Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Cha Chi-tso

CHA Chi-tso 查繼佐 (T. 三秀, 支三, H. 伊璜, 釣史, 釣玉, 興齋, 東山), Aug. 1, 1601–1676, Mar. 4, scholar, was a native of Hai-ning, Chekiang. In his youth he was sickly and his family was poor. When his father was away from home teaching in other families he studied in a village school. At the age of fifteen (sui) he was already known as a writer, and at eighteen (sui) began to compete in the local examinations. When he took his hsiu-ts'ai degree in 1621 Hung Ch'êng-ch'ou [q. v.] was his examiner. Twelve years later (1633) he became a chü-jên, after which he competed three or four times in the metropolitan examination, but always unsuccessfully. Nevertheless, he established a reputation for skill in the type of essays (pa-ku) that were required in the examinations and was engaged by high officials in Kiangsu and Chekiang as secretary. After 1638 he began to maintain a group of actresses in his home, after the manner of well-to-do families of that period (see under Li Yü). In 1643 he went to Fukien where he was welcomed by a large number of the local gentry, including Huang Tao-chou [q. v.]. After the fall of Hangchow to the Manchus (1645), Cha Chi-tso and his wife went into hiding and, after burying his personal manuscripts, he then went south and joined the court of Chu I-hai [q. v.]. Failing in several attempts to resist the invaders, he returned in 1647 to his home in Hai-ning where he found that most of his property had been confiscated. In 1649 he was imprisoned on a false charge but was released through the influence of certain friendly officials, such as Chou Liang-kung [q. v.] and Yang Ssŭ-shêng 楊思聖 (T. 猶龍, H. 雪樵, chin-shih of 1646). Despite handicaps of poverty and imprisonment, he compiled, in 1650, a work in 12 chüan, entitled 知是編 Chih-shih pien, consisting of biographies of martyrs of the late Ming period whom he admired as having died in a just cause. It is not known whether the work is extant. In 1652 he went to Peking, and on his return to the south began to lecture, first in an Academy known as Chüeh-chüeh t'ang 覺覺堂 on the banks of West Lake, and later in the Ching-hsiu t'ang 敬修堂 also in Hangchow. In 1657 he went to Kwangtung where he remained two years and while there visited his old friend, Chin Pao [q. v.], who was then a monk. From 1658 to 1659 he taught in Ch'ao-chou the sons of Wu Liu-ch'i 吳六奇 (T. 葛如, 鑑伯, posthumous name 順恪, d. 1665), a general in command of the troops of eastern Kwangtung. Early in 1659, while still in Ch'ao-chou, Cha printed several of his works including a collection of miscellaneous notes, entitled 東山外紀 Tung-shan wai-chi, in 2 chüan. He must have prospered in Ch'ao-chou, for on returning to his home in Hai-ning he brought back a number of rocks of uncommon formation which he placed in his garden, known as P'u-yüan 撲園.

Early in 1661 he was informed that his name appeared as one of eighteen collators of a privately compiled history of the Ming dynasty, entitled Ming-shih chi-lüeh (see under Chuang T'ing-lung). Whether or not he shared in that compilation is not clear. At all events he immediately submitted a letter to the provincial commissioner of education of Chekiang asserting that he had no part in the work and that his name was used without his knowledge. The letter also bore the signatures of Fan Hsiang and Lu Ch'i (see under Chuang T'ing-lung) who had been listed among the eighteen collators. Early in 1662 the expected inquisition of the book took place. Although the families of all others connected with the work were wiped out by execution and banishment, those of Cha, Fan, and Lu, numbering more than three hundred persons, were freed by the evidence in that letter. In regard to this case a legend arose to the effect that Cha was saved from the inquisition by the above-mentioned Wu Liu-ch'i who, as a youth, is said to have been rescued from poverty and distress through the kindness of Cha. The story was believed by Wang Shih-chên [q. v.] and was later used by Chiang Shih-ch'üan [q. v.] as the theme of a play, entitled 雪中人 Hsüeh-chung jên, "The Man in the Snow". Cha himself declared the episode to be groundless. It is known, however, that one day in 1630, when near Hangchow, he befriended a beggar named Lu chin 陸晉 whom he found to be uncommonly intelligent. It seems likely, therefore, that Wu was mistaken for Lu.

Freed from suspicion in the Chuang T'ing-lung incident in 1663, Cha Chi-tso proceeded to Peking to thank those officials who had come to his rescue in the preceding year. During the following six years he taught most of the time in private families. Meanwhile he brought together his prose and verse in two collections, under the titles 先甲集 Hsien Chia-chi and Hou (後) Chia-chi, differentiating between what he had written before the cyclical year chia-shên 甲申 (1644) and after that year. Both of those works are probably lost. He returned to Hangchow in 1669 to resume his lectures in the Ching-hsiu t'ang. Five years later one of his pupils, Shên Ch'i 沈起 (T. 仲方), who had been studying with him since 1637, expanded the Tung-shan wai-chi into 4 chüan and included additional biographical data about Cha's life. This pupil was with the aged teacher when he died (1676) and compiled his chronological biography, 查東山先生年譜 Cha Tung-shan hsien-shêng nien-p'u, which was printed in 1916 in the 嘉業堂叢書 Chia-yeh t'ang ts'ung-shu, from a manuscript copy. In his best days Cha Chi-tso helped several of his clansmen to attain fame in literature such as Cha Ssŭ-han 查嗣韓 (T. 荊州, H. 墨亭), Cha Shêng 查昇 (T. 仲韋, H. 聲山, 1650–1708), both chin-shih of 1688, and Cha Ssŭ-li (see under Cha Shên-hsing).

The most significant contribution of Cha Chi-tso in the field of scholarship was a complete history of the Ming dynasty, entitled 罪惟錄 Tsui-wei lu in 97 chüan compiled over a period of twenty years (1655–75) and arranged after the manner of the official dynastic histories. It was never printed, for fear it would give offense to the Manchu authorities. A manuscript copy supposed to be, in part at least, in the author's own clear handwriting was reproduced in facsimile in the third series of the 四部叢刊 Ssŭ-pu ts'ung-k'an (1936). Another manuscript attributed to him, entitled 國壽錄 Kuo Shou lu, in 4 chüan (with supplement in 1 chüan is preserved in the Library of the Nanyang Middle School, Shanghai. It consists of biographies of noted personages of the late Ming period. Fragments of a third manuscript, entitled 東山國語 Tung-shan kuo-yü, narrating events in the late Ming period, is also reproduced in the Ssŭ-pu ts'ung-k'an. On the basis of his experience at the court of the Prince of Lu (see under Chu I-hai), Cha wrote a chronological account of the Prince's reign, entitled 魯春秋 Lu ch'un-ch'iu, in one chüan which was printed in 1914 in the 適園叢書 Shih-yüan ts'ung-shu (compiled by Chang Chün-hêng 張鈞衡, T. 石銘, a chü-jên of 1894).

[Cha Tung-shan hsien-shêng nien-p'u; 3/463/58a; 27/3/15b; 29/1/29a; W.M.S.C.K. 1/1a, 2/8a, 19/11a; Wang Shih-chên [q. v.], Hsiang-tsu pi-chi 3/20b; Cha Shên-hsing [q. v.], Ching-yeh t'ang chi, 35/2a.]

Fang Chao-ying