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Volume 55 Issue 1
May 2023
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Citation: Jiyi GAO and Xin’gui ZENG. A Study of the Picture of “Zhuan Yao Fang” Annotated by Zheng Xuan in YI Li[J]. Academic Monthly, 2023, 55(1): 173-190. shu

A Study of the Picture of “Zhuan Yao Fang” Annotated by Zheng Xuan in YI Li

  • While annotating Shi Hun Li (《士昏礼》) and Te Sheng Kui Shi Li (《特牲礼》), Zheng Xuan pointed out that “Zhuan Yao Fang” (“馔要方”) meant that dishes should be placed like a square on the table. As for “Yao Fang”, opinions varied among later generations of scholars. Some held that “Yao Fang” could be either square or rectangle, some regarded it as rhombus, and some claimed that “Yao Fang” equaled “in a general way”. The correct elaboration of “Zhuan Yao Fang” is closely related to the size of food containers, the methods of displaying dishes, the length of tables and the width of the house. If the methods of arranging dishes are neglected, then one may wrongly take it that the couple in Shi Hun Li are enjoying pork, fish and dried rabbit on six tables while the fact is that they are eating together on three tables. If the length of tables is not considered, the dishes for the guests in Gong Shi Da Fu Li (“公食礼”) wouldn’t be contained by the table. If the width of the house is ignored, four dish containers in Te Sheng Kui Shi Li couldn’t be held by the house. Only by understanding the methods of arranging dishes, the size of instruments and the houses will it be possible for us to get insight into the connotation of “Zhuan Yao Fang”.
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          A Study of the Picture of “Zhuan Yao Fang” Annotated by Zheng Xuan in YI Li

          Abstract: While annotating Shi Hun Li (《士昏礼》) and Te Sheng Kui Shi Li (《特牲礼》), Zheng Xuan pointed out that “Zhuan Yao Fang” (“馔要方”) meant that dishes should be placed like a square on the table. As for “Yao Fang”, opinions varied among later generations of scholars. Some held that “Yao Fang” could be either square or rectangle, some regarded it as rhombus, and some claimed that “Yao Fang” equaled “in a general way”. The correct elaboration of “Zhuan Yao Fang” is closely related to the size of food containers, the methods of displaying dishes, the length of tables and the width of the house. If the methods of arranging dishes are neglected, then one may wrongly take it that the couple in Shi Hun Li are enjoying pork, fish and dried rabbit on six tables while the fact is that they are eating together on three tables. If the length of tables is not considered, the dishes for the guests in Gong Shi Da Fu Li (“公食礼”) wouldn’t be contained by the table. If the width of the house is ignored, four dish containers in Te Sheng Kui Shi Li couldn’t be held by the house. Only by understanding the methods of arranging dishes, the size of instruments and the houses will it be possible for us to get insight into the connotation of “Zhuan Yao Fang”.

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