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In: Bamboo and Silk
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Abstract

This article proposes a set of function-based criteria for identifying paratextual elements in manuscript texts. With *Tang zai Chimen and *Tang chu yu Tangqiu as examples, I show how their narrative frames perform functions akin to titles, authors’ names, and prefaces. This approach offers a new explanation for the prevalence of the anecdote genre as well as a renewed understanding of the functions of the paratext.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Authors: and

Abstract

The phenomenon of preserving ancient character forms (wenzi cungu xianxiang 文字存古現象) can be observed in certain recently unearthed bamboo slip manuscripts from the Warring States. These characters have preserved early character structures or word usage habits, thus reflecting an interactive relationship between the copyist and the source text. Based on the number of early characters observed in a copied manuscript, Warring States bamboo manuscripts can largely be divided into three categories. One category containing relatively more words with early word forms can be dubbed as “transcripts containing characteristics of ancient text preservation,” with the Tsinghua manuscripts *Xinian 繫年, *Hou fu 厚父, *Sheming 攝命, and *Si gao 四告 being the most emblematic of this category. The value of research into ancient character forms preserved in Warring States bamboo-slip manuscripts is important in many ways, such as providing evidence for character identification; helping to determine the origins of ancient manuscript source texts and their time of transcription; and demonstrating how documents may have been transmitted. All these aspects are evident in the relevant Tsinghua manuscripts. However, in assessing whether ancient character forms were indeed preserved in Warring States manuscripts, two problems must be accounted for: first, some characters that have previously been identified as having characteristics of different scripts may have earlier origins or lack any obvious script-specific features; second, some ancient-looking characters cannot necessarily be used as a standard to determine the occurrence of ancient script forms.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:

Abstract

*Zi Chan in Volume 6 and *Shi fa in Volume 4 of Tsinghua University Collection of Warring States Bamboo-slip Manuscripts were written by one scribe. This study aims to use features of the brushwork to demonstrate this. In addition, this study will also examine physical features of the bamboo slips, handwriting, character forms, the orthography of different states, punctuation marks, erasures, and the binding of the bamboo slips. The texts of both manuscripts were first written and then bound. Research on the arrangement of *Shi fa and the layout of its text enriches our understanding about the activity of writing among Pre-Qin people, how ancient books were compiled, and how scrolls were opened.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Authors: and

Abstract

First, through an analysis of the binary categorization of the heavenly stems and the earthly branches in calculations and arts (shushu 數術) literature in transmitted and excavated texts, this paper argues that the two characters meng 䖟(孟) and zhong 中(仲) next to the branches in the Punishment Day diagram do not connote substantive meaning, but constitute a set of binary categories in the same vein as the binarisms yin/yang, hard/soft, man/woman, female/male, heaven/earth, punishment/virtue, and so on. Next, this paper points out a mistake made in the previous calculation of punishment days in the Changsha Mawangdui Han mu jianbo jicheng before putting forward a new calculation method. Based on the new method, we find that the two columns of stem-branch binomes inscribed on the manuscript should be construed such that the stem-branch binomes in one column represent the punishment days resulting from the movements of a stem and a branch starting from contiguous branch positions, and those in the other column represent the punishment days resulting from the movements of a stem and a branch starting from branch positions six branches apart. The reason for the emphasis on the punishment days resulting from these two cases lies in the fact that the branches of these punishment days are the grave branches (muchen 墓辰) in the Three Unions Scheme of the Five Agents. The meaning of the grave branches as vanishing and decaying resonates with the activities of military display, battling, attacking, killing, imprisonment, and demolishing constructions that may be undertaken on punishment days. Therefore, particular attention is paid to the punishment days identified by the four grave branches. In the end, this paper argues against the view that correlates Punishment Day with Meeting Day. This paper maintains that despite their similarity on the surface, they are in fact two different types of calendar spirits and should not be confused.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:

Abstract

Zhang Ruoxu’s poem “Chunjiang huayue ye,” reached Japan and Korea in the anthology Tangshi xuan compiled by the Ming dynasty scholar Li Panlong. In the mid-Edo period, under the influence of the “Kobunjigaku” (Ancient Rhetoric School) represented by Ogyū Sorai, the Tangshi xuan anthology enjoyed a phase of great popularity and became the widest-read Tang poetry work at the time. Because “Chunjiang huayue ye” was included in Tangshi xuan, it was also widely read. Many versions of Tangshi xuan containing abundant commentaries on “Chunjiang huayue ye” were published in Japan; most of these focus on art appreciation and comment on the poem in considerable depth. China, Japan, and Korea also produced many response poems and imitations of “Chunjiang huayue ye.” Of these, the Chinese imitations were closest to the original work, the Japanese ones had greater ideological depth and echoed the commentaries on the poem, and the Korean ones were all rhymed response poems that were integrated into Korean culture over time. As a literary classic, “Chunjiang huayue ye” transcended its original era and at the same time broke the barriers of space, becoming world literature appreciated by people in other countries.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

Since the 1980s, research on Sinographic literature has made significant strides. From the standpoint of academic history, this research has undergone three broad stages, which are represented respectively by new materials, new questions, and new methods. These have been the overall trends, which necessarily overlap each other. Research on Sinographic literature has diverged from a focus on new material toward the refinement of new questions and the exploration of new methodologies. One such exploratory approach is “the Sinosphere as methodology,” which addresses the shortcomings of four previous research models and seeks to put this new methodological concept into practice, to contain the expansionist impulses of cultural imperialism, and to prise apart nationalist parochialism.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

Yanxinglu studies” is a field of study dedicated to the research of Yanxinglu (Kor: Yŏnhaengnok), the travel records of Korean diplomatic envoys to China during the Koryŏ and Chosŏn periods. Yanxinglu should be distinguished from travel records of a more general nature and can be further classified as follows: Yanxinglu writings in a broad or a narrow sense; and Yanxinglu writings with a single or multiple titles. This article investigates a number of pertinent questions such as the concept of Yanxinglu itself, the titles of individual travel accounts, the creation and periodization of Yanxinglu writings, the collection and compilation of primary sources and their translation, the creation of databases, and the search for suitable research methods. This analysis shows that it is time to establish “Yanxinglu studies” as an independent field of study in China and to create a scholarly society to guide and coordinate future research efforts.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
Author:

Abstract

The “Riben dao ge” is a well-known poem in the history of East Asian literary exchanges. The poem was written by Sima Guang during his appointment at the Palace Library, expressing his cultural expectations as well as some satirical remarks about Qian Gongfu. The earliest proponent of the theory that the “Riben dao ge” was written by Sima Guang was the Japanese Meiji-era scholar Kusaka Hiroshi, who influenced Yang Shoujing. From the standpoint of cultural history, the “Riben dao ge” is intimately connected to the Edo-era concept of lost and surviving books; Chosŏn’s goodwill missions, moreover, played a vital role in the dissemination of the poem in Japan. The “Riben dao ge’s” many influences across Japan and Chosŏn demonstrated an interest in the Chinese cultural issue of “searching for lost rituals among the people.”

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities