Taihei Gyoran (太平御覧)
Taihei Gyoran is one of the encyclopedias from the early Northern Song Dynasty. Together with "Extensive records of the Taiping era," "Prime Tortoise of the Record Bureau" and "Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature," they are called the four great compilations of the Northern Song dynasty. This is a volume compiled by Li Fan and others under an imperial order between 977 and 983 (between the second and eighth years of the era of Taiping Xingguo).
Although its original name was '太平総類,' as Song Taizong (Song Dynasty) read three volumes every night, the name was changed to the current one. It consists of 55 sections from 天部 to 百卉部. This number of sections and editions follows the number of '天地' in 'xicizhuan' of "I Ching" (The Book of Changes). These 55 sections were divided into 5,426 smaller items, including supplementary items. Extracted articles and compositions from a variety of books were classified and arranged into items.
The number of books being cited was 1690 according to the catalog of books at the front of the book, although there are some items counted more than once. Furthermore, if poetry and fu (classical Chinese rhymed prose) are included, there are more than 2,000 kinds. Meanwhile, most of these quotations were so-called quotations within quotations from earlier encyclopedias such as "Hsiu-wen-tien yu-lan" (one of the sources in the preparation of "Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era") (issho (lost book)) from the Northern Qi Dynasty and "Geimon-ruiju" (a Chinese encyclopedia, literally "Collection of Literature Arranged by Categories") and "Wensi Boyao" from the Tang Dynasty. Still, now that most of these quoted books have been lost, it has a high value as historical material.
As a printed book, there are known to be 945 volumes left from the set printed in Shu which came to Japan in 1199. Based on these, there are 景宋本 which was included in "四部叢刊三編" (Shanghai City Commercial Press, 1935) supplemented by books printed in Sung which belonged to other lines and its 重印本 (Zhonghua Book Company, 1960).