Huang-Ming Zuxun

The Huang-Ming Zuxun (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Huáng Míng Zǔ Xùn; Wade–Giles: Huang-Ming-Tsu-Hsün) or Instructions of the Ancestor of the August Ming were admonitions left by the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Chinese Ming dynasty, to his descendants. The text was composed in 1373 under the title Record of the Ancestor's Instructions (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ); this was changed to Huang Ming Zu Xun during the publication of the 1395 edition.[1]

The book was divided into thirteen sections:

  1. Preface (箴戒, Zhēnjiè)
  2. Personal Austerity (持守, Chíshǒu)
  3. Ritual Observance (嚴祭祀, Yán Jìsì)
  4. Coronations (謹岀入, Jǐn Chūrù)
  5. National Policy (慎國政, Shèn Guózhèng)
  6. Protocol (禮儀, Lǐyí)
  7. Legislation (法律, Fǎlǜ)
  8. The Inner Chambers (內令, Nèilìng)
  9. The Inner Offices (內官, Nèiguān)
  10. Administration (職制, Zhízhì)
  11. Guards (兵衛, Bīngwèi)
  12. Public Works (營繕, Yíngshàn)
  13. Public Funds (供用, Gōngyòng)

The Preface, composed by Zhu Yuanzhang himself, admonishes his descendants to exert a strict legalist government. The work pins the survival on the dynasty principally upon personal austerity and watchfulness both over practical administration of the empire, the niceties of ritual and etiquette on various occasions, and various potential traitors including their relatives, spouses, and officials both military and civil.[1]


  1. 1 2 Liao Xinyi (廖心一). "Huang-Ming Zuxun" (皇明祖訓). Zhongguo Lishi: Zhongguo Da Baike Quanshu (《中國歷史:中國大百科全書》), Vol. 1, p. 401. Zhongguo Da Baike Quanshu Chubanshe (Shanghai), 1992. Op. cit. Theobald, Ulrich. "Chinese Literature: Huang-Ming zuxun". Accessed 12 Oct 2012.
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