The purpose of this paper is to understand the possibility of general people through reading to acquire the daily life knowledge in Ch'ing Dynasty, to picture how general people possess daily common knowledge, and to present the way to deliver the knowledge.
Acquiring daily life knowledge among general people is through the Tsa Tzu books and the Popular Encyclopedias For Daily Use. The Tsa Tzu books are originally used for the general people to give initiate lesson for children, and are popular among middle and lower level of the society. They are very popular during Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties. Then there developed few different types. The basic level Tsa Tzu books are for children at initiate stage to study, without classified contents. They are mainly presented in rhyming words and related semantic composition. The higher–level Tsa Tzu books are reviewing the basics and expanding vocabulary to build solid foundation, the contents are also classified. Hence, the glossary of wordings are significantly increasing, though are still presented by means of rhyming words and related semantic composition.
Wan Pao Yuan Lung Tsa Tzu is the representative of Tsa Tzu books; which differs than the previous types. Contents of this Tsa Tzu books are not the rhyming words and related semantic composition, they are classified individual characters with explanation of the meaning, and it's more like a dictionary sort of tool book. Besides, there added some daily life knowledge. This enabled the book became more like a booklet of family life, with index functions. On the other hand, the applicable readers are expanded, too. From title, purpose, resources and contents speaking of the book, Wan Pao Yuan Lung Tsa Tzu has obviously transformed as for readers to both general people as well as scholars, and the applicable level is more than for initiation studies. The sort of Tsa Tzu books could be connected to general people's daily life. Since, the explanations for vocabulary in Wan Pao Yuan Lung Tsa Tzu could be as the foundation for understanding contents of daily life knowledge in Wan Pao Chuan Shu . In addition, the scope of daily life knowledge in Wan Pao Chuan Shu is wider than in the Wan Pao Yuan Lung Tsa Tzu and more applicable for usage in general people's daily life. Therefore, the acquiring of general people's daily life knowledge in Ch'ing Dynasty laid the reading foundation on the basic and higher-level of Tsa Tzu books. Then through recognizing words and cross using Tsa Tzu books to recognize and look up glossary of wordings, and searching for partial daily life knowledge. At last, to complete acquire the daily life knowledge with using the Popular Encyclopedias For Daily Use.