Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Niu Shu-yü

NIU Shu-yü 鈕樹玉 (T. 藍田, 匪[非]石, 1760–1827), Nov. 5, scholar, was a native of Tung-t'ing shan 洞庭山, southwest of Soochow. He lost his parents in childhood and made his living by peddling cotton goods; but having set his heart early on learning, he studied the classics in leisure hours. When he was thirty sui he made the acquaintance of Ch'ien Ta-hsin [q. v.], then director of the Tzŭ-yang (紫陽) Academy in Soochow, and in the ensuing years he came in contact with such famous classicists as Chiang Shêng, Ku Kuang-ch'i, and Tuan Yü-ts'ai [qq. v.]. Under their influence he mastered the technique of textual criticism worked out by the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu and Hui Tung), and thus distinguished himself, in his late thirties, as one of the prominent scholars of the Soochow School (see under Hui Tung). Even after he achieved note as a scholar he remained poor and lived under the patronage of more affluent scholars or officials. For several years around 1813 he lived at the yamen of Ch'ên Hung-shou (see under Ch'ên Wên-shu), a district-magistrate of Li-yang, Kiangsu (1811–17); and in 1817–18 at the yamen of the taotai, Kung Li-chêng (see under Kung Tzŭ-chên), in Shanghai. In the autumn of 1827 he had permission to live at the Soochow office of the financial commissioner, Liang Chang-chü [q. v.], but was obliged to leave a few days later on account of illness. He died at his home shortly after.

As a student of the ancient lexicon, Shuo-wên (see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai), Niu Shu-yü wrote a supplement in 8 chüan to the Shuo-wên chieh-tzŭ chu by Tuan, which he entitled 段氏說文校訂 Tuan-shih Shuo-wên chiao-ting, printed with a preface by Niu dated 1823. He also left two other critical works on the text of the Shuo-wên: Shuo-wên chieh-tzŭ chiao-lu (校錄), 30 chüan, printed in 1885; and Shuo-wên hsin fu-k'ao (新附考), 6 + 1 chüan, printed with a preface by Ch'ien Ta-hsin dated 1798. The last-mentioned work, and the Tuan-shih Shuo-wên chiao-ting, were reprinted in 1874. Other works by Niu Shu-yü, entitled 匪石山人詩 Fei-shih shan-jên shih, 1 chüan, a collection of verse; Fei-shih jih-chi ch'ao (日記鈔), 1 chüan, which consists chiefly of bibliographical notes edited from his diary; and Fei-shih hsien-shêng wên-chi (先生文集), 2 chüan, a collection of short essays and notes on the classics—were printed in the Ling-chien ko ts'ung-shu (see under Ho Ch'iu-t'ao), and other collectanea.


[1/487/23a; 3/420/56a; 6/40/1a; Li Ching-kao 黎經誥, 許學考 Hsü-hsüeh k'ao (1927) 3/21b, 7/5b, 10/1a; Yang-chou hua-fang lu (see under Ling T'ing-k'an 10/26b.]

Hiromu Momose