Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Tsang Yung

TSANG Yung 臧庸 (T. 用中, 西成, before 1804 his ming was 鏞堂, T. 在東, 東序), 1767–1811, Sept. 14, scholar, was a native of Wu-chin (Changchow), Kiangsu. His great-great-grandfather, Tsang Lin 臧琳 (T. 玉林, 1650–1713), was a brilliant classicist who left some 180 chüan of critical writings. But as these studies were not published he did not receive due recognition during his lifetime. Tsang Yung's father, Tsang Chi-hung 臧繼宏 (T. 世景, H. 厚庵, 1728–1796), was a garment-dealer who gave his sons a literary education. Two of them, Tsang Yung and Tsang Li-t'ang 臧禮堂 (T. 和貴, 1776–1805), came to be known among scholars as the "Two Tsangs." At the age of nineteen (sui) Tsang Yung read the Shang-shu hou-an by Wang Ming-shêng [q. v.] and the manuscripts of his ancestor, Tsang Lin, and then became interested in the critical studies of the School of Han Learning (see under Ku Yen-wu). In the following year he began to study the classical texts. Two years later (1788) Lu Wên-ch'ao [q. v.] came to Changchow and, recognizing his talent, engaged him for a few years both as his pupil and as his assistant. When Lu was introduced to the works of Tsang's great-great-grandfather he appreciated their significance, and thus secured for Tsang Lin the recognition that was his due.

In the spring of 1793 Tsang Yung went to Soochow, then a centre for adherents of the School of Han Learning. There he associated with Ch'ien Ta-hsin, Tuan Yü-ts'ai, Niu Shu-yü, Wang Ch'ang, Ku Kuang-ch'i [qq. v.], Ch'ü Chung-jung (see under Ch'ien Ta-hsin), and other scholars of note. On the recommendation of Ch'ien and Wang he obtained, early in 1794, a position as tutor to a grandson of Pi Yüan [q. v.], the latter being then at Wuchang as governor-general of Hupeh and Hunan. After a few months in Wuchang Tsang returned to his native place to compete in the provincial examination of 1794, but was unsuccessful. In the meantime Pi Yüan was transferred to the governorship of Shantung and his family moved to Tsinan where Tsang went, late in 1794. There he came into contact with Juan Yüan [q. v.], then educational commissioner of Shantung. In 1795 Pi was reappointed governor-general of Hupeh and Hunan, and Tsang accompanied him to Wuchang where he remained until August of the following year, when he returned home on account of his father's death.

On invitation of Juan Yuan, Tsang Yung went in 1797 to Hangchow to assist Juan in the compilation of the famous Ching-chi tsuan-ku (see under Juan Yüan), and in the following year he was asked to become chief compiler. Late in that year (1798) Tsang went to Canton where he saw to the printing (1799–1800) of the Ching-chi tsuan-ku as well as some of his own works. Returning to Hangchow in 1800, he was engaged by Juan Yüan to collate the Thirteen Classics, a task on which he was engaged until the autumn of 1802. Late in the same year he returned to his native place and entered business, but abandoned it in 1804 and went to Peking where he remained two years, residing at the homes of Wang Yin-chih [q. v.] and Kuei-fang 桂芳 (T. 子佩, H. 香東, posthumous name 文敏, chin-shih of 1799, d. 1814). There he competed in the Shun-t'ien provincial examination of 1804, but failed. When he returned to Changchow early in 1806, Juan Yüan and I Ping-shou (see under Chang Wên-t'ao), prefect of Yangchow, were planning to compile a topography of Yangchow, and Tsang, Chao Huai-yü [q. v.] and others were invited to assist in the task. As both Juan Yuan and I Ping-shou moved from Yangchow in the following year this work was left incomplete, but the manuscript drafts were later utilized by the compilers of the Yangchow fu-chih, 74 chüan, a history of Yangchow, printed in 1810. During the years 1807–10 Tsang again lived in Hangchow and Yangchow under the patronage of Juan Yüan. For several months in 1807–08, at the request of Liu Fêng-kao 劉鳳誥 (T. 丞牧, H. 金門, 1761–1830), educational commissioner of Chekiang, he edited the 五代史記注 Wu-tai-shih chi chu, 74 chüan, comprising the text of the New History of the Five Dynasties (see under Shao Chin-han) as annotated by P'êng Yüan-jui (see under Chiang Shih-ch'üan). This work was later revised by Liu Fêng-kao and was printed by him in 1828. In 1810 Tsang went again to Peking and though he competed unsuccessfully in the Shun-t'ien provincial examination, he stayed there until the spring of the following year. He then returned to Kiangsu where he died in September 1811.

Tsang Yung not only assisted the above-mentioned scholars as critic, exegete and philologist, but also wrote or edited about thirty short works, comprising some 60 chüan, which were published under his name. Among his works on the Classics may be mentioned: the 周易鄭注敍錄 Chou-i Chêng-chu hsü-lu, 1 chüan (1819), on the Changes; the 毛詩馬王微 Mao-shih Ma Wang wei, 4 chüan (1806), on the Odes; and the 三禮目錄 San-li mu-lu, 1 chüan (1801), on the Three Rituals. His memoranda and notes concerning his studies were printed in 1819 in 12 chüan under the title, 拜經日記 Pai-ching jih-chi. A collection of his prose, entitled Pai-ching t'ang wên-chi (堂文集), was in part printed before the appearance of a definitive edition in 5 chüan in 1930. Several of his works were printed in the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan), in the 問經堂叢書 Wên-ching t'ang ts'ung-shu (1797–1802) and in other collectanea. The above-mentioned Pai-ching jih-chi and eight works which Tsang edited and collated, together with a collection of notes on the Classics by his great-great-grandfather, Tsang Lin (entitled 經義雜記 Ching-i tsa-chi, 30 chüan), were brought together under the collective title, Pai-ching t'ang ts'ung-shu (1801). This collectanea was reproduced in 1935 by the Kyoto Institute of the Academy of Oriental Culture (Tōhō-bunka-gakuin Kyōto Kenkyūsho 東方文化學院京都研究所), Japan. The following year a chronological biography and bibliography of Tsang Yung, entitled 臧在東先生年譜 Tsang Tsai-tung hsien-shêng nien-p'u, written in Chinese by Yoshikawa Kōjirō 吉川幸次郎, was printed in the 東方學報 Tōhō gakuhō (Kyoto, No. 6), the Journal of the Academy.


[1/487/11b; 2/68/63a; 3/416/41a; 7/33/16a; Nien-p'u (see above).]

Hiromu Momose