Chi Kang

Chi K’ang


(also Hsi K’ang; second name Shuyeh). Born A.D. 223 in the Chiaochun region, now Anhwei Province; died 262. Chinese poet, philosopher, and musician.

Refusing to serve the ruling powers, Chi K’ang called for the practice of “great purity,” urging people to live a simple life. He was accused of conspiracy and executed. Chi’s poetry was an artistic expression of the Taoist “search for truth” and embodied his idea of the perfect human being. Chi’s work, unlike that of his contemporaries, was very seldom in the style of Chinese folk songs (yüeh-fu) that was fashionable at the time. In his treatises Chi boldly expressed views that were opposed to the orthodox Confucian world view; he left a valuable legacy in the form of letters. Much of Chi’s writing was lost; the works that were preserved have been collected by Lu Hsün.


Chi K’ang chi. Peking, 1956.


Pozdneeva, L. D. “Tszi Kan: ’O dolgoletii’.” In the collection Drevnii mir. Moscow, 1962.
Van Gulik, R. H. Hsi Kang and His Poetical Essay on the Lute. Tokyo, 1941.
Holzman, D. La Vie et la pensée de Hsi Kang (223–262 après J.C.). Leiden, 1957.