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  • Author or Editor: Shaoxuan Cheng x
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By examining the Zhoujiatai Qin Tomb 30 Bamboo Slip End Profile Chart, one can see that the various sections of the rishu (Daybook) formed an ovular rolled bundle that was, for the most part, closed. These slips appear to have belonged to a common manuscript. However, the slips of the calendrical manuscript saliu nian ri (Days of the 36th Year) did not belong to this rolled bundle and instead were wrapped around a separate axis. On this basis, we can determine that Days of the 36th Year and the daybook were separate manuscripts when they were placed in the tomb.

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In: Bamboo and Silk
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This paper introduces several newly unearthed wooden figures from tombs in Yangzhou that date to the Five Dynasties period, and provides complete transcriptions and preliminary studies of the inscriptions on them. By comparing these figures to similar materials discovered elsewhere, this paper argues that the function of putting these kinds of wooden figurines in tombs was to avoid misfortune. The last portion of the paper briefly examines the origin of this custom and beliefs behind it.

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In: Bamboo and Silk
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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.

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In: Bamboo and Silk