Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fang Tung-shu

FANG Tung-shu 方東樹 (T. 植之, H. 副墨子, 儀衛老人), Oct. 4, 1772–1851, June 23, scholar, was a native of T'ung-ch'êng, Anhwei, where his ancestors had moved from Wu-yüan of the same province at the beginning of the Ming period. Several of his immediate ancestors were scholars of the T'ung-ch'êng School (see under Fang Pao), among them his great-grandfather, Fang Tsê 方澤 (T. 苧川, H. 待廬, 1697–1767), who left a literary collection, entitled 待廬遺集 Tai-lu i-chi, 3 chüan, which was printed as an appendix to the I-wei hsüan ch'üan-chi (see below). His father, Fang Chi 方續 (T. 展卿, H. 牧青, 1752-1816), produced a literary collection, entitled 鶴鳴集 Ho-ming chi, 6 chüan, printed in 1837, and a work on phonetics, entitled 屈子正音 Ch'ü-tzŭ chêng-yin, 3 chüan, printed in 1826. Though in delicate health in his youth, Fang Tung-shu studied diligently under his father who, after 1791, lived with him in the homes of various patrons. In 1793 he accompanied his father to Nanking where he studied for about five years under Yao Nai [q. v.] who was a pupil of his great-grandfather, Fang Tsê. In 1793 Fang Tung-shu became a hsiu-ts'ai, and a few years later, a senior licentiate—the highest degree that he was able to obtain. Though he competed in the provincial examinations until 1821, he was not successful.

In 1798 Fang Tung-shu lived as a tutor in the residence of Ch'ên Yung-kuang (see under Yao Nai) at Hsin-ch'êng, Kiangsi, and thereafter, until 1810, he eked out a meagre livelihood as a teacher in the homes of the local gentry at various places in Anhwei and Kiangsu. In 1810 he went again to Nanking where he participated (1811) in the compilation of the Chiang-ning fu-chih (see under Yao Nai). During the years 1812–16 he taught in the Anking yamen of the governor of Anhwei, Hu K'o-chia (see under Ku Kuang-ch'i). After leaving Hu's office he was so poverty-stricken that he was once compelled, while in Nanking, to pawn his bedding to pay for his lodging in a temple. In the spring of 1819 he went to Canton where Juan Yüan [q. v.] gave him a position as assistant compiler of the Kwangtung t'ung-chih, the compilation of which was supervised by his scholarly rival, Chiang Fan [q. v.]. Fang left this position about a year later, and after serving (1821–22) as director in the Hai-mên 海門 Academy at Lien-chou, Kwangtung, he returned home. Shortly thereafter he again went (1822) to Kwangtung where he became (1823) director of the Shao-yang 韶陽 Academy at Shao-chou. During the years 1824–26 he taught at Canton in the yamen of Governor-general Juan Yüan. In 1826, when Juan left Canton, Fang returned to his native province and served as director in the following academies: the Lu-yang Shu-yüan 廬陽書院 at Lu-chou in 1827; the Mao-hu (泖湖) Shu-yüan at Po-chou in 1828; and the Sung-tzŭ (松滋) Shu-yüan at Su-sung in 1831. In 1832 he made a third visit to Canton but failed to obtain a position. In the following year Yao Ying 姚瑩 (T. 石甫, 叔明, H. 展如, 1785-1853, Jan.), who was then district magistrate of Wu-chin, Kiangsu, invited him to assist in his office. Later Fang accompanied Yao to posts at Soochow (1833) and at I-chêng, Kiangsu (1835). During this period he edited, at the request of Yao, the 援鶉堂筆記 Yüan-ch'un t'ang pi-chi, 50 chüan, a collection of notes on the Classics written by Yao Ying's grandfather, Yao Fan (see under Yao Nai). This collection was printed by Yao Ying in 1838. After about a year's sojourn at his native place Fang went, early in 1837, to Canton where he became a member of the secretarial staff of Governor-general Têng T'ing-chên [q. v.]; and in the following year (1838) was invited by the superintendent of Customs at Canton, to compile the Yüeh hai-kuan chih (see under Liang T'ing-nan). In the summer of 1840 he left Canton for his native place—after leading a wandering life for forty years.

While in Canton Fang Tung-shu became keenly conscious of the evils of the opium trade and presented his views on the subject to Têng T'ing-chên. It is reported that he even advised Têng to assassinate Charles Elliot, the British Superintendent of Trade (see under Lin Tsê-hsü). Early in the summer of 1842, when British vessels threatened the mouth of the Yangtze River, Fang presented to the governor of Chekiang, Pien Shih-yün 卞士雲 (T. 光河, H. 竹辰, d. ca. 1843, age 56 sui), a long memorial in which he expatiated on China's foreign policy and her national defense. But Fang's theories on foreign affairs were ignored by the authorities, who doubtless looked upon them as impracticable. Thereupon he spent his declining years as a private teacher at his native place. Early in 1851 he was made director of the Tung-shan 東山 Academy at Ch'i-mên, Anhwei, where about a month later he died.

Being a follower of Yao Nai, Fang Tung-shu pleaded for a revival of the philosophy and the scholarship of the Sung Neo-Confucianists, though not in their most stereotyped forms. He stressed the importance of the time-honored literary and ideological approach to the study of the Classics, and hence was a severe critic of the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu and Hui Tung) which he regarded as lacking in synthetical method. He also found fault with what he believed to be the narrow partisanship of contemporary scholars. But, like many scholars of the Sung School, his ethical emphasis led him to underrate the importance of a sound historical and philological method. His criticisms of the results achieved by the School of Han Learning are put forth in a notable work, entitled 漢學商兌 Han-hsüeh shang-tui, which was completed in 3 chüan in 1824 and was presented to Juan Yüan. The method employed in this work is to quote directly from such Han-hsüeh scholars as Chu I-tsun, Ch'ien Ta-hsin or Tai Chên [qq. v.], adding his own criticisms and opinions, and attacking the passages quoted. It was first printed in 1831. A supplement in one chüan, including corrigenda, was published in 1838, and it was reprinted several times by Fang's followers. In all of his writing Fang Tung-shu aimed to revive both the philosophical approach and the literary style of Chu Hsi (see under Hu Wei) and other Sung scholars. Two philosophical and ethical works by Fang Tung-shu may here be mentioned: 書林揚觶 Shu-lin yang-chih, 2 chüan, first published in 1831, a supplement in 1 chüan with corrigenda being printed in 1838; and 大意尊聞 Ta-i tsun-wên, 3 chüan, printed in 1866. A manuscript collection of his notes on classical and philosophical topics, entitled 待定錄 Tai-ting lu, which is reported to have comprised some 100 chüan, was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. He published two collections of verse, one entitled 半字集 Pan-tzŭ chi, 2 chüan (1833), another entitled 考槃集 K'ao-p'an chi, 3 chüan (1848). He also produced a critique on poetry, entitled 昭昧詹言, Chao-mei chan-yen, 10 + 8 chüan, printed in 1891. A collection of his prose works, edited in 1842 in 12 chüan, with the assistance of his pupils, was printed in 1868 by Fang Tsung-ch'êng [q. v.], with a supplement (外集 wai-chi) in 1 chüan, under the title 儀衛軒文集 I-wei hsüan wên-chi. Fang Tung-shu's collective works have been printed and reprinted under various titles: I-wei hsüan ch'üan-shu (全書), K'ao-p'an ch'üan-chi (全集), Fang Chih-chih (方植之) ch'üan-shu, etc.

Among the many pupils of Fang Tung-shu the following may be mentioned: Fang Tsung-ch'êng; Tai Chün-hêng (see under Fang Pao); Su Tun-yüan (see under Fang Pao); Wu T'ing-hsiang 吳廷香 (T. 奉璋, H. 蘭軒, l806–1854); and Ma Ch'i-shêng 馬起升 (T. 慎甫, H. 慎庵, 1828-1888). These five scholars left a total of some 80 works. Another pupil, Chêng Fu-chao 鄭福照 (T. 容甫, H. 潔園, 1832–1876) wrote (1867) a chronologically-arranged biography of his master, entitled 儀衛先生年譜 I-wei hsien-shêng nien-p'u which was printed as an appendix to the I-wei hsüan wên-chi.


[1/491/13b; 2/67/52b; Nien-p'u (see above); Fang Tsung-ch'êng [q. v.], Pai-t'ang chi, first series 7/6b; Liang Ch'i-ch'ao 梁啟超, 清代學術概論 Ch'ing-tai hsüeh-shu kai-lun (1921), chapters 19–20; Liu Shêng-mu 劉聲木, 桐城文學淵源考 T'ung-ch'êng wên-hsüeh yüan-yüan k'ao (1929), chüan 8, and T'ung-ch'êng wên-hsüeh chuan-shu k'ao (僎述考) (1929), chüan 4.]

Hirmou Momose