Open main menu

A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chang Ch'ih

33Chang Ch'ih 張栻 (T. 敬天. H. 南軒). A.D. 1133–1181. A native of 綿竹 Mien-chu in Ssǔch'uan, and son of a distingished general and statesman, named Chang Chün, otherwise known as Duke of 益 I. After studying under Hu Hung, son of Hu An-kuo, he entered upon an official career and became aide-de-camp and secretary to his father. In 1164 the latter died, and Chang Ch'ih buried him according to his wish at the foot of MtHêng in Hunan, remaining in seclusion near the grave for several years. While there he was visited in 1167 by Chu Hsi, and it is said that they spent three days and three nights arguing upon the Doctrine of the Mean. The result was that Chang returned to official life, and became a violent opponent of the Tartars and of the policy of conciliation and concession which had been introduced by Ch'in Kuei. He was alternately promoted and degraded until he died as Governor of Ching-chou in Hupeh. He was the author of divers treatises and commentaries upon portions of the Confucian Canon, in which he gave expression to doctrines which his friend, Chu Hsi, felt himself called upon to refute. Nevertheless, Chu Hsi held him in high esteem and always spoke of him with admiration. He was canonised as 宣, and in 1261 was admitted into the Confucian Temple.