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Article: A 122 Year Petition: The Prelude of Re-appointing Imperial Diarists in the Wan-li Era

TitleA 122 Year Petition: The Prelude of Re-appointing Imperial Diarists in the Wan-li Era
一百二十二年的疏請:萬曆復置起居注溯源
Authors
KeywordsPETITIONS
PUBLIC records
SOCIAL pressure
IMPERIALISM
HISTORY
Issue Date2007
PublisherInstitute of Chinese Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學. 中國文化硏究所). The Journal's web site is located at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ics/journal/eng/home.html
Citation
Journal of Chinese Studies, 2007, v. 47 , p. 135-163 How to Cite?
中國文化研究所學報, 2007, v. 47 , p. 135-163 How to Cite?
AbstractImperial Diarists (qijuzhu) were appointed in the early Ming for keeping record of the emperor's activities and pronouncements. The office of Imperial Diarists was, however, abolished sometime before 1398, the end of Emperor Taizu's reign. Since then, it is not clear whether there were any specific officials being entrusted with the task of recording the emperor's daily movements. Such recording was even altogether abandoned during Emperor Xuanzong's reign. Between 1451 and 1573, fourteen officials submitted to their respective emperors memorials stressing the importance of the office of Imperial Diarists. Twelve of them further petitioned for either the re-establishment of the office of Imperial Diarists or the assignment of the duty of recording the emperor's movements to specific officials such as members of the Hanlin Academy. Appointments of Imperial Diarists were finally resumed in 1575. Instead of appointing full-time officials for the posts like the early Ming, however, the posts were filled by selected members of the Hanlin Academy in tandem with their own tenure. The main body of this article is an analytical study of the submissions made in the said fourteen memorials submitted by respective officials in light of the scholarship of the Ming-Qing historians and contemporary scholars, with a view to rectifying the mistakes they committed in relation to the contents of the memorials and the results of their submissions. The last part of the article attempts to explore the reasons behind the abolishment of the office of Imperial Diarists during the aforesaid 122 years. The author argues that it is not simply a matter of inertia of the emperors resisting to make change, which was the reason given by Emperor Shizong. Since Imperial Diarists would faithfully record the emperors' words and deeds in the imperial diaries, from which the official history was compiled, they served a monitoring function on the behaviour of the emperors. It was believed by Ming people that the office of Imperial Diarists could help promote the emperors' virtue on the ground that the latter did not wish anything unfavourable to their names be recorded and handed down in history. In order to avoid being constantly observed by Imperial Diarists and their misconduct being written down in the official history, the most straightforward and effective way for the Ming emperors was to abolish the office of Imperial Diarists and not to provide any substitution. Unlike all other emperors who had refused to reappoint Imperial Diarists, Emperor Shenzong in 1573 was still just a youngster of eleven sui when he received the proposal of reappointing these officials. At that time, it was the Senior Grand Secretary Zhang Juzheng who really manipulated the state affairs. The decision to restore the office of Imperial Diarists in 1575 could not and should not have been Emperor Shenzong's own. The mastermind of the entire re-establishment must have come from Zhang who had all along intended to cultivate Emperor Shenzong to be a sage king. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/90180
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHo, KP-
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T10:06:45Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T10:06:45Z-
dc.date.issued2007-
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Chinese Studies, 2007, v. 47 , p. 135-163-
dc.identifier.citation中國文化研究所學報, 2007, v. 47 , p. 135-163-
dc.identifier.issn1016-4464-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/90180-
dc.description.abstractImperial Diarists (qijuzhu) were appointed in the early Ming for keeping record of the emperor's activities and pronouncements. The office of Imperial Diarists was, however, abolished sometime before 1398, the end of Emperor Taizu's reign. Since then, it is not clear whether there were any specific officials being entrusted with the task of recording the emperor's daily movements. Such recording was even altogether abandoned during Emperor Xuanzong's reign. Between 1451 and 1573, fourteen officials submitted to their respective emperors memorials stressing the importance of the office of Imperial Diarists. Twelve of them further petitioned for either the re-establishment of the office of Imperial Diarists or the assignment of the duty of recording the emperor's movements to specific officials such as members of the Hanlin Academy. Appointments of Imperial Diarists were finally resumed in 1575. Instead of appointing full-time officials for the posts like the early Ming, however, the posts were filled by selected members of the Hanlin Academy in tandem with their own tenure. The main body of this article is an analytical study of the submissions made in the said fourteen memorials submitted by respective officials in light of the scholarship of the Ming-Qing historians and contemporary scholars, with a view to rectifying the mistakes they committed in relation to the contents of the memorials and the results of their submissions. The last part of the article attempts to explore the reasons behind the abolishment of the office of Imperial Diarists during the aforesaid 122 years. The author argues that it is not simply a matter of inertia of the emperors resisting to make change, which was the reason given by Emperor Shizong. Since Imperial Diarists would faithfully record the emperors' words and deeds in the imperial diaries, from which the official history was compiled, they served a monitoring function on the behaviour of the emperors. It was believed by Ming people that the office of Imperial Diarists could help promote the emperors' virtue on the ground that the latter did not wish anything unfavourable to their names be recorded and handed down in history. In order to avoid being constantly observed by Imperial Diarists and their misconduct being written down in the official history, the most straightforward and effective way for the Ming emperors was to abolish the office of Imperial Diarists and not to provide any substitution. Unlike all other emperors who had refused to reappoint Imperial Diarists, Emperor Shenzong in 1573 was still just a youngster of eleven sui when he received the proposal of reappointing these officials. At that time, it was the Senior Grand Secretary Zhang Juzheng who really manipulated the state affairs. The decision to restore the office of Imperial Diarists in 1575 could not and should not have been Emperor Shenzong's own. The mastermind of the entire re-establishment must have come from Zhang who had all along intended to cultivate Emperor Shenzong to be a sage king. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]-
dc.languagechi-
dc.publisherInstitute of Chinese Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學. 中國文化硏究所). The Journal's web site is located at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ics/journal/eng/home.html-
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Chinese Studies-
dc.relation.ispartof中國文化研究所學報-
dc.subjectPETITIONS-
dc.subjectPUBLIC records-
dc.subjectSOCIAL pressure-
dc.subjectIMPERIALISM-
dc.subjectHISTORY-
dc.titleA 122 Year Petition: The Prelude of Re-appointing Imperial Diarists in the Wan-li Era-
dc.title一百二十二年的疏請:萬曆復置起居注溯源-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=1016-4464&volume=47 &spage=135&epage=163&date=2007&atitle=A+122+Year+Petition:+The+Prelude+of+Re-appointing+Imperial+Diarists+in+the+Wan-li+Eraen_HK
dc.identifier.emailHo, KP: koonpiu@HKUSUA.hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityHo, KP=rp01144en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.hkuros143044-
dc.identifier.volume47-
dc.identifier.spage135-
dc.identifier.epage163-
dc.publisher.placeHong Kong (香港)-

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