republic of China, Fang Dongmei a.k.a. Thomé H. Fang, a 20th century Taiwanese neo-Confucian philosopher, and of Anna Sui, the American fashion designer.[ citation needed ]

Published works

Related Research Articles

Yongzheng Emperor Emperor of Qing-dynasty China from 1722 to 1735

The Yongzheng Emperor, born Yinzhen, was the fourth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the third Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigned from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, the Yongzheng Emperor's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, the Yongzheng Emperor used military force to preserve the dynasty's position.

Zhang Tingyu

Zhang Tingyu was a Han Chinese politician and historian who lived in the Qing dynasty.

Tongcheng, Anhui County-level city in Anhui, Peoples Republic of China

Tongcheng is a county-level city and former county in the southwest of Anhui province and is under the jurisdiction of the prefecture-level city of Anqing. Its population is 744,000 and its area is 1,571 km2 (607 sq mi). Tongcheng is noted for the Tongcheng School.

Empress Xiaogongren Empress Dowager Renshou

Empress Xiaogongren, of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner Uya clan, was a posthumous name bestowed to the consort of Xuanye, the Kangxi Emperor and mother of Yinzhen, the Yongzheng Emperor. She was honoured as Empress Dowager Renshou during the reign of her son and posthumously honoured as empress, although she never held the rank of empress consort during her lifetime.

Empress Xiaoshengxian Empress Xiaoshengxian

Empress Xiaoshengxian, of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner Niohuru clan, was a posthumous name bestowed to the consort of Yinzhen, the Yongzheng Emperor and mother of Hongli, the Qianlong Emperor. She was honoured as Empress Dowager Chongqing during the reign of her son and posthumously honoured as empress, although she never held the rank of empress consort during her lifetime.

Empress Xiaojingxian

(28 June 1681 – 29 October 1731), Duoqimuli of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner Ula Nara clan, was the wife and empress consort of Yinzhen, the Yongzheng Emperor. She was Empress consort of Qing from 1723 until her death in 1731. She was posthumously honoured with the title Empress Xiaojingxian. The Yongzheng Emperor did not elevate any of his other consorts to the position of empress after she died.

Imperial Noble Consort Huixian

Imperial Noble Consort Huixian, of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner Gaogiya clan, was a consort of the Qianlong Emperor.

Western Qing tombs Necropolis in Hebei Province, China

The Western Qing tombs are located some 140 km (87 mi) southwest of Beijing in Yi County, Hebei Province. They constitute a necropolis that incorporates four royal mausoleums where seventy-eight royal members are buried. These include four emperors of the Qing dynasty and their empresses, imperial concubines, princes and princesses, as well as other royal servants.

Ortai Qing politician and first Earl Xiangqin

Ortai (1680–1745) was the first Earl Xiangqin. He was an eminent Manchu official from the Sirin Gioro clan, belonging to the Bordered Blue Banner, during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). He served both the Yongzheng Emperor and the Qianlong Emperor. Ortai governed the southwestern region of the Qing empire, Yun-Gui, from around 1726-1731, and was responsible for putting down several Miao uprisings. He fell ill and died in 1745.

Ling Jiefang, better known by his pen name Eryue He, was a Chinese historical fiction writer. He is best known for writing biographical novels of three Qing dynasty emperors, all of which have been adapted into award-winning television series.

<i>Yongzheng Dynasty</i>

Yongzheng Dynasty is a 1999 Chinese historical television series starring Tang Guoqiang and Jiao Huang. The series, spanning 44 episodes, occupied the CCTV-1 prime time slot; after its premiere, there have been many re-runs of the show on television networks in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The series was adapted from Eryue He's historical novels, which are loosely based on historical events in the reigns of the Kangxi and Yongzheng Emperors in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The series was followed by a 2001 prequel, Kangxi Dynasty, and a 2002 sequel, Qianlong Dynasty, both of which were also based on Eryue He's novels.

Marquis of Extended Grace was a title held by a descendant of the imperial family of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) during the subsequent Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Holders of this title were also called the Marquis of Zhu from the surname of the Ming imperial clan. The marquis presided at memorial ceremonies held twice a year at the Ming tombs near Beijing.

Tongcheng Secondary School is a secondary school in Tongcheng, Anhui, China.

The Tongcheng school was a Chinese literary school that flourished during the Qing dynasty advocating the philosophy of the Neo-Confucian values that rose to prominence during the Song dynasty.

Fang Lanfen was a Chinese poet and scholar during the late Qing Empire.

Fang Guancheng was a Chinese Noble and high government official of the Qing Dynasty notable for being the Viceroy of Zhili.

Events from the year 1662 in China.

Events from the year 1668 in China.

Events from the year 1683 in China.

References

  1. "1". Wenquxing Fang Bao. Yuedu.163.com (in Chinese). Netease Cloud Reading. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  2. "Tongcheng School of Literature". www.ah.gov.cn. Anhui China Daily. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2015. Fang Bao (1668-1749) carried on the tradition of Gui Youguang's works and made Yi Fa (Yi refers to the central ideas of an article)
  3. "Tongcheng School". www.chinaculture.org. China Culture. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2015. The Tongcheng School is the most distinguished among the mid-Qing Dynasty schools of literature. Its representative writers include Fang Bao, Liu Dakui and Yao Nai, who are all natives of Tongcheng County in Anhui Province, hence the name Tongcheng School.
  4. "1". Wenquxing Fang Bao. Yuedu.163.com (in Chinese). Netease Cloud Reading. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  5. "桐城人物(大全)录". Anhui Cultural Network. 11 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  6. "1". Wenquxing Fang Bao. Yuedu.163.com (in Chinese). Netease Cloud Reading. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  7. "Tongcheng School". www.chinaculture.org. China Culture. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2015. The Tongcheng School is the most distinguished among the mid-Qing Dynasty schools of literature. Its representative writers include Fang Bao, Liu Dakui and Yao Nai, who are all natives of Tongcheng County in Anhui Province, hence the name Tongcheng School.
  8. Guy, R. Kent (2010). Qing Governors and Their Provinces: The Evolution of Territorial Administration in China, 1644-1796, A China Program Book (illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. pp. 255–257. ISBN   0295990198 via Google Books.
  9. Theobald, Ulrich (4 February 2014). "Persons in Chinese History - Fang Bao 方苞". chinaknowledge.de. ChinaKnowledge. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  10. Pollard, David. The Chinese Essay (illustrated ed.). C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 100. ISBN   1850655375 via Google Books.
  11. Pang, Pu. Zhongguo Ruxue 中國儒學 (in Chinese). 2 (1997 ed.). Shanghai: Dongfang Chuban Zhongxin. p. 223.
  12. Guy, R. Kent (2010). Qing Governors and Their Provinces: The Evolution of Territorial Administration in China, 1644-1796, A China Program Book (illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. pp. 255–257. ISBN   0295990198 via Google Books.
  13. Pollard, David. The Chinese Essay (illustrated ed.). C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 100. ISBN   1850655375 via Google Books.
  14. Ebrey, Patricia; Walthall, Anne (2013). "Fang Bao's Random Notes From Prison". East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Volume II: From 1600. Cengage Learning. pp. 278–279. ISBN   1285546202 via Google Books.
  15. Guy, R. Kent (2010). Qing Governors and Their Provinces: The Evolution of Territorial Administration in China, 1644-1796, A China Program Book (illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. pp. 255–257. ISBN   0295990198 via Google Books.
  16. Chen, Janet; Cheng, Pei-kai; Lestz, Michael; Spence, Jonathan D. (June 26, 2013). The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection (Third Edition). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN   0393920852.
  17. Guy, R. Kent (2010). Qing Governors and Their Provinces: The Evolution of Territorial Administration in China, 1644-1796, A China Program Book (illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 129. ISBN   0295990198 via Google Books.
  18. Yao, Xinzhong (2015). The Encyclopedia of Confucianism: 2-volume Set. London: Routledge. p. 206. ISBN   1317793498 via Google Books.
  19. Gibbs Hill, Michael (2013). Lin Shu, Inc.: Translation and the Making of Modern Chinese Culture. OUP USA. p. 43. ISBN   0199892881 via Google Books.

Further reading