Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hui Tung

HUI Tung 惠棟 (T. 定宇, H. 松崖), Nov. 18, 1697–1758, June 17 or 27, scholar, native of Yüan-ho (Soochow), was the second son of Hui Shih-ch'i [q. v.]. He studied under his father and graduated as licentiate in 1716. Several years later he distinguished himself in Canton as one of the most brilliant of his father's many students. After Hui Shih-ch'i had expended his fortune (1731) in the repair of the city wall of Chinkiang, Hui Tung taught in his native city of Soochow. He competed in the provincial examination of 1744, but failed owing to infraction of the rules. When Emperor Kao-tsung ordered (1751) high officials to recommend to him learned students of the Classics Hui Tung was nominated by governors-general, Huang T'ing-kuei and Yin-chi-shan [qq. v.], but was not selected, and hence remained a private scholar throughout his life. Late in life (1754–57) he was employed by Lu Chien-tsêng [q. v.], then Commissioner of the Salt Administration at Yangchow. During this period he, Shên Ta-ch'êng (see under Wu Ching-tzŭ) and other scholars worked for Lu Chien-tsêng in the compilation of the latter's Kuo-ch'ao Shan-tso shih-ch'ao. The studio of Hui Tung, styled Hung-tou chai (紅豆齋), was famous for its library.

Hui Tung developed further the theories of the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu)—a school that was interested in a philological or textual study of the classics as over against the ideological approach of the Sung and Ming scholars. This school stressed the importance of the supposedly oldest annotations, namely, those of the Han scholars, which for centuries had been neglected. Hui Tung's method of study, based on this point of view, was sound, and he produced works of lasting importance. But he was perhaps too credulous in his respect for Han scholarship as the final authority in matters pertaining to the Classics, being less liberal in this respect than his great contemporary, Tai Chên [q. v.]. His disciples, such as Chiang Shêng, Chiang Fan and Yü Hsiao-k'o [qq. v.], followed him faithfully and became celebrated scholars in the field of textual criticism. These followers naturally came to organize a school which recognized Hui Tung as its founder—the so-called Wu (吳) or Soochow School.

Hui Tung was particularly interested in the textual criticism of the Classic of Changes. After K'ung Ying-ta (see under Yen Jo-chü) and other scholars had prepared, in 638 A.D., an annotated text of this classic under the title 周易正義 Chou-i chêng-i, 14 chüan, on the basis of the commentaries of Wang Pi (see under Hui Shih-ch'i), the comments of the Han scholars on the Changes were disregarded. Hui Tung made efforts to recover the texts of the Han period, chiefly from fragments preserved in the Chou-i chi-chieh (集解), 17 chüan, by the T'ang scholar, Li Ting-tso 李鼎祚, but his work on this subject was not completed before his death. His manuscript drafts were published in 23 chüan under the title Chou-i shu (述), with a preface by Lu Chien-tsêng, and postscripts by his sons, dated 1758 and 1759 respectively. On the same classic Hui Tung also left the following works: 易漢學 I Han hsüeh, 8 chüan; 易例 I li, 2 chüan; and Chou-i pên-i pien-chêng (本義辯證), 5 chüan. On the same principle, he wrote two works about the Book of Rites, entitled: 禘說 Ti shuo, 2 chüan; and 明堂大道錄 Ming-t'ang ta-tao lu, 8 chüan. All these were printed in various collectanea. On the Classic of History he made a notable contribution, entitled 古文尚書考 Ku-wên Shang-shu k'ao, 2 chüan, first printed by Li Wên-tsao (see under Chou Yung-nien) about the year 1774. Here he attempted to show that the earlier lost ku-wên text (see under Yen Jo-chü) was authoritative, and the later one apocryphal. It is interesting to reflect that he began this study in 1734 without knowing of the existence of the Ku-wên Shang-shu shu-chêng by Yen Jo-chü [q. v.]; but after he completed his work he had an opportunity (1743) to examine Yen's manuscript. Another celebrated work by Hui Tung is the 九經古義 Chiu-ching ku-i, 16 chüan, first printed by Li Wên-tsao in the years following 1773. It is a study of passages in the Classics whose exegesis is doubtful.

The following titles represent Hui Tung's annotations on ancient works: (1) 後漢書補注 Hou Han-shu pu-chu, 24 chüan, first printed in 1804, consists of supplementary annotations to the Dynastic History of the Later Han Period; (2) 春秋左傳補注 Ch'un-ch'iu Tso-chuan pu-chu, 6 chüan, first printed by Li Wên-tsao in 1774, is a work in which Hui attempted to supplement the Tso-chuan chi-chieh, 30 chüan, by Tu Yü (see under Ting Yen); (3) 太上感應篇注 T'ai-shang kan-ying p'ien chu, explanatory notes on difficult passages in the T'ai-shang kan-ying p'ien (see under P'êng Ting-ch'iu). Hui Tung concluded that this book was compiled between the third and fifth centuries A.D. (The above-mentioned three works were printed or reprinted in various collectanea); (4) 讀說文記 Tu Shuo-wên chi, 15 chüan, is a study of the texts and commentaries of the Shuo-wên (see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai). The manuscript drafts of this work came later into the possession of Hsi Shih-ch'ang 席世昌 (T. 子侃, chü-jên of 1795) who revised and supplemented it under the title Shuo-wên shu-chêng (疏證), 14 chüan. The original and the revised texts were printed in the Chieh-yüeh shan-fang hui-ch'ao (see under Chang Hai-p'êng); (5) 山海經訓纂 Shan-hai ching hsün-tsuan, 18 chüan, annotations on the Shan-hai ching (see under Hsü Wên-ching). This work does not seem to have been printed; (6) Annotations by Hui Tung to the Yü-yang shan-jên ching-hua lu by Wang Shih-chên [q. v.] whose nien-p'u he also compiled.

A collection of Hui Tung's miscellaneous notes, entitled 松崖筆記 Sung-yai pi-chi, 3 chüan, was printed in 1822. A similar work, entitled Chiu-yao chai (九曜齋) pi-chi, and a prose collection, Sung-yai wên-ch'ao (文鈔) were left in manuscript. The last two were edited by Liu Shih-hêng (see under Liu Jui-fên) in 3 and 2 chüan respectively, and were printed, with the Sung-yai pi-chi, in the Chü-hsüeh hsüan ts'ung-shu (see under Liu Jui-fên).


[1/487/9b; 3/419/1a; 7/34/12a; 吳君名賢圖傳贊 Wu-chün ming-hsien t'u chuan-tsan (1829) 20/15a (portrait); Morimoto Sugio 森本杉雄, 清朝儒學史概說 Shin-chō jugaku-shi gaisetsu (1930) pp. 90-107; Hashimoto Naribumi 橋本成文, 清朝尚書學 in 漢文講座 Kambun kōza, vol. V (1933); Liang Ch'i-ch'ao 梁啟超, 中國近三百年學術史 Chung-kuo chin san-pai nien hsüeh-shu shih (1926), passim.]

Hiromu Momose