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Chapter Seven: Ming dynasty
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p. 131-2 1

(A). 5. Qin experts who opposed the Qing dynasty2

When Qing soldiers came through the Great Wall, seized ruling status, and began a cruel oppression and persecution against the people in various regions, the people could not endure this and began anti-Qing movements in various regions in southern China. Many qin players, too, joined the onrush of this rightful movement.

Kuang Lu 3 (AD 1604-1650), from Nanhai, Guangdong (Canton), was talented in poetry and qin. "Gifted and thus uninhibited, he often dressed in disheveled clothing and walked about dragging his feet, singing on the street as if there was nobody else around. (Chibei Ou Tan)" When he was young, he offended the carriage of the Magistrate of Nanhai and was punished by having his Metropolitan Candidate status removed. He authored works such as Xihu Xiu Qin She and Qin Zhuo Song Yuren Shi. He treasured two famous qins in his life: the Tang-dynasty Luqi Tai and the Song-dynasty Nan Feng, both of which were rarities from old royal families. When the Qings entered Guangdong provincee, Kuang Lu, as a Secretariat Drafter, "stayed with the various generals to defend the city until their death. After ten months the city fell. Kuang Lu ceased eating," and died with his qin in his arms. Later generations lamented his death with a Qin Hugging Song, which contains phrases such as "The city fell, but the secretariat kept his honor and cried, holding his qin while facing west, to Cangwu [苍梧--I don't know what this means.]" and which expressed admiration for him. (Guangdong Tong Zhi)

Hua Xia, 4 style name Jifu, also Heinong, was originally from Dinghai, Zhejiang but later moved to Yinxian. Known for his wit since childhood, he was one of the Six Geniuses of his time. He was talented in playing the qin, studied qin theory in great depth, and authored Caoman Anxian Pu. After the demise of the Ming Dynasty, he conspired with Qian Zhongjie and was arrested. In prison, he continued to edit his Caoman Anxian Pu, playing qin and writing poetry as usual. After he was killed, his work was not passed down (Jieqiting Ji.

Li Yanshi 5 (AD 1628-1697), originally named Yanzhen, style name Chenshan, nickname Hancun. He studied medicine with his father since childhood and participated in the uprising of Tang Wang. After that failed, he retreated to the Protect Sages Palace at Pinghu, Zhejiang, and practiced medicine as a Daoist. Patients bid him from several hundred li away and he always answered, not caring for pay. When he did receive money, he used it to buy books, eventually accumulating two thousand and five hundred scrolls, all of which he later gave to Zhu Yizun. He was skilled in playing Pili Yin, which he learned from Han Shigeng (Pinghu Xian Zhi).

Jin Qiongjie, 6 style name Dehong, was from Huating (Songjiang district, near Shanghai). His ancestor, Hei'er (or Hei'erben), originally from Fengyang (in Anhui), because of his military skills, had at the beginning of Ming dynasty been conferred a title, Hereditary Guardian of a Thousand Households in Jinshan (a district in Songjiang). After the demise of Ming dynasty, he rid himself of the turban that represented his social status, wore straw sandals, and ceased contact with the upper-class. Whenever he met someone, he acted as if mad and did not care that others called him Jin Chi (Jin the Imbecile). He was gifted in playing qin and wrote qin books. Chunxiang Zhui Bi recorded that "Out of those famous for talent in Songjiang Fu... as for qin players, there was Jin Dehong. Others came after him, but they do not merit discussion." Many admired his reputation and visited him, asking him to play, but were usually rejected. Yet he often played for his neighbors, people who farmed, raised cattle, wore straw coats and bared their feet, who would crowd around his house. "If the farmers did not understand old melodies, he would play fisherman's songs or pastoral poems without ever seeming bored." At the end of a melody, everyone would applaud and he would be pleased by it. It was very rare for a qin player to so readily approach the working class and play common music.

He was also a botanical expert who planted several hundred plants that became famous near and far. A highly-ranked government official sent someone to ask him for them, so he uprooted all of them and never planted again. His family often didn't have any food to eat, but he always refused the charity of rich, influential people. "Literati officials would present food or clothing as gifts, but he would always reject it angrily." Only when he could be clear about the identity of the giver would he occasionally keep a portion.

Jin had three qin students. He once analyzed them thus: "Yuan will be a market man, Shen will have an early death , and Wang will be a recluse." How his students turned out matched his words: Yuan Ziyi circled among officials and noblemen with his qin skills; Shen Weicun died early, so only Wang Rude passed his qin studies down to his son, (Wang Duan). Jin Qiongjie himself made some qins, which still circulate among the people (See: Songjiang Fu Zhi, Shen Qiyuan Zhuan Zhuan, Wu Qi Ji, Louxian Yiwen Zhi).

(Continue: Craftsmen who played qin)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Basic translation by Jin Qiuyu.

2. Xu Jian, QSCB, pp. 131 - 132; Chinese not online.

3. Kuang Lu 鄺露 (AD 1604-1650)
南海 Nanhai is now a western suburb of Guangzhou. The sources used here are 池北偶談 Chibei Ou Tan and 廣東通志 Guangdong Tong Zhi. 南海令的車駕 Carriage of the Magistrate of Nanhai. 進士 Metropolitan Candidate. 西湖修琴社 Xihu Xiu Qin She; 琴酌送羽人詩 Qin Zhuo Song Yuren Shi. 綠綺台 Luqi Tai; 南風Nanfeng. 中書舍人 Secretariat Drafter. 凡十阅月 ten months. Qin Hugging Song: 抱琴歌 Bao Qin Ge. For 蒼梧 Cangwu see Cangwu Yin.

4. Hua Xia 華夏
Hua Xia, style name 吉甫 Jifu, also 嘿農 Heinong, 定海 Dinghai, 鄞縣 Yinxian. 六狂士 Six Geniuses. 操縵安絃譜 Caoman Anxian Pu. 錢忠介 Qian Zhongjie. Source: 鮚埼亭集 Jieqiting Ji (47096.2 清全祖望選; Xu writes 埼 as 魚+奇).

5. Li Yanshi 李延是 (AD 1628-1697)
Li Yanshi (or Li Yanxia: 14819.558 李延是, but 是 written 日 over 正, an alternate of either 是 or 夏 - 上海人,初名我生,字辰山,又字寒村, no mention of 彥貞 Yanzhen). 辰山 Chenshan, 寒村長Hancun. 唐王 Tang Wang. Protect Sages Palace (佑聖宮 Youshenggong: 505.12 is a 佑聖教寺 Yousheng Jiaoshi in Hebei), 平湖 Pinghu (between Hangzhou and modern Shanghai). 朱彝尊 Zhu Yizun. 霹靂引 Pili Yin, 韓石耕 "韓石耕譜 Han Shigeng. The source is 平湖縣志 Pinghu Xian Zhi. (Return)

6. Jin Qiongjie 金瓊階 (see Jin Chi 金癡)
Here it says Jin Qiongjie (41049.xxx), style name 德宏 Dehong, was called 金癡 Jin Chi (Jin the Imbecile). This is clearly the same person as the Jin Chi 金癡 of Qinshi Xu, also from Songjiang. Here it says he was from 華亭 Huating (31910.137: in Songjiang district of Jiangsu). Ancestor 黑兒(本 49022.xxx), 鳳陽 Fengyang (47631.152 Anhui). 世襲 shixi: hereditary; 金山衛千戸 Jinshan Wei Qianhu (lit. "guardian of a thousand households of Jinshan"). There have been and are many Jinshan, including one in Songjiang district that was a 衛 wei: military district). 幅巾 fujin: the turban that Chinese men used to put their hair in. (Return)

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