A major and as yet insurmountable obstacle in our comprehension of pre-modern Chinese military culture is the unfortunate dearth of detailed battle scenes or attack plans. The historiographical record simply does not include more than the barest outlines of how battles transpired. This essay offers a possible back-door method for accessing military movements and formations on an abstract level. It contends that the ancient game of weiqi, commonly known in the West by its Japanese name, Go, may afford insight into some of the military maneuvers likely employed in the Tang and Song dynasties, and perhaps even earlier. Using the earliest game maps available, found in the Song-era Wangyou qingle ji, with additional input from Ming and Qing texts, the essay spatially analyzes the tactical terms from a manuscript attributed to an author from the Five Dynasties and early Song periods, the Weiqi yili, and illustrates their potential employment using two historical passages, one from the Jiu Tangshu and another from the Hanshu.
de WeerdtHildeChiaLucillede WeerdtHilde“The Cultural Logics of Map Reading: Text, Time, and Space in the Printed Maps of the Song Empire.”Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China 900-14002011LeidenBrill23970
de WeerdtHildeChiaLucillede WeerdtHilde“The Cultural Logics of Map Reading: Text, Time, and Space in the Printed Maps of the Song Empire.”
Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China, 900-1400
GraffDavid ADi CosmoNicola“Narrative Maneuvers: the Representation of Battle in Tang Historical Writing.”Military Culture in Imperial China2009Cambridge, MassachusettsHarvard University Press14264
GraffDavid ADi CosmoNicola“Narrative Maneuvers: the Representation of Battle in Tang Historical Writing.”
Military Culture in Imperial China
2009Cambridge, MassachusettsHarvard University Press14264)| false
Yu ju gou xuan 玉局鉤玄ZhouLüjing周履靖Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘1966vol. 13.TaibeiYiwen yinshu guanCompiled by Xiang Shifang 項世芳 (fl. Ming dynasty)4 han Baibu congshu jicheng 百部叢書集成Compiled by Yan Yiping 嚴一萍
Yu ju gou xuan 玉局鉤玄ZhouLüjing周履靖
Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘
1966vol. 13.TaibeiYiwen yinshu guanCompiled by Xiang Shifang 項世芳 (fl. Ming dynasty)4 han, Baibu congshu jicheng 百部叢書集成Compiled by Yan Yiping 嚴一萍)| false
Zuoyin yipu 坐隱弈譜2001GuilinGuangxi shifan daxue chubansheCompiled by Wang Tingna 汪廷訥
Lo and Wang2004196.
Liu1985119. The piece first appears in Ouyang Xun 2010 74.1273. It also appears in a number of other collections including the Guwen yuan 古文苑 suggested to be a Tang-era compendium and various reprints of the Xuanxuan qijing 玄玄棋經. For the Guwen yuan see the Siku quanshu v. 189.
This poem also appears in Ouyang Xun201074.1271-2 and in other collections including the Guwen yuan 古文苑 and the Xuanxuan qijing 玄玄棋經.
Yang1981Xi 25.15 1109; The Ch’un Ts’ew with the Tso Chuan 1960 Xiang Gong 25th year 517. Translation modified.
Lo and Wang2004187-88. See also Shi 1991 88.
For the complete discussion see Cheng199022-23.
De Weerdt2011247. As de Weerdt also mentions in a footnote the identification of the maps by a title “turns them into objects to be commented upon.” See also de Weerdt 2009 148.