Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fu Shan

FU Shan 傅山 (T. 青主, H. 嗇廬, 朱衣道人, 仁仲, 公之它, original name 鼎臣 T. 青竹), July 12, 1607–1684, July 23, calligrapher, poet, painter, and physician, was born in Yang-ch'ü, Shansi. His father, Fu Chih-mo 傅之謨 (T. 檀孟), a scholar and teacher, was known as Li-kou hsien-shêng 離垢先生. Early in life Fu Shan was regarded as a genius, and at the age of fifteen sui (1621) passed the district examination for the hsiu-ts'ai degree with high honors. Five years later he was enrolled as a stipendiary (廩生), but failed to pass the provincial examination. In 1636, with the encouragement of Yüan Chi-hsien [q. v.], then educational commissioner of Shansi, he continued his studies in the San-li Academy 三立書院 at Taiyuan. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation in the corrupt Ming court, he stressed the importance of character and morale. In the same year he attained nation-wide repute when he went to the rescue of Yüan Chi-hsien who was falsely accused of bribery. The struggle to save Yüan's life was difficult but met with success. Accompanying Yüan to Peking, Fu rallied the Shansi intellectuals, both in Shansi and at the capital, until one hundred and three of them came to his support. Three times he memorialized the throne on Yüan's behalf at the risk of his life. When Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] pressed on Shansi, Fu Shan served as military advisor to Li Chien-t'ai 李建泰 (括蒼, chin-shih of 1625). But the latter failed to take Fu's advice and Taiyuan fell. Fu Shan then sought safety with his family in the mountains of central Shansi, wearing a priestly robe and a yellow cap, habiliments which he had adopted when he failed in the provincial examination (1642). While living in P'ing-ting, Shansi, Fu was accused of plotting against the new regime at Peking and of having communications with the remnant Ming court in South China. Brought to Taiyuan and imprisoned (1654), he was subjected to bodily punishment but remained undaunted throughout the trial, starving himself in prison for nine days to show his aversion to the officials in charge. In the following year (1655) his students effected his release although he himself declared he would rather die in prison. Thereafter he travelled extensively in the northern provinces of China, writing poems about the places he visited. Before the death of his mother (December 29, 1660) he made a journey to Nanking and Hai-chou, Kiangsu. He later visited three of the five sacred mountains of China, namely, Hêng-shan in Shansi (1662), Hua-shan in Shensi (1665), and T'ai-shan in Shantung (1674). His literary achievements won the commendation of a number of scholars, including Ku Yen-wu, Yen Jo-chü [qq. v.], Li Yin-tu (see under Ch'ü Ta-chün), and Yen Êr-mei 閻爾梅 (T. 調鼎, H. 古古, 1603–1679). His lore and ready wit were always at his command and made him popular and respected wherever he went.

In 1678, when he was seventy-two sui, he was recommended to take the po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ examination which took place in Peking in the following year (see under P'êng Sun-yü). Like Ku Yen-wu he declined the honor. Nevertheless, after strong pressure, amounting almost to physical force, was brought to bear by local officials, he set out with his son on the long journey to Peking. But when he neared the gates of the capital his old resentment against the prevailing regime overcame him and he resisted all efforts to force him to enter the city. Grand Secretary Fêng P'u [q. v.], and other dignitaries of the Court came out to greet him at his temple lodge, but failed to induce him to take the examination. The officials finally acquiesced in his return home after granting him the unsolicited title of secretary of the Grand Secretariat—a distinction conferred at the same time on Tu Yüeh [q. v.]. Prior to leaving, however, he was obligated by custom to go to the Palace to pay his respects for the favor shown. When he reached the Palace and was forced to kneel we are told that his emotions overcame him and he simply threw himself to the ground, refusing to go farther. This falling to the ground was accepted in lieu of the required prostration and he started on his journey back to Shansi the following day. When he reached home he declined to see any of the officials who flocked to his door, and shunned those who addressed him by his new official title. In his declining years Fu Shan lived in Sung-chuang 松莊, "Pine-tree Village", in the shadow of the Shuang-t'a 雙塔, "Twin Pagodas", seven or eight li southeast of Taiyuan. When he died he was buried, in token of his loyalty to the defunct dynasty, in the costume he had adopted after 1642.

A collection of Fu Shan's works, entitled 霜紅龕集 Shuang-hung-k'an chi, containing his poems, essays, and historical and classical studies, was first published in 1747 (12 chüan) and was later enlarged as new materials came to light. It was reprinted in 1853 in 40 chüan, and again in 1911 with a nien-p'u, 傅青主先生年譜 Fu Ching-chu hsien-shêng nien-p'u, in 1 chüan, by Ting Pao-ch'üan 丁寶銓. In recent years more of his scattered writings have been recovered and are included in a new collection, under the title 嗇廬雜箸 Sê-lu tsa-chu, in 17 chüan, with his portrait at the age of fifty-five (sui). His work on gynecology, containing a number of prescriptions which are still used by Chinese physicians, was first printed in 1827 in two parts, entitled 女科 Nü-k'o, 2 chüan, and 產後編 Ch'an-hou-pien, 2 chüan. The Library of Congress possesses a work on diseases of males, 男科 Nan-k'o, 2 chüan, first printed in 1863, which is attributed to Fu Shan, but on doubtful grounds. Many other writings on the Classics are credited to Fu, but most of these seem now to be lost. The most notable recently recovered works by Fu Shan are two carefully prepared indexes to the names mentioned in the official histories of the Former and Later Han dynasties—both published for the first time in 1936. One of these indexes, entitled 西漢書姓名韻 Hsi Han shu hsing-ming yün, is in 10 volumes; the other, entitled Tung Han shu hsing-ming yün, is in 20 volumes. The manuscript of the former was once in the possession of Chang Yüeh-hsien 張燿先 (T. 思孝), the editor of the first edition of Fu's collected works in 1747. The names in both indexes are arranged according to the rhyme of the last character of each name.

Fu Shan's calligraphy was greatly esteemed and, in the opinion of Chao Chih-hsin [q. v.], was the best of the time. Even today specimens are highly prized by collectors. On mountain summits, in isolated villages, in old temples, and even in market places of Shansi province, one can discover examples of his handwriting. Fu Shan also achieved distinction as a painter, especially of bamboo and landscapes. Many extraordinary tales concerning his skill as a painter and calligrapher are current among the common people of northwest China. But he never wrote or painted for money, preferring to rely on his wide knowledge of medicine and his practical ability as a physician to make a living. He adopted an unusually large number of pennames, the writers of this sketch having counted more than thirty.

His son, Fu Mei 傅眉 (T. 壽毛, H. 須男, 竹嶺, 麋道人, 1628–1684, March 24), poet, painter, and calligrapher, was an able and distinguished student and a life-long companion to his father. They shared each other's fortunes and encouraged each other in their studies and writings. When Fu Mei died—a few months before his father—the aged Fu Shan wrote fourteen long poems to commemorate his loss. The poems of Fu Mei appear as a supplement to the Shuang-hung-k'an chi under the title, 我詩集 Wo shih chi. Two sons of Fu Mei (Fu Lien-su 傅蓮蘇 T. 長芳, and Fu Ch'ih-chi 傅赤驥) were also known for their literary ability.

A temple known as Fu-kung Tz'ŭ (傅公祠) was erected to the memory of Fu Shan in Taiyuan, the provincial capital, and there specimens of his calligraphy are preserved.


[1/506/7b; 2/71/10b; 3/473/13a; 17/4/19a; 20/1/3a, with portrait; 23/312a; 26/1/2b, 3a; Shansi-t'ung-chih (1892) 132/4b, 156/1a; 昭代叢書 Chao-tai ts'ung-shu 戊集 vol. XI, 別集; Yang-ch'ü hsien-chih (1843) 13/38b, 39b, 15/21a, 25a; Bulletin of the National Library of Peiping, vol. III, no. 3, p. 427; L.T.C.L.H.M., pp. 315b–316; 國粹學報 Kuo-ts'ui hsüeh-pao, no. 37; Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress, 1939, p. 264–65.]

C. H. Ts'ui

J. C. Yang