Wang Hsiang-chin

Wang Hsiang-chin 王象晉 (T. 子進 H. 藎臣 , 康宇, 1561-1653, grandfather of Wang Shih-chên [q.v.], was a native of Hsin-ch'êng, Shantung. His elder brother, Wang Hsiang-ch'ien [q.v.], was one of the governor-generals in command of Ming troops who resisted the Manchus. Wang Hsiang-chin became a chin-shih in 1604 and was appointed a secretary of the Grand Secretariat. In 1613 he was transferred to a secretaryship in the Board of Ceremonies. In the following year he asked for sick leave but in 1617, while still at home, he was degraded for offending several censors. Interested in botany and gardening, he was content to remain in retirement and compile, largely from earlier sources, a botanical work, 群芳譜 Ch'ün fang p'u, in 30 chüan, which was first printed in the T'ien-ch'i period (1621-28) and reprinted by Mao Chin [q.v.] about 1630. In the K'ang-hsi period four Hanlin compilers, including Wang Hao (see under Tai Ming-shih), and Chang I-shao (see under Chang Yü-shu), expanded it by imperial command to 100 chüan, and in 1708 this enlarged edition was printed under the title, Kuang (廣) Ch'ün fang p'u.

Early in the sixteen-twenties Wang Hsiang-chin was appointed an assistant commissioner in the Office for the Transmission of Imperial Messages (行人司), and after several promotions was, in 1628, made intendant of the Huai-an and Yangchow circuit of Kiangnan. Six years later he became provincial judge of Honan where he cleared a number of persons who had unjust charges brought against them. In 1635 he was made financial commissioner of Chekiang. Two years later he retired, and despite the years of chaos following the Manchu conquest of China, lived quietly at his home till his death at the age of ninety-three (sui).

Mao Chin printed, in addition to the Ch'ün fang p'u, several of Wang's minor works, some of which were reprinted in the Yü-yang san-shih-liu chung (see under Wang Shih-cheên). The Hsin-ch'êng hsien-chih of 1933 lists a number of his works, mostly no longer extant. One of his cousins, Wang Hsiang-ch'un 王象春 (T. 季木, 1578-1633), a chin-shih of 1610, left a collection of poems, 問山亭遺詩 Wên-shan t'ing i-shih, which was reprinted in 1928 in the Hsi-yung hs¨an ts'ung-shu (see under Ch'ên Hung-shou).

[ Hsin-ch'êng hsien-chih (1693) 7/316; D1.2/348/ 12b; M.3/228/6a; M.40/59/22a; Wylie, Notes, p. 152; Hui Tung [q.v.], Yü-yang shan-jên nien-p'u, shang 4a, 7a, 8a, llb; Ch'ien Ch'ien-i [q.v..l, Mu-chai ch'u-hsüeh chi, 66/3b.]