Ten Thousand Tales Selected From Ancient and Present Times


This work contains stories, collected since the Tang dynasty, illustrated with Chinese woodblock prints that are highly valued by experts. The work has four juan, in six volumes. The first two juan contain 31 tales; the third and fourth an additional 36. The tales are all supernatural and fantasy short stories dating from the time of the Tang dynasty onwards. The book also includes explanations and commentaries, and poems that can be chanted. Each tale is accompanied by an illustration. Though not as refined as the renowned Anhui wood block prints, these illustrations are important examples of Chinese woodblock printing. The date of publication probably was after the eighth year of the Wanli reign (1580). The scripts, which consist of four horizontal characters, are written on two sides of each block. Both the inscription and the preface indicate that the work was illustrated and printed by Zhou Jinquan, one of the famous printers of Nanjing, in his workshop Da you tang. During the Ming dynasty, especially during the Wanli period (1573-1620), there were a number of book publishers with the surname of Zhou in Nanjing. They specialized in fiction with wood block printed illustrations.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Da You Tang, Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng,China


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Type of Item

Physical Description

4 juan; 6 ce: illustrations

Last updated: January 3, 2018