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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
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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
Authors: and

Abstract

The decorative graphics of Wus’ Memorial Temple in Hong’an have evolved continuously over time, forming a unique symbolic system. This article analyzes the various forms of artistic reception of the decorative graphics in Wus’ Memorial Temple from the perspective of art communication, including the cultural traditions of the decorative graphics, the symbolic language, and the choice of its audience. It explores the symbolic meanings behind the decorative graphics, that is, the symbols of the Wus’ Memorial Temple in contemporary design, promoting inheritance, innovation, and development.

In: Signs and Media
This is the first book-length study of the roles played by the Manchu language at the center of the Qing empire at the height of its power in the eighteenth century.
It presents a revisionist account of Manchu not as a language in decline, but as extensively and consciously used language in a variety of areas.
It treats the use, discussion, regulation, and philological study of Manchu at the court of an emperor who cared deeply for the maintenance and history of the language of his dynasty.
In: The Manchu Language at Court and in the Bureaucracy under the Qianlong Emperor