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A Translation of the Ancient Chinese 'The Book of Burial (Zang Shu)' by Guo Pu (276-324)
Zhang, Juwen


The Book of Burial defined fengshui for the first time: it integrated various local beliefs and practices into the dominant Confucian tradition. It is, therefore, key to any understanding of Chinese culture. Based on the edition of the Book of Burial (Zang Shu) most popular during the last millennium, this translation makes available the text that links the widespread Chinese practice of fengshui (geomancy) to the fundamental beliefs and moral principles of Chinese culture. This annotation and commentary serve to place the text and the history of burial ritual in the proper cultural context. The translator’s introduction, which explores the questions of the interaction between elite and folk culture and the continuity of tradition, suggests an interdisciplinary approach to the study of fengshui.


“Professor Zhang’s [book] is a major contribution to our understanding of Chinese culture. The Book of Burial is one the oldest and most widely cited manuals for geomancy, central to any understanding of the practice of geomancy during the last several centuries and its connections to both underlying cosmological ideas and the school of thought variously termed Neo-Confucianism or the Learning of the Way (Daoxue)….Professor Zhang’s decision to include illustrations from three geomancy books adds enormously to this volume.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington

Table of Contents

Preface by Patrica Ebrey
Part One: The Book of Burial
1. The Inner Chapter
2. The Outer Chapter
3. The Miscellaneous Chapter
Part Two: Illustrations
1. From The Illustrations to the Annotated Classic of Burial
2. From The Revised New Book of Earth Principles
3. From The Classis of Jade Rulers

ISBN10:  0-7734-6352-6   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-6352-3    Pages:  230    Year:  2004   

Series: Chinese Studies Number: 34

Subject Areas:  Asian Studies, Asian Studies - Anthropology, Folk Studies, Thanatology: Death and Dying Studies,

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

USA List Price: $139.95 UK List Price: £ 94.95  

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