九州 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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jiǔzhōu

九州

By “key concepts in Chinese thought and culture” we mean concepts and keywords or phrases the Chinese people have created or come to use that are fundamentally pertinent to Chinese philosophy, humanistic spirit, way of thinking, and values.


jiǔzhōu 九州

Nine Zhou (Regions)

中国的别称。《尚书·禹贡》中将中国划分为九州,分别是冀州、兖州、青州、徐州、扬州、荆州、豫州、梁州、雍州。同时代或稍后的典籍《周礼》《尔雅》《吕氏春秋》等有关“九州”的说法大同小异。“九州”作为行政区划在历史上并未真正实行过,但它反映了春秋末期以来中华先民栖息生活的大致上的地理范围。

This term is an alternative designation for China. According to The Book of History, the country consisted of nine zhou (州), namely Jizhou, Yanzhou, Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Yangzhou, Jingzhou, Yuzhou, Liangzhou, and Yongzhou. There are similar references to the nine zhou in classic works of the same or later period, such as The Rituals of Zhou, Er Ya, and Master Lü’s Spring and Autumn Annals. The nine zhou were never adopted as actual administrative divisions of the country, but they did show the general geographical area inhabited by the Chinese people since the late Spring and Autumn Period.

引例 Citations:

◎九州生气恃风雷,万马齐喑究可哀。我劝天公重抖擞,不拘一格降人才。(龚自珍《己亥杂诗》)

(九州生机勃勃靠的是风雷激荡,万马齐喑的局面实在令人悲哀。我奉劝上苍定要重振精神,打破一切清规戒律降生更多人才。)

The vitality of China depends on wind and thunder, unfortunately not a single horse’s neighing is heard. I urge the Lord of Heaven to once again lift his spirits and, breaking all bonds and fetters, send talent of all kinds to the human world. (Gong Zizhen: Miscellaneous Poems Written in the Year of 1839)

◎吾恐中国之祸,不在四海之外,而在九州之内矣。(张之洞《劝学篇·序》)

(我恐怕中国的祸患,不在中国之外,而在中国之内。)

As I see it, the cause of China’s disasters lies not overseas but within the country. (Zhang Zhidong: Preface to Encouragement to Learning)

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