A Diary of My Journey to the North

By Lou Yue (1137–1213)

At the time, I was in waiting for an appointment as Instructor in Wenzhou and was in service to my father, Magistrate of Guacang. I received the message of appointment from my second maternal uncle, Minister Wang Dayou.


(宋)樓鑰 撰


Part i

Seven Days in Henan

Lou Yue’s Diary of My Northern Trip

December 27, 1169–January 3, 1170

Translated by Stephen H. West

Fifth day, bingxu. Frost and cold. It took a lot of energy to travel; everyone’s hair and beard were iced. Traveled 60 li to Yongcheng County, where we stopped for the morning meal.1 The lamps were still lit in the post house. This county was originally composed of the two counties of Mang and Jingchou, and the land is where Mangshan and Dangshan meet. Emperor Gao of the Han once took refuge here.2 The Han changed Jingchou to Taichou. Chen Shi was once a Post Commander at the Western Gate of the Commandery here.3 The ancient walled city is northwest of the modern county. After another 70 li, we overnighted at Huiting Market.


Sixth day, wuzi. Frosty and clear. Traveled by cart for 45 li to Sand Dune Ridge where we transferred to asses, and went 35 li to Gushou County where we stopped for the morning meal. This county was called Southern Bo in the Shang dynasty and was made the capital by Tang [the Completer of Shang].4 Outside of the county is a rainbow-arch bridge that is very imposing as it straddles the river. It was constructed during the Xuanhe reign (1117–25). Currently either side has a small rammed-earth wall, but the whole is worn and broken down and impassible. So we cut across the river to enter Gushou. 22 li later we came to the Golden Apple Orchard, which was filled with fruit trees. Another 18 li by horse and we arrived at the Southern Capital, which is orderly and prosperous. Onlookers mostly peeked out from behind closed doors. There were more than a hundred armored cavalry lining the roads, and there were foot soldiers stationed outside of the city wall and in front of the posthouse. The major tower, called Suiyang, was of imposing and ancient construction, but was falling apart. The posthouse was also called Suiyang. An armored soldier from Gushou [who had accompanied us] volunteered, “Westerners ask for 500 short cash every month. When they hear how well our own soldiers are paid, they are moved to sighs.”5 There is a pavilion at the side of the tower in the Southern Capital, called “Releasing Sour Feelings.” A servant who volunteered that his name was Zhao—I did not want to question him too closely5a—said, “The mansions of Grand Minister Xu,6 Director of the Board of War Lu,7 and Commissioner of the Court of Palace Attendants Zheng8 were still in the city, but were mainly occupied by government officials, but also by the male descendants of the families.” Remark: this place is where E the Elder, son of Gao Xin lived,9 and is known as Shang Qiu. It is the place where King Wu of Zhou enfeoffed Qi, Baron of Hui and created the state of Song.10 The Latter Tang (923–26) turned it into the Military Commission of Gui’de. Since it was a base of the Kingly Enterprise of our [Song] state, it was elevated to the Superior Prefecture of Yingtian in the 4th year of Jingde.11 In the 7th year of Xiangfu (1014) it was elevated to the Southern Capital. The Jin changed its name to Gui’de Prefecture. This is where Liang Xiaowang had his capital in the Han. His Rabbit Garden, Level Terrace, Wildfowl Pond, and Duckweed Dike are all here.12 The five meteorites from the Spring and Autumn Period are still extant.13


Seventh day, wuzi. Clear. Traveled 60 li by cart and stopped for the morning meal at Ningling. This was the ancient state of Gebo, who was chastised by Tang’s campaign.14 Wuji of Wei, Lord of Xinling was enfeoffed at this spot.15 Another 60 li and we overnighted at Gongzhou. Originally Xiangyi County, it was attached to the Superior Prefecture of Kaifeng, but in the fourth year of Chongning, they created the name of “Supporting District,” and made it the "Eastern Support."16 It was then changed again to Gongzhou, and it governed Xiangyi. It was originally Xiang Tumulus County in Chengkuang; Duke Xiang was buried here, so it was called Xiang Tumulus.17 The Jin call it Suizhou.


Eighth day, jichou. Clear. Traveled by cart for 60 li and stopped for the morning meal at Yongqiu County. The county is the old [feudal] state of Qi, where King Wu of Zhou enfeoffed the descendants of Yu as Dukes of Eastern Lou.18 So, locals still called the place “Qi County.” Zu Ti fortified this place in order to repel Shi Le.19 Yucheng Market is in the southeast, and was originally Yu County of the Han, and was attached to Suiyang Princedom. Wang Mang struck Zhai Yi and made a lookout mound of bodies here.20 The old walled city of Waihuang County of the Han is to the east, as well as Kuiqiu (Mallow Mound), where Duke Huan of Qi held his parlay.21 A servant at our disposal, Du Cong, volunteered, “The hired personnel in our county government22 are five: the county magistrate, the county recorder, county militia commander, and directors of the wine monopoly and tax registers, housed in the same directorate. For the vernal and autumnal taxes the people bring in millet and rice, as well as pay with woven silk, but it is thin and small/meager and small.”23 This area really was a model of old time customs, except that they had changed their mode of dress. We traveled another 20 li and passed by Kongsang (Hollow Mulberry), where Yi Yin was born.24 Another li and we passed by Yiyin’s gravemound. There was only one withered tree by its side with a broken stele recumbent at its foot that read, “Gravemound of Yi Yin, Minister of Tang [of Shang].” We passed three other tumuli in the next several li. Our driver, who called himself by the surname Zhao, said, “In the past no one was allowed to look at envoys from the south, and it has only been in recent years that they have been able to look at will. People from my area look well upon southerners, and if there are any who are taken captive and pass by, they will be hidden away. If they are found by soldiers, the whole house will inevitably be destroyed, but it is something we do willingly.” We stayed in Chenliu County, 60 li from Yongqiu. There was a hoary old cedar in the posthouse that one could cherish. This county (Liu) was originally a district of the state of Zheng, but it was annexed by the Chen, so it named thusly.


Ninth day, gengyin. Clear. Traveled by cart for 45 li. There were many ponds by the side of the road and our path was quite meandering. Old tumuli were everywhere one looked, and every single one had been excavated. When we reached the Eastern Imperial Garden, we rested in a small pavilion. [All those in the ceremonial party] from the Envoy, Vice-Envoy on down put on their robes and caps, got on horseback and entered the walled city of the Eastern Capital, which is now called “The Southern Capital.” New Song Gate, called Chaoyang of old, is now called Hongren. The wall and its towers are imposing and grand, and the towers, turrets, and protective moat are impressive and regular. Willows have been planted on either side of the moat like straight-lines. We had to first enter an enciente gate, which had “enemy towers” on top of it, and then another enciente gate with a three-bay tower, before we entered into the grand wall itself. There were three gates in line [at the main entrance], the whole topped with a large tower. We entered through the southernmost gate. We were still quite a distance from the inner city wall. There was only an extremely sparse scattering of people and buildings outside of the wall, and there was a whitewashed wall called Xinling Ward, a historical relic of Wuji of Wei.24a It was also desolate and crumbling inside the [inner] city wall. On the south side of the street there were many imperial warehouse buildings, and far off one could gaze at the pagoda of Potai Monastery through a broken section of the wall.25 North of the street one can see the two pagodas of Jingde26 and Kaibao Monasteries,27 as well as the Monastery of the Seven Treasure Gallery,28 and the Palace of the Accumulated Blessings of Highest Clarity.29 All were in deep disrepair although the golden[-lettered] lintel plaques were still in place. The Shrine of the Skinning Field was highly invested with ornament. Even though it was stuck far out of the main way, there were two tall sign posts along the road, each with a plaque suspended from it. On the left it read, “Side Entrance to the Skinning Field,” and on the right it read, “Temple of Miraculous Response.”30 There was also the General Luan Bu Temple.31 Crumbled walls filled one’s vision, and all were the remains of houses of grand families.

We entered Old Song Gate, formerly called Lijing Gate, now called Binyao, which was also a three-abreast gate. We entered from the northern gate, which was impressive and ornate and quite fine. There was a shrine outside the gate called “Miraculous Protection,”32 and there were two ornamental towers on the left and right inside the two gates.33 South of the Gate was the Bian River. Therefore, there were no streets on the south side of the street, and on the north was immediately Sweetwater Alley.34 We passed by the mansion of the Grand Minister, King of Zheng,35 and there was a small tower at the southwest corner. People of the capital formed ranks to observe us, and among them were some older woemn dressed and made up in extraordinary style. The old white-haired folk mostly heaved sighs and covered their tears. One of them pointed out the Vice-Envoy and said, “This must be an official from the Xuanhe era].36

Xiangguo Monastery was as of old, opening on the 8th, 18th and 28th of each month.37 The two towers of the monastery face each other, and [on the finial] brass pearls taper to a point over the transmigration wheels,38 the left now hidden and the right now revealed. We passed across [the imperial way] in front of the Grand Interior City, which was destroyed by fire during the reign of the usurper, Wanyan Liang.39 It was reconstructed exactly as it was, except that the foundations and Zhouchao Bridge were moved slightly to the east. It seems that the Tower of Virtue Displayed has five gates, and the two protruding side towers are exceedingly interesting. I have no idea about the size of the Imperial Corridor, but the two towers rose up spectacularly and there were many merchants inside [the corridors] in their temporary sheds.39a About ten paces beyond the Western Imperial Corridor, we passed the Office of Currency Exchange,40 and entered the Capital Inn, which had been built on the foundations of the First Prime Inn of the Five Dynasties. Our dynasty [Song] used it to host envoys from the Liao state. It still uses the old buildings, but the western portion has already been abandoned to be a pleasure precinct.


Tenth day, xinmao. Intermittent cloudiness. Rested. There were some among those waiting on our needs who had seen the days of peace, and often were able to speak about former events. Some of those born later also said they had heard complete accounts from their parents. One said his father had left him with these last words, “I am at my end now, but your generation should witness times of happiness.” He could not possibly have known that it would drag on for thirty or forty years, and [that happy time] would still not to be seen. These were the words primarily of people in the capital “who carried bottles” in the market place.41 There were still around 500 entertainers who still carried out the prescribed rituals of “welcoming and sending off” on the 1st and 15th of the month. Another said, “Families of former high status who were trapped here have all had their old official credentials completely erased, and are used for errands by the northern army. They are called “Officials Who Don’t Earn Their Keep.” They no longer have any salary, and rely on their children and other juniors or provide for themselves by working in the minor jobs [of merchant or craftsman].42 A former office assistant said,43 “We get a monthly allotment of two pecks of grain, and two short-strings of cash. We provide heavy service every day, and we cannot bear how it wears us down.” Every time they talked about former events they grew teary eyed and could not stop themselves.

The In-situ Defender of the city came to visit. The Envoy and Vice-envoy of the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation and our Envoy and Vice-envoy sat together on the same couch, sitting on the upper floor facing south. The In-situ Defender placed his “barbarian chair” and sat, in a lesser position, on their left. He passed along the cups and urged them to drink, paid his respects and then withdrew. All of the personal gifts given to the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation as ritual items on the trip were sold here. Each thing had a set price, and the responsibility [for selling them] was turned over to a middleman. Each item is purchased with ready cash, and is divided between all of the carts to be taken northward. It is like this every year.

Moreover the Jin squeeze out the citizens' fat and blood in order to feather their own nests. The treasuries and warehouses are mostly in various locations associated with their Superior Capital (Acheng, near modern Harbin), so the people of Henan are extremely poor, and the amount of [metal] cash gets smaller and smaller. Once on the road we ran into several carrying poles of woven rush baskets that were being guided by a flag and protected by two cavalry riders. Someone said, “It’s all paper currency.” The major-domos despise their masters’ avarice and often curse them with vile names. They also call them “Best o’ luck Commissioner Baos.” 44

We gave each of the people who served us some gifts of fine fragrant tea and red fruit.45 Some kneeled and some verbally thanked us. Those who knelt performed a ritual of the north [Jurchen], those who gave verbal thanks maintained the ritual of the Central Plain. Some of their spoken language showed a slight Yan accent which particularly pains one.46


Eleventh day, renchen. Clear. We were given a banquet. Once the seating hierarchy was relayed, the Envoy and Vice-envoy led the third level embassy officials out in their official caps and gowns. They saluted the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation in front of their station and went out. All went to their cushions, and stood directly across from the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation and the Envoy from the [Jin Son of] Heaven. The third-level embassy officials stood behind the Envoy and Vice-envoy, who were first led to face to the northwest. An edict was sung out and obeisance was made twice. Then the Envoy from the [Jin Son of] Heaven, Wukuli Zhang relayed an oral proclamation:47

You have held the envoy’s tally from afar to assemble for year’s prime,

And have just braved the severity of the cold;

So it is fitting to present a feast to honor your weary work,

Now all hasten to their seats

And Zhang will provide all a feast.

Yelü Cheng,48 In-situ Defender of the Southern Capital, was deputed to be master of ceremonies for the feast. They also provided music from the Entertainment District. Our Envoy and Vice-envoy made five ritual obeisances, and then another edict was sung out and two obeisances were made. Another oral proclamation was relayed,

You have come to court for year’s first morn,

From afar have raised the envoy’s flag aloft,

And added luster to this land [?], whether broad or low and marshy.

It is fitting that there be a bestowal sweet and fragrant;

Now have Zhang provide all with wine and fruits.

Our Envoy and Vice-envoy stuck their staves of office into their belts, knelt on their left knees, and with crossed hands received the bestowal. They made obeisance five times as dictated by ritual, returned to their places and stood before their cushions facing each other. Next they saluted the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation and retired to a tented enclosure, where they had three rounds of drinks with Zhang. They returned to their cushions a second time, and led in Shi Dan who knelt at the side to receive the memorial.48a The Chief Envoy made an obeisance and knelt to receive the memorial, and then in turn took it to present to Zhang. Then many local products [from the south] were dispatched to present to him. Zhang withdrew and immediately led out the Master of Ceremonies who, together with the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation made obeisance and offered their thanks for the [the imperial] grace.

The Master of Ceremonies first ascended the court and stood at the side. Our Envoy and Vice-envoy made obeisance, and then ascended the court in two matching lines together with the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation, turning to face the Master of Ceremonies. When this was finished, they went to their seats. Hot water being poured and their staves of office being set upright, [the Envoy and Vice-envoy] left their seats and stood for a moment. The third-level embassy officials faced northwest and made obeisance twice. They ascended to the court with a shout, and occupied positions facing east. They moved to the south and stood for moment to wait for the Envoy and Vice-envoy’s first cup. Only when that was finished did the third-level embassy officials take their seats.

The first round was noodles with meat sauce.49

Next, oil cakes with meat,50

Next, kidney stew,

Next, a variety of “tea dishes:”51

Served on forty or more plates on a large wooden platter; they were much finer than those served on ordinary days. They also separately placed sweet congee with pine nuts, cakes filled with steamed “wax yellow”, and cross-scored lamb ravioli. I cannot account for them all.

Next, the main courses:

First two “mountains” of meat and large buns spiced with jujubes and fermented beans; then they set down five dishes of things like spiced fish and salted fermented beans. Ten or more other dishes followed one after another, all mixed in with items to eat. Twice they set out rice and tripe stew, and three times they set out buns, and five times fish—no one knew the meaning of this, probably a customary grand ritual.

Next, three [kinds?] of bread,

Next, small bowls of organ meats,

Next, sheep’s head,

Next, grilled meat,

Next, parings,52

Next, ersatz turtle made from sheep’s head,

Next, double cooked buns with juicy meat filling,

Next, gruel made from millet with a platter of mixed dishes.53

Altogether thirteen rounds. The progression of music was the unfretted zither (zheng), the mouth organ (sheng), and the ferrophones for the three times we ascended the main hall. The rest made music in order to send [each round?] There were also variety plays. Each time there were bound rolls of cloth or silver bowls as gifts. Our Envoy, Vice-envoy, and those below in rank all left their seats in order to wait on the opportunity to offer thanks for the beneficence of the [Jin ruler]. Someone said, “What they have bestowed are really not worth anything, all are no more than writing implements.” In the twelfth round, as is the precedent, after the upper and middle ranks drank the rounds they were urged to drink, and had finished, the embassy officials of the third rank first formed into squadrons, and then the Envoy and Vice-envoy entered. After the tea was drunk in the thirteen round, and after, together with the Master of Ceremonies and the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation, offering thanks for the feast, [the Envoy and Vice-envoy] knelt in the courtyard and offered up a memorial, as ritual dictated. For a second time they gave Zhang local products [from the South], and bade goodbye to Zhang and Yelü Cheng. Then they immediately saluted the Welcoming and Accompanying Delegation and returned to their positions. They gave the Master of Ceremonies his private gifts and then returned. From this time on, the rituals of every banquet were done according to this procedure. The food and the music might differ, but not much.


Twelfth day, kuisi. Clear. Left the hostel at the fifth watch,54 went across the Imperial Avenue and followed the eastern Imperial Corridor. Passed by the eastern tower at side of the Tower of Virtue Displayed, and went into Pan Tower Street. We passed east of the Left Ancillary Gate, and went out along Horse Guild Street. Going north, passed the Gate of Eastern Florescence, and went out Old Fengqiu Gate, which the Jin had changed to “Dark Warrior.” New Fengqiu Gate was formerly called “Pacifying Distant Lands,” but the Jin have changed it to “Perfectly Normal.” There were stones scattered in the river, abandoned from the Hill of Long Life.54a The “square altar” in the northern suburbs was on the west side of the road, and the “green city” was on the east.54b Facing south there were three doorways opened in the center, and two ancillary gates opened on the left and right. A gate was opened to the east to lead to the altar. It was completely overgrown and abandoned. There were more inhabitants inside and outside of the northern gates [of the city] than there were in the south. Traveled by cart for 45 li, and stopped for food at Fengqiu. Another 45 li and we stayed overnight in Zuocheng.

Enroute we met an old gaffer who said, “My son-in-law has been guarding the border, and has not returned for ten years. Everyone suffers from this long forced service, and now I have to send him clothes and duffel.” Someone else said, “From the new regulations of the tenth year of Dading one inductee can be called for a provisioning tax of 50 strings of cash per head. In cases where 50 strings cannot be had, several households are made to provide it together. Even those who have only one or two strings cannot avoid this tax.55 Each person’s military expenditure is some 80 cords of cash, and money is given to the government in order to provide for this expenditure. There are 21 Chiliarchs in the Eastern Capital, each with three or four hundred men; altogether there are only 8000 soldiers. There was a certain Chiliarch Zhang, who led his troops earlier at the battle of Fuli, but he was defeated and had only a score or so of men left. When he got here he was stripped of his rank and made an ordinary citizen.” Another said, “When Chinese conscript armies [of the Jin] engage the King’s army [i.e., the Song] none of them put forth any effort, and they often scatter once they begin to battle, but they are pressured by the threat of the most severe punishment. If each of them was to put forth all their effort, they could not be matched by southerners. The Eastern Capital was not prepared for the battle of Fuli, and at first response they had already begun to waver in their confidence; we expected the southern soldiers to arrive any day, why did they abandon the Central Plain so quickly?” Such “thoughts of Han” [i.e., patriotic thoughts] were truly earnest, but the lands of Henan are desolate as far as the eye can see, and all has disappeared, without a single place that could be well-defended. Even if one found it, it would be hard to remain resolute.56

Southlake lies to the south of Zuocheng. The Yellow River breeched its banks in the fifth month of last year,57 and there was a lot of damage. The waters of the Yellow River merged with Southlake, washing away the old road. Brushwood was piled on top of it, and then straw and dirt in order to give carts and horses access.

My comment: The Eastern Capital was in the ambit of the three states of Wei, Chen, and Zheng in the Spring and Autumn period, belonged to Wei during the Warring States, and Eastern Wei established the city of Liangzhou there; the Latter Zhou changed it to Bianzhou. In the Xingyuan reign (of Tang) it was the headquarters for the Regional Governor of the Army of Might Displayed. Latter Liang founded their state at this prefecture and it was elevated to Kaifeng Superior Prefecture, the Eastern Capital. Latter Tang turned it back into Bianzhou, and the [Latter] Jin, Han, and Zhou as well as our Song followed the precedent of Liang. The Bian Canal is the old Changdang Canal, which received water from the Yellow River at its inlet. Emperor Yang of the Sui dredged a new channel and drew on the Bian River. There is a “Jun Canal” in Kaifeng District which is the “Jun Settlement” mentioned in the Wei Odes.58 There is also a “sand sea” and the section of the Intrigues of the Warring States in which Yan Shuai said that the lord and ministers of Great Liang “desired to obtain the Nine Cauldrons. . .and planned it at the Sand Sea.”59 The Duckweed Dike reaches for 300 li from Suiyang to here.60 The “Playing a Wind Instrument Terrace” is now called Po Terrace; it was originally constructed by the Music Master Kuang, and was added on to by Prince Xiao of Liang.61 There is an Yimen Mountain in Xiangfu district, and Yimen was the eastern gate of Da Liang, and is the place where Hou Ying kept watch over the Gate.62 The Cai River is the old Pipa Canal. Hanquan (Cold Spring) is that which is mentioned in the "Odes of Bei" in the Book of Poetry, “There is also a cold spring, / Just below Jun.”63 Zhongmou District is where Bi Shi rebelled in the time of Zhao Xiangzi;64 there is also Zhongmou Terrace, which was Government Ford City, which is where Cao Cao and Yuan Shao fought.65 In Yangwu district is Bolangsha, where Zhang Liang attacked the First Emperor of Qin.66 This is also where the River breached the Jin Dike.67 Changyuan District was Kuang District in the Wei, and was where Confucius was held prisoner;68 it is also the ancient Pu District, where Zilu, his disciple, was minister.69 Yanling District is where Earl of Zheng defeated Duan.70 Fengqiu is the ancient Fengfu State, as stated in the Zuozhuan, “Zhou awarded Lu the [famous bow] Fanruo.”71 There is a Yellow Lake in the district, which is where King of Wu met with Duke Wen of Jin.72 Zuocheng is subordinated to Huazhou, which is old Southern Yan, and the place where the Duke of Zhou enfeoffed his children. As the Zuozhuan says, “Jiang, Xing, Mao, Zuo, and Ji are the offspring of the Duke of Zhou.“73

十二日,癸巳。晴。五更出驛,穿御街,循東御廊,過宣徳樓側東角樓,下潘樓街頭。東過左掖門,出馬行街頭,北過東華門,出舊封丘門,金改曰:「玄武」,新封丘門,舊曰:「安逺」,金改曰:「順常」。河中有亂石,萬嵗山所棄也。北郊方壇在路西,青城在路東,面南,中開三門,左右開掖門,西開一門以通壇,皆荒墟也。北門内外人煙,比南門稍盛,車行四十五里,飯封丘。又四十五里,宿胙城縣。途中遇老父云:「女壻戍邊,十年不歸,苦于乆役,今又送衣装與之。」或云:「新制大定十年為始,凡物力五十貫者招一軍, 不及五十貫者,率數户共之,下至一二千者,亦不免。毎一軍費八十緡,納錢于官以供此費。東京有千户二十一人,各有三四百人,共有八千兵耳。有張千户者,向來率其人戰符離,一敗止存數十人,至此除籍為民。」又言:「簽軍遇王師,皆不甚盡力,徃往一戰而散,迫于嚴誅耳,若一一與之盡力,非南人所能敵。符離之戰東京無備,先聲已自摇動,指日以望南兵之來,何為遽去中原。思漢之心雖甚切,然河南之地,極目荒蕪,蕩然無可守之地,得之亦難于堅凝也。 胙城之南有南湖,去嵗五月河決,所損甚多。河水今與南湖通,衝斷古路,用柴木横疊其上,積草土以行車馬。按東京春秋衛、陳、鄭三國之境,戰國屬魏,東魏立梁州,後周改汴州,興元為宣武軍節度使。後梁以州建國,升為東京開封府。後唐復為汴州,晉、漢、周、本朝因梁舊。汴河古萇蕩渠,首受黄河水,隋煬帝開浚兼引汴水。開封縣有浚溝,即衛詩浚都也。有沙海,《戰國策》顔率言大「梁君臣欲得九鼎,謀于沙海之上」。蓼堤自睢陽至此三百里。吹臺今曰:「繁臺」,本師曠作,孝王增築。祥符縣有夷門山,夷門大梁城之東門,侯嬴抱闗于此。蔡河古琵琶溝也。寒泉,邶詩所謂:「爰有寒泉,在浚之下」。中牟縣,趙襄子時佛肸以叛,有中牟臺,是為官渡城。曹、袁相持之所。陽武縣有博浪沙,張良擊始皇于此。河決金堤亦此地。長垣縣,衛之匡邑,孔子畏于匡,古之蒲邑,子路為之宰。鄢陵縣克段之地也。封丘縣古封父國,《左傳》所謂:「周以封父之繁弱賜魯。」縣有黄池,吴王夫差所會。胙城屬滑州,故南燕國周公諸子所封,《左傳》「富辰曰:『凡蔣、邢、茅、胙、祭,周公之胤也』。」




Part i


1. I realize that dun (頓) has been translated before in travel diaries as “to rest,” which is an attested meaning. However from the late Tang onward, it seems to have meant primarily a “place to rest and eat (宿食所也),” a definition found in the Yuan dynasty rhyme dictionary, Gujin yunhui juyao 古今韻會舉要. There are three terms used in the text: su (宿), which means “to rest,” but also “to sleep” and xie (歇) , which also means “to rest” or “to sleep.” In this text su is clearly used in contexts that mean “to stay overnight” and xie “to remain in a place for a day or more.”

2. From the “Basic Annals” of the Records of the Historian, “The First Emperor of Qin often said, ‘The auras of a Son of Heaven are in the southwest.’ At that point, he began an eastern travel to suppress it. Gaozu immediately became suspicious of this himself and fled to hide, taking refuge among the mountain marshes and rocky cliffs between Mang and Dang.” 秦始皇帝常曰「東南有天子氣」,於是因東游以厭之.高祖即自疑,亡匿,隱於芒﹑碭山澤巖石之閒. Sima Qian 司馬遷, “Gaozu benji” 高祖本紀 , Xinjiao ben Shiji sanjia zhu 新校本史記三家注 (Zhonghua ed.) I.8.348.

3. Chen Shi, a learned official of the Later Han held this position, 郡西門亭長, in Taichou. See Fan Ye 范嘩, “Chen Shi liezhuan” 陳寔列傳, Xinjiao ben Hou Hanshu 新校本後漢書(Zhonghua ed.) 5.62.2065.

4. Founder of the state of Shang, purportedly ruled from 1782–54 BC. Shangshu jinzhu jinyi 尚書今註今譯, ann. and trans. Qu Wanli 屈萬里 (Taipei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1970) p. 194: “When Tang had overthrown the Mandate of Xia, he returned to Bo, where he created ‘The Proclamation of Tang’.” 湯既黜夏命,復歸于亳。作湯誥。

5. “Short stringing” is an ancient practice, begun as early the Jin in the 4th century. A string of cash purportedly had 1000 copper coins (“thousand” in fact, becomes the common number-measure for strings of cash), but the amount of cash per string was set theoretically at 100. The actual number of cash varied with place and use. In the Song, government cash was set at 80 to 85 per hundred but other locales followed local practice, with as few as 48 per hundred. In the late 900s the Song set the government value at 77. In Jin, in the 1160s, commoners used 85 to 100 and the official rate was a full measure. The Jin later set the value of a string at 80–85. See Gu Yanwu 顧炎武, “Short String,” in Rizhi lu jishi 日知錄集釋 (Shijiazhuang: Huashan wenyi chubanshe, 1990) p. 536. The meaning of “westerners” is open to interpretation. In the Jin History, it refers to people living in the area south of modern Lanzhou, near Linzhao, who were probably Ouighers or Mongols. See “Biography of Zhang Zhongfu” 長中孚列傳, liezhuan 17. Jinshi 金史 (Zhonghua ed.) V.79. 1788 and “Biography of Pang Di” 龐迪列傳, liezhuan 29. ibid. VI.91.2013.

5a. Because he has the same surname as the Song royal family.

6. Perhaps Xu Churen 徐處仁 (1062–27). See SRZJ III.2034. He was a native of Yingtian fu.

7. Perhaps Lu Yundi 路允廸 (ca. 1090–1150). See SRZJ IV.3207. He was a native of Songcheng, which was subordinate to Yingtianfu.

8. This may be Zheng Juzhong 鄭居中 (1059–1123); otherwise, unknown to me.

9. He did not get along with his younger brothers, so he was moved to Shangqiu. See entry under Zhaogong 昭公 1.12 in Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu 春秋左傳注, ann. Yang Bojun 楊伯崚 vol. 2 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981), pp. 118–19: “In the past Gaoxin had two sons. The elder was Yu the Elder, the youngest was Shishen, who lived in a broad forest. They were incapable of standing each other and daily used buckler and spear to try and quell each other. The later emperor (Yao) did not consider this good and transferred Yu the Elder to Shangqiu.”

10. Ziqi of Hui was the half-brother of the bad last emperor of the Shang. When King Wu conquered the Shang, Ziqi brought all of the ritual implements to the Zhou, bound himself to show he was guilty and should be punished, bowed to King Wu and approached him on his knees, pleading for the continuation of the Shang line. King Wu assented, moved him to Shangqiu, and established the state of Song.

11. From Li Tao 李濤 Xu Zizhi tongjiang changbian 續資治通鑑長編 (Zhonghua ed.) III.1387.14, “Jiashen day [2nd month, 4th year/1007.] Songzhou was made Yingtian Superior Prefecture.” 甲申,以宋州為應天府.This was because Songzhou was where the founder of the Song, known posthumously as Taizu, had his original military command under the former Zhou, from when he began his rise to become emperor. He actually assumed the mantle of emperor at Chenqiao, north of Kaifeng.

12. Liu Wu 劉武 (184BC?–144 BC?). The second son of Han Wendi 漢文帝 and the brother of Han Jingdi 景帝, born of Empress Dou 竇. In 161 he was enfeoffed as the Prince of Suiyang. The empress doted on him and hoped he would become emperor after his elder brother had passed. Jingdi once off-handedly remarked that he would do that. Liang Xiaowang was a successful leader in pacifying outlying states, and supposed himself in line for the throne. The plan was thwarted when a minister, Yuan Yang 袁盎, and others recommended Liu Che 劉徹, who would become Emperor Wu, as successor. Xiaowang dispatched an assassin to kill Yuan, and when the assault was uncovered by Emperor Jing. Xiaowang was pardoned, after appearing before the emperor with thorns on his back. He was, nevertheless, distanced from the emperor’s heart and never regained his confidence. He died shortly after his last request to return to the capital. While in Suiyang he built many large structures: palaces, dikes, elevated walkways among others. His treasury was filled with gold on his death, as were his armories with weapons. See “The Hereditary Household of the Filial Prince of Liang” 梁孝王世家, in Sima Qian 司馬遷, shijia 28,Shiji 史記 VI.44.2081–92.

13. Duke Xi 16, Chunqiu “First day of the month, wushen, of the first month of the King, Spring of the 16th year [-644.12.16], stones fell five times at Song; this month six yi waterfowl flew in reverse, passed the Song capital.” 十有六年春王正月戊由朔,隕石于宋五。是月六鷁退飛,過宋都。 Zuozhuan: “ ‘Stones fell five times at Song:’  meteorites. ‘Six yi waterfowl flew in reverse, passed the Song capital:’ [high] winds.” 隕石于宋五,隕星也。六鷁退飛,過宋都,風也。 Duke Xiang of Song misconstrues these as auguries of political events. A visiting scribe-astronomer provides him an explanation, but when he withdraws, tells another, “The lord asked the wrong question, these are cosmological events related to the flow of Yin and Yang, not something produced by fortune or misfortune. Fortune and misfortune stem from human action. But I [explained it thusly] because I did not want to cross the lord.” 君失問。是陰陽之事,非吉凶所生也。吉凶由人。吾不敢逆君故也。See Xigong 16, Zuozhuan huizhu, vol.1, pp. 368–69.

14. Gebo was chastised by Tang because of his cruelty and because he did not offer sacrifices. Although the Book of History is the earliest reference to the incident, it was more fully elaborated in Mencius: “The Earl of Ge was a willful man who neglected his sacrificial duties. T’ang sent someone to ask, ‘Why do you not offer sacrifice?’ ‘We have no suitable animals.’ Tang sent gifts of oxen and sheep to the Earl of Ge, but he used them for food and continued to neglect his sacrificial duties. Tang once gain sent someone to ask, ‘Why do you not offer sacrifices?’ ‘We have no suitable grain.’ Tang sent the people of Bo [his home state] to help in the ploughing and also sent the aged and young with gifts of food. The Earl of Ge led his people out and waylaid those who were bringing wine, food, millet and rice, trying to take these things from them by force. Those who resisted were killed. A boy bearing millet and meat was killed and the food taken. The Book of History says, ‘The Earl of Ge treated those who brought food as enemies.’ This is the incident to which I refer.” Mencius, trans. D. C. Lau (Baltimore: Penguin, 1970), pp.109–10 (3B.5).

15. Obit. -243. Youngest son of King Shao of Wei, half brother of King Anling of Wei. Noted for his military prowess and intelligence, he was a key figure in the defeat of Qin forces. Slandered, he went into a funk, indulging in liquor and women until he passed away from alcohol poisoning. Known as one of the “four ducal sons” of the Warring States period. He was enfeoffed at Xinling, so is also known as Lord of Xinling. See “Biography of the Ducal Son of Wei 魏公子列傳 , liezhuan 17 Shiji VII.77.2377–85.

16. Toqto 脫脫 “Basic Annals of Huizong” 徽宗本紀, benji 20 Songshi 宋史 (Zhonghua ed.) benji I.20.374: “On the day xinchou of the seventh month, Autumn, of the 4th year of Chongning (1115), established the Altar to Mars, and established four Supporting Commanderies: Yingchang was made the Southern Supporting Commandery, Xiangyi was made the Eastern Supporting Commandery, Zhengzhou the Western, and Shanzhou, the northern.” 秋七月丙申朔,罷三京國子監官,各置司業一員.辛丑,置熒惑壇.置四輔郡,以潁昌府為南輔,襄邑縣為東輔,鄭州為西輔,澶州為北輔.

17. Buried in the 8th month of 621 BC. See See entry under Wengong 文公 6.6 in Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu vol. 2 , pp. 543, 550.

18. “Hereditary Familes of Chen and Fei” 陳杞世家, shijia 6, Shiji V.36.1583, “Dukes of Eastern Lou in Fei are the descendants of Yu after the period of the Xia. During the Yin they were sometimes enfeoffed and sometimes cut off. When King Wu of Zhou defeated Zhou of Yin, he sought the descendants of Yu of Xiahou, and found a Duke of Eastern Lou, whom he enfeoffed at Fei in order to carry out sacrifices to the descendants of Xiahou.” 杞東樓公者,夏後禹之後苗裔也。殷時或封或絕。周武王克殷紂,求禹之後,得東樓公,封之於杞,以奉夏後氏祀。

19. Lived 266–321, zi Shizhi 士稚. He fought on behalf of the state of Jin to recover all territory south of the Yellow River, waging a long series of contests with Shi Le. The particular battle discussed here is described in Zu Ti’s biography, Fang Xuanling 房玄齡 et al., “Zu Ti liezhuan” 祖逖列傳, liezhuan 32, Jinshu 晋書 VI.62.1696. Shi Le (274–333), zi Shilong 世龍, was of Tibetan descent, and was the founding ruler of the Latter Zhao dynasty, which he won through usurpation. He controlled most of the area of China north of the Yellow River, from the Ordos to Liaoning.

20. He not only struck him, but destroyed his household, unearthed his father’s and other ancestors’ coffins and burnt them, killed three generations of the family and buried them all in the same mound. See “Biography of Zhai Fangjin and his son, Yi” 翟方進子義列傳, in Ban Gu 班固, liezhuan 54, Hanshu 漢書 (Zhonghua ed.) XIII.84.3439.

21. Called in summer, 650bc, followed in the autumn by a treaty drawn up between Huan and various feudal lords. See Zuozhuan, Xianggong 9, Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu, Vol. 1, pp. 324, 326–27, particularly the notes, where Yang Bojun points out an error in Sima Qian’s understanding of events. Kuiqiu is in the area of modern Lankao, just southeast of Kaifeng.

22. Hired employees of local yamen (雇募的一種差役).

23. Unsure here if the phrase “meager and small” refers to the silk (“thin and small”), to the entire collection of taxes—indicating the poor state of agriculture, or to “meager grain and small silk.”

24. Yi Yin, literally the “Upright Minister from Yi,” was the sagely advisor to King Wu. There was a folk belief that he was found inside a hollow mulberry tree as a child. Hu Sanxing’s 胡三省 notes to Sima Guang’s “Ninth Year of Wude” in his Comprehensive Mirror for the Aid of Government gives a long note: “In old days there was a girl from the Xin clan who was picking mulberries by Yi Stream, and she found a child inside a hollow mulberry. {the child] said that his mother had become impregnated at the banks of the Yin, and dreamt of a spirit who told her, ‘Scoop out a paired-handful of water and then go to the east.’ The mother was enlightened and stared at it [the river]. She took a scoop of water from it, informed her neighbors and went east. She turned around to look at her village, and it had all turned to water. His mother turned into a hollow mulberry and the child was in it. The girl from Xin took him and presented him [to higher ups], when he grew up he was wise and virtuous, and was taught to be an upright official. From this he is called Yi Yin. 昔有莘氏女採桑於伊川,得嬰兒於空桑中,言其母孕於伊水之濱,夢神告之曰:「臼水出而東走。」母明而視之,臼水出焉,告其鄰居而走,顧望其邑咸為水矣。其母化為空桑,子在其中。莘女取而獻之,長有賢德,教以為尹,是謂伊尹。See Sima Guang 司馬光, Xinjiao Zizhi tongjian zhu 新校資治通鑑注, ann. Hu Sanxing, coll. Zhang Yu 張珏 (Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu 5) vol. 5 (Taipei: Shijie shuju, 1962), p. 6006.

24a. See n. 15.

25. Chen Zuogao 陳佐高, ed. and ann., Gudai riji xuanzhu 古代日記選注 (Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1982), p. 37 identifies this as a possible mistake for puti 菩提, and understands it as a reference to “Buddhism,” hence a “Buddhist Temple.” However, this is surely a reference to the pota 繁塔 (Po Pagoda; sometimes Pota si, Po Pagoda Monastery) the commonly used term for the pagoda in Tianqing si 天清寺, which was located just inside the easternmost gate of the southern side of the outer wall. It was constructed on the Potai, an elevated landform around which the Po clan had gathered. See Li Lian 李濂, Bianjing yiji zhi 汴京遺蹟志 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju) 10:158. This was one of the “eight scenes of Bianliang.”

26. Built before the Song and originally located just outside of the Lijing Gate (Old Song Gate), it had disappeared by the Ming. See Bianjing yiji zhi 10:161 and Huang Qijiang 黃啟江, “Bei Song Bianjing zhi siyuan yu Fojiao” 北宋汴京之寺院與佛教 (Monasteries and Buddhism in the Northern Sung Capital, K’ai-feng) in Guoli Bianyiguan guankan 國立編譯館館刊 (Journal of the Institute of Compilation and Translation) 18:2 (August 1990) pp. 113, 121. The temple was also called the “eastern Xiangguo Monastery,” because it was constructed in the vegetable gardens east of Xiangguo Monastery to house a growing number of monks. See Zhou Baozhu 周寶珠, Songdai Dongjing yanjiu 宋代東京研究 (Kaifeng: Henan daxue chubanshe, 1992), p. 532, and Song Jijiao 宋繼郊 et al., Dongjing zhi lüe 東京志略 (Kaifeng: Henan daxue chubanshe, 1999), pp. 55–57.

27. This was more correctly called Shangfang Monastery 上方寺, although it was known as the “eastern Kaibao Monastery.” This is where the famous “Iron Pagoda” 鐵塔 is located. See Bianjing yiji zhi 10:156–57; Zhou Baozhu, p. 532; Huang Qijiang, pp. 103–05; Song Jijiao, pp. 529–36.

28. I do not know to what he refers here; there were two “Seven Treasure” buildings, one in Xiangguo Temple, and the other in the Chan Abbey of the Opening Sage (啓聖禪院). The second was a stupa about 10 feet tall. See Huang Qijiang, pp. 103, 106. The seven treasures are seven precious items that vary from text to text, but usually include gold, silver, agate, amber, coral, lapis lazuli, and mother of pearl.

29. Construction on the Palace of Highest Clarity 上清宮 was begun by Song Taizong in 988 using funds from the sale of items given him while he was Prince Regent; completed in 995 and comprised of 1242 different areas (區). Destroyed by fire in 1044, it was turned into an encampment for the emperor’s personal guard. Only one hall, Hall of the Star of Longlife, was left from the blaze, so they renamed the space of the hall, “Temple of the Star of Long Life” (壽星觀) in 1062. The next year they renamed the hall “Temple of Venerating Forbears 崇先觀.” A reconstruction of the entire complex took place from approximately 1078 to 1092, when it was renamed “Palace of the Accumulated Blessings of Highest Clarity” a reference to the importance the temple held for the progeny of the Song court (i.e., the accumulated blessings of generations of male descendants). See Zhu Baozhu, p. 551 and Song Jijiao, pp.576–81.

30. Chan Hok-lam , “Liang Song jingshi ‘pichang miao’ kaoshuo” 兩宋京師「皮場廟」考溯, Zhongguo wenhua yanjiusuo xuebao 中國文化研究所學報 44(2004):21–32. Online English summary:

This is a study on the Pichang miao 皮場廟 (Skinning Depot Temple) erected in the Northern Song capital Dongjing (Kaifeng) at the beginning of the reign of Emperor Huizong and its restoration known as Huiying miao 惠應廟 (Magnanimous and Efficacious Temple) built in the Southern Song capital Lin’an shortly after its establishment. The Pichang miao grew out of the earth-deity shrine (土地祠) attached to an animal skinning depot (皮剝所) located in the northeastern section outside the inner walls of Dongjing capital. It originated in 1101 when Huizong, responding to the locals who hailed the efficacy of the deity in curing deadly sickness, invested the spirit as the Marquis of Lingkuang 靈貺侯. The temple, which was housed inside the Wanshou shrine 萬壽觀 within the Xianren ward, honoured a litany of famed ancient Chinese physicians headed by the mythical Shennong patriarch. It attracted many faithful, but particularly candidates preparing for the departmental civil service examinations administrated by the ministry of Rites in the capital. Their visits for spiritual blessing was faciliated by the temple’s proximity to the examination halls, which was located in the Kaibao monastery 開寶寺, a little further to the east outside the walls. http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ics/journal/summaries/number44/Chan%20Hok-lam.htm

See also Zhou Baozhu, p.560 and Song Jijiao, pp. 607–08. One would assume that the temple was located near the Old Cao Gate, which was the site of the meat marketing district of Bianliang.

31. A local culture hero as well as a national figure. He was poor and was friends with Peng Yue 彭赿, who would eventually become the King of Liang. He was, for a time, also sold into slavery, but rose to become a general of Yan. He was captured by Han armies but was saved by his old friend Peng Yue. Later, Peng Yue was executed on suspicion of rebellion and his head was stuck on a pike outside the walls. Liu Bang, the founding emperor of Han announced an edict that anyone looking at Peng’s head would be executed. When Luan Bu, who had been on a mission to Qi, returned, he set up a sacrificial shrine to Peng Yue, and was hauled before the emperor. The emperor was going to boil him alive, but Luan chastised him for turning his back on Peng, who had tipped the balance toward Han in the fight to succeed Qin. He was released and later rose to high rank in the Han. See “Luan Bu liezhuan” 欒布列傳, liezhuan 100, SJ, VII.2733–35.

32. The Temple to the City God (城隍廟), according to Zhao Yushi 趙與時, Bintui lu 賓退錄 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1983)9:110.

33. The flanking doors of Lijing Gate?

34. The water from wells in Bianliang was notoriously salty. There were two specific locations in the city where sweet water was available, hence the names of the alleys.

35. Fu Bi 富弼 (1004–83), who was given the honorary title Duke of Zheng among others for his long and illustrious career in the Song civil service, including being Prime Minister. See SRZJ IV.2785–89.

36. One assumes that Zeng Di (1109–80) the Vice-Envoy was, at 60, white haired and therefore thought of sufficient age to be a former official of Emperor Huizong’s Xuanhe reign (ended 1125). He was, in fact, born in Kaifeng, but had migrated to the south in his teens. Despite a long career as a personal advisor to Emperor Xiaozong when Xiaozong was still crown prince, and years of court administration, Zeng was then in disgrace, having been cashiered. One of the reasons he was sent on the trip was that Xiaozong wanted to raise him in rank, and court officials deputed him to this mission instead. At the time, Zeng was the holding the post of Vice-Commander of the Eastern Zhejiang Region 淅東副總官. See SRZJ IV.2815–16.

37. It was actually opened five times a month. In addition to the “three eight days” it was opened on the first and the 15th, i.e., the dead and full moon. See Xiong Bolü 熊伯履, Xiangguo si kao 相國寺考 (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1985), pp 89–90.

38. See Guo, Qinghua, A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture (Mulgrave: Images, 2002), pp. 56, 145.

39. In the 5th month of the 3rd year of the Zhenyuan reign, June 8, 1155. See “Basic Annals of Hailing Wang” 海陵王本紀, in Toqto, Jinshi I.5:104.

39a. This term, fushi, “floating room,” is usually used for a boat. Here, I suppose, it refers to a small shed or lean-to like structure that could be thrown up and taken down in a matter of minutes.

40. The Jin did not want cash circulating in the southern part of their empire, lest it fall into Song hands. Both Lou Yue and Fan Chengda 范成大, who made the same trip in 1170–71, ascribe this to a general policy to destroy the economy and society of Henan. Fan describes it thusly:

The Office of Currency Exchange: the caitiffs originally did not possess currency, except for the Zhenglong currency cast one time by King Yan, Wanyan Liang. But it was extremely limited and they used old Chinese cash for the rest. Moreover, they did not want to leave any cash in the Henan area, so they imitated the paper currency of China, and in Bianjing they established an office to make official paper currency, which they called “exchange currency” intending to circulate it like metal coinage, but secretly collecting all brass currency [in exchange] which was then all shipped to the north. Once one crosses the Yellow River, then they immediately begin using metal coinage instead of paper currency. Fan Chengda 范成大, Lanpei lu 攬轡錄, in Fan Chengda biji liuzhong 范成大筆記六種, ed. Kong Fanli 孔凡禮 (Tang Song shiliao biji congkan) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2002), p. 12 交鈔所者,虜本無錢,惟煬王亮嘗一鑄正隆錢,絕不多,餘悉用中國舊錢,又不欲留錢於河南,故傚中國楮幣,於汴京置局造官會,謂之交鈔,擬見錢行使,而陰收銅錢,悉運而北,過河即用見錢,不用鈔。

However, as Li Yao points out, the primary cause of this policy was a critical shortage of metal, particularly bronze in the Jin; the policy was established to make sure that metal currency did not drain away to Southern Song. See Li Yao 李躍, “Dui Jinchao liutong zhibi de yixie kanfa” 對金朝流通紙幣的一些看法, Nanfang wenwu 南方文物 1(2004): p. 44.

41. I.e., merchants and service people.

42. This may also be read, “relied on their children to take up menial work in order to support themselves.”

43. See Wu Zeng 吳曾, Nenggai zhai manzhi 能改齋漫志 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983) 2.39 “Those who carry out the orders in the various bureaus and courts are called qinshi guan [officials who personally take care of affairs]. They have existed since the Tang.” 省寺所用使令者.名親事官.自唐已有之. According to the Du Yu 杜佑, Tongdian 通典 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1988) p. 965, these were sons of 6th and 7th grade officials above the age of 18 sui.

44. Judge Bao was a paragon of virtue and justice who became a folk hero and was apotheosized less than a hundred years after his death as the Overseer of Rewards in the underworld. Nice irony.

45. There is the possibility that this is some form of candy.

46. The area of modern Beijing.

47. Nothing is known of this person. The surname Wukuli is more often transcribed as Wugulun 烏古論.

48. Yelü Cheng receives only one other mention in the world of text. In the anonymous work Da Jin jili 大金集禮 (dated to the late Dading period) it is noted in the chapter “Imperially Commanded Rituals of the 11th Year of Dading” 大定十一年冊禮 that he was deputed on the 22nd day of the 11th month of that year to offer sacrifices at the Altars of Earth and Grain in his role as the Vice Military Commissioner. See Da Jin jili (Skqs ed.) 2.20b.

48a. Nothing known of Shi Dan.

49. Saozi 燥子 or 臊子, a southern dialect word for finely chopped meat cubes 肉丁 or meat sauce 肉末. This points out that these are not the actual names of the dishes offered, but are the nearest equivalent in Lou’s own culinary vocabulary.

50. Probably the same as the modern meat bun 肉餅 or meat-filled bun 餡餅.

51. A variety of cakes, fruits, and sweets.

52. This is a mystery to me. As a noun, chan 剗 means a spade; therefore, these could be objects made in the shape of a spade. But it can also mean to “pare,” and could perhaps indicate a kind of noodle made from paring pieces of dough off a ball—much like modern daoxiao mian 刀削麵.

53. Presumably, the condiments like pickles, fermented bean curd, salted eggs, etc., that are served with modern gruel.

54. Fifth two hour watch of the night, specifically 3–5 a.m., however it often simply means “at first light.”

54a. This is the infamous imperial Genyue Park, and its associated convoy that brought stones, plants, and animals from the South, bankrupting the court and disrupting the lives of the people. See Hargett, James. “Huizong’s Magic Marchmount: The Genyue Pleasure Park of Kaifeng.” Monumenta Serica 38 (1988-89), pp. 1-48.

54b. So named because it was originally a tent structure of green cloth put up for the emperor’s temporary visit to the site to carry out sacrifices to the Altar of Earth. Permanent structures were eventually put up, as Lou Yue’s description indicates, but the name remained, as it did for a similar site south of the city.

55. Wuli 物力 was a military service tax levied on households. 50 strings, in fact, is noted as the cost of provisioning a soldier on duty in a frontier brigade: See “Yang bing zhi fa” 養兵之法, in bingzhi 25, Jinshi III. 44.1007:


The monthly salaries of various inductees are set by precedent: troops at border post-houses, 50 strings of cash and ten bolts of sturdy thin silk. Military craftsmen of the first and second rank: 50 strings of cash and five bolts of sturdy thin silk; third rank, 40 strings of cash and four bolts. Soldiers on dike patrol along the Yellow River: 30 strings of cash and five bolts of silk. Troops the provision and soldiers who patrol dikes and sailors stationed along the dikes of raceways, ditches, and other waterways: 20 strings of cash and two bolts of silk. Militia: 10 strings of cash and one bolt of silk. As a rule, Commanders of Provisioning Troops as well as Commanders of dike patrol soldiers along the Yellow and the Qin Rivers, are given seven strings of cash, seven stone of grain, and six bolts of silk, their Deputies are given six strings cash, six stone of grain and the same amount of silk as above. Squadron leaders are given two strings of csh and three stone of grain, five strings for spring clothing, and ten strings for fall clothing. Press-gang leaders are given one string and five hundred cash, and two stone of grain, five strings for spring clothing and seven strings for fall clothing. In prison cities local militia are given 800 cash and two stone of grain, four strings for spring clothing and six strings for fall clothing.

56. In 1162, Emperor Xiaozong of the Southern Song had begun to turn to a hawkish stance on the Jurchen. He posthumously restored the great military hero Yue Fei’s titles and nobility to him and also put Zhang Jun 張浚, a very skilled general, in charge of the army. Zhang’s northward campaign on the heels of the Song victory over the Jurchen at Caishi in 1162 met with defeat at at Fuli 符離. Simultaneously the Song court was undergoing a series of heated exchanges about whether to continue the war or sue for peace. With the withdrawal from Fuli and a subsequent thrust into Anhui by Jurchen armies in 1164, a peace treaty was signed between the two states: the Song no longer addressed the Jin ruler as “minister” to “lord,” but as “nephew” to “uncle,” the annual tribute was slightly lessened, the Song ceded two areas in Shaanxi and Gansu to the Jurchen, and people who escaped from the Jin to the Southern Song were no longer to be pursued. Lou Yue’s last statement is quite interesting. Jianning usually means “hardened,” or “set,” and can be used to refer to city walls in terms of durability, i.e.: “it would be difficult to keep them firm enough.” But it also refers to the state of mind of people, and I have chosen to translate it this way, since he may be alluding to the indecision at court and the lack of support at that time for an active campaign to recover lost land.

57. According to the Jin History, this occurred in the 6th month (July–August, 1168), see “Basic Annals of Shizong, A” 世宗本紀上, benji 6, Jinshi, I.6.142.

58. Mao ode 53, “Airs of Yong” 鄘風, “Gan mao” 干旄. I am following Qu Wanli’s notes to this ode. Yong and Bei were part of the state of Wei, so the odes found in these two sections are still those of Wei. Lou Yue certainly knew this from his own reading of annotations to the classics, therefore he considers all three sections of the Book of Poetry, Yong, Bei, and Wei to belong to the state of Wei. Modern scholarship places Jun in Shandong and it is clear that Lou Yue is confusing it with Junyi 浚義, located slightly north of the capital. See Qu Wanli 屈萬里, Shijing quanyi 詩經詮釋 (Qu Wanli quanji) (Taipei: Lianjing chubanshe, 1983), pp. 42, 95.

59. When the state of Qi was pressuring Zhou to appropriate their Nine Cauldrons, Yan Shuai 顏率 went from Zhou to Qi to persuade them not to take them. In his roundabout argument, he cites the lines, “Now the lord and ministers of Liang desire to obtain the Nine Cauldrons, and they plotted by the Brilliant Terrace and on the Sand Sea, and they have done it for a long time.” See the first anecdote in Zhanguo ce 戰國策, See Zhanguo ce xin jiaozhu 戰國策新校注, ann. Miao Wenxuan 繆文選 vol. 1 (Chengdu: Ba Shu chubanshe, 1988), p. 3.

60. Supposedly constructed by Prince Xiao of Liang during the Han, beginning just outside the city of Liang, near Shangqiu.

61. The blind Music Master Kuang, about whom stories abound in classical texts, is primarily noted as a lute player who could foretell the political and military fortunes of states by listening to their music. In the most famous sequence, he thrice warns Duke Ping of Jin that listening to certain songs will bring about his ultimate demise. He is forced to play on and his music ushers in three years of drought and misfortune for the state of Jin. The major early narrative of his life is found in “Documents on Music” 樂書 2, in Shiji III.24.1235–36. This is partially translated in Robert Van Gulik, The Lore of the Chinese Lute (Tokyo and Rutland: Tuttle, 1969), pp. 143–44. In this context, we can easily see the connections of the “Terrace” and politics.

62. Hou Ying was a recluse of the Wei in the Warring States era. He was poor, and worked as a gate guard at Yimen Gate. He was honored as a “superior retainer” (上客) by Wuji, the Prince of Wei when he was 70. He once helped Wuji plan to force Qin withdraw their armies and to aid in the rescue of the state of Zhao. In order to prevent any possibility of letting the secret leak out, he cut his own throat. See “Biography of The Duke of Wei” 魏公子列傳, liezhuan 17, Shiji VIII.77.2378.

63. Mao ode 32. Qu Wanli, Shijing, pp. 55–56. Again, Lou’s location for Jun and the “cold spring,” is clearly wrong.

64. Bi Shi was the Administrator of Zhongmou which belonged to the state of Jin but was also a family retainer to Fan Zhongxing 范中行. When Zhao Jianzi 趙簡子 attacked Fan Zhongxing Bi Shi resisted. Bi later summoned Confucius to Zhongmou. See Analects 17.6 (Yang Huo 陽貨): “Bi Shi summoned [Confucius] and the master was about to go. Zi Lu said, ‘Long ago, I heard this from you, master, “Where there are those who personally do bad where they are, the Gentleman does not enter.” Now Bi Shi has revolted in Zhongmou; if you decide to go, how can this be?’ The master said, ‘That is so, I spoke these words. But is it not said, “That which is durable cannot ground down to a sliver?” “That which is white can be soaked in carbon black but will not sully?” How can I just be a gourd? Can I just be strung up without being considered fit to eat?” See Yang Bojun, Lunyu shizhu 論語釋注 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1965), pp. 190–91.

65. Contesting for control of the empire at the end of the Han, in 199. See Sima Guang, Xinjiao Zizhi tongjian zhu vol. 3 (Taipei: Shijie shuju, 1962), p. 2016.This line appears to be taken verbatim from Du You’s Tongdian, p. 4662: 鄭州中牟縣北十二里。 。趙襄子時,佛肸[以中牟叛,即此也.北十二里有中牟臺,是為官渡城,即曹公、袁紹相持之所.

66. Zhang Liang swore revenge for Qin’s annihilation of the State of Han 韓, where his father and grandfather had served as loyal ministers, and hired an assassin to kill the First Emperor. The assassin lay in wait, but struck the wrong cart. Zhang Liang later joined the ranks of the Han, where he shone as an astute general and counselor, both during the war against Xiang Yu, but also in the revolt of the seven states. He was enfoffed as the Marquis of Liu in the Han, and upon his death as Marquis Wencheng. His biography is found in the “Hereditary Household of the Marquis of Liu” 留侯世家,in Shiji III.2033–50.

67. When the Yellow River had risen to within a few feet of overflowing, the people of the area around the section of the dike known as huzi jinti 瓠子金堤 (located near modern Puyang County, Shandong), fearing that the dike was about to break, panicked and fled. Wang Zun 王尊, who was the local administrator, refused to leave and actually camped out on the dike, promising to use his own body to fill the breach should one occur. He made proper sacrifice, and the waters receded. His steadfastness became renowned. Lou Yue has again miscalculated. This is not near Bolangsha, but is approximately 75 kilometers to the west northwest. See “Biographies of Zhao, Yin, Han, Zhang, and Two Wangs” 趙尹韓張兩王傳, liezhuan 47, Hanshu X.76.3237–38.

68. Analects 9.5. When Confucius was enroute from Wei to Chen, he made passage through Kuang. The people there mistook him for Yang Huo, who had ravaged Kuang, and took him prisoner for five days. See Yang Bojun, Lunyu, pp. 94–95.

69. Again, Lou Yue has made a geographical mistake. Pu is considered to be in the area of Shanxi, Puxian. For Confucius’ praise of Zilu’s governance of this difficult area, see “Discerning Good Government” 辨政 Kongzi jiayu 孔子家語 (Xinbian Zhuzi jicheng) (Taipei, Shijie shuju, 1962) III.34.

70. Reference to the opening passage of the Zuozhuan, “The Earl of Zheng Overcomes Duan at Yan” 鄭伯克段于鄢. This passage has been well-studied by John Wang 王靖宇 in Chinese and English, his various articles collected in Zuozhuan yu chuantong xiaoshuo lunji 左傳與傳統小說論集 (Beijing: Peking University Press, 1989).

71. See Dinggong 4, in Yang Bojun, Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu, II.1536.

72. Ibid., Aigong 13, II.1674.

73. Ibid., Xigong 24, I.423

Southern Capital (overnight 12/28)

Gushou (morning break)

Huiting Market (overnight 12/27)

Yongcheng (morning break)

Liuzi Market (overnight 12/26)




Chenliu (overnight 12/30)

Qi County (morning break)

Suizhou(overnight 12/29)

Ningling (morning break)


“enemy towers”

Fig. 1: A typical Song city wall from the

Wujing zongyao 武經總要

but with only one enciente gate

Precious Pearl

Transmigration Wheels

fig. 2 Typical Buddhist Temple and Finial



Zuocheng (overnight 1/3)

Fengqiu (morning break)

Kaifeng 3 days (12/31; 1/1; 1/2)

Chenliu (overnight 12/30)

Qi County (morning break)

Suizhou(overnight 12/29)

Ningling (morning break)