11 results
All Essential Matters on Firearms
This treatise, with rich illustrations, is entitled Huo gong qie yao (All essential matters on firearms). Its alternative title is Ze ke lu (Rules for defense). The text was originally dictated by Tang Ruowang (the Chinese name of the German Jesuit missionary Johann Adam Schall von Bell, 1592–1666) in 1643 and copied by the late-Ming scholar and expert on firearms, Jiao Xu (active 1643). Jiao Xu expressed his view that the technical standards of Chinese cannons and other artillery weapons were not inferior to those of the West and ...
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The Administrative Maps of the Ming Dynasty (Incomplete Copy)
The author of this work was Chen Zushou (died 1637), a late-Ming literary author. A native of Yanling (present-day Changzhou, Jiangsu Province), Chen Zushou received his jin shi degree in 1634 and became, in the following year, an official at the Bureau of Operations, one of the four bureaus in the Ministry of War. In 1636, while working at the ministry, he wrote this book, based on a large number of earlier works and contemporary local records, including maps. The original edition, very rich in content, had three juan in ...
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Life and Activities of Shakyamuni Buddha Incarnate
The vivid colors in this Chinese book are reminiscent of the pictures in medieval European manuscripts. Liu Ruoyu (Ming dynasty) records this edition in his Neiban jingshu jilue (Outline record of imperial editions): “Life and Activities of Shakyamuni Incarnate: Four volumes, 440 pages.” The original book, by the Ming monk Baocheng, is in six juan (sections) and is titled Shijia rulai yinghua lu (Record of the teachings of the thus-come Śākyamuni Buddha), which indicates that the book was revised and combined with other texts before the printing blocks for it ...
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Nanking Illustrated
This book was compiled by Zhu Zhifan of the Ming dynasty. Down through the ages, the famous sites of Jinling (Nanjing) have been called “Eight Views” or “Sixteen Views.” Zhifan broadened this list to make 40 scenes, which he had Lu Shoubai paint (the 40th scene has a colophon by Lu Shoubai). Zhifan assembled the scenes with poems and accounts of changes that the sites had undergone, written in his own hand, and printed the entire compilation. At the end are poems by Du Shiquan that harmonize with the poems ...
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A Tale of Two Gardens: Apricot Garden, Bamboo Garden
Eryuan ji (Gatherings in two gardens) was printed as a composite work by Xu Lun when he was provincial governor in Taiyuan, combining the “Painting of an Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden,” depicting a gathering attended by nine eminent persons including Yang Rong and Yang Shiqi, and the “Painting of a Longevity Gathering," depicting the 60th birthday party for Tu Yong, Zhou Jing, Lü Zhong, and others.
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Fang Family Ink Illustrations
Following prefaces written by various experts, this book contains passages from “Ink Table” by Yuan Fuzheng, “Documents on Ink" by Wang Daoguan, "Rhapsody on Ink" by Wang Daohui, and "Table of Inks" by Wang Daokun, all of which praise the author, Fang Yulu. However, no mention is made of Cheng (Junfang). This would suggest that although Cheng's “Garden of Ink” had not yet made its appearance, the rift between the two had already begun.
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The Exploitation of the Works of Nature (Tiangong Kaiwu)
Tiangong kaiwu (Exploitation of the works of nature), an integrated work on agriculture and handicrafts, is one of the most important works on science and technology in the history of China. A European scholar has called it a 17th-century version of the Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie published in France in the 18th century The author was the noted Ming dynasty scientist Song Yingxing. While working as an instructor in Fenyi County in Jiangxi province, he researched agricultural and artisanal technology, which he then organized into a book. This work was ...
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National Library of China
Secret Edition of the Northern Western Wing Corrected by Mr. Zhang Shenzhi
The Yuan dynasty drama, Story of the Western Wing, by Wang Shifu, is the finest dramatic work of traditional China. It ranks with Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion, Kong Shangren’s Peach Blossom Fan, and Hong Sheng’s Palace of Everlasting Life as one of the four great classical dramas of pre-modern China, and has had a far-reaching influence on the literature and theatrical history of China. The plot of the drama is a reworking of the short work, The Story of Yingying (also titled Encounter with an Immortal) by ...
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National Library of China
Map of Jiangxi Province with Explanations
This lively and colorful volume contains a collection of 37 maps of Jiangxi province from the Ming dynasty: a general map (26 by 56 centimeters) and 36 maps of individual prefectures and counties (each 28 by 26 centimeters). The work is the earliest extant map of Jiangxi province and constitutes a valuable resource for researching pre-modern Chinese maps and the geography of Jiangxi. It also shows the quality of traditional cartography in Ming China. The maps employ traditional Chinese drawing methods to depict in precise detail mountain passes, rivers, lakes ...
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National Library of China
Memorials to the Throne of Our Glorious Dynasty
This work was one of the banned books in the Qing dynasty. Book banning and destruction have a long history in China and became especially prevalent under Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736–95) of the Qing dynasty, when the encyclopedia of the Si ku quan shu (The complete library of the four treasuries) was in progress. Some 3,100 works, about 150,000 copies of books, were either burnt or banned. Books on Ming history, biography, philosophy, literature, and even some works on science, technology, and economics that were regarded as ...
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The Story of the Embroidered Coat, with Commentary by Chen Meigong
Xiu ru ji (Story of the embroidered coat) by Ming dynasty author Xue Jingun is considered the most complete version of the tale of the lovers Li Yaxian and Zheng Yuanhe. The tale originated in folk legends, which Tang author Bai Xingjian (776–826)  used as the basis of his short story Li Wa zhuan (Life of Li Wa). Bai Xingjian’s work served as a model for writers of later generations who retold the same tale. Xue Jingun’s version has 41 scenes and begins with Zheng Yuanhe on ...
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