A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas. By R. E. Strassberg (2002)

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A Chinese Bestiary : Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas.El Bestiario Chino: Extraas criaturas del sendero a travs de las montaas y los mares. by Richard Strassberg Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (June 17, 2002) ISBN-10: 0520218442 | PDF | 59 Mb | 360 pages A Chinese Bestiary presents a fascinating pageant of mythical creatures from a unique and enduring cosmography written in ancient China. The Guideways through Mountains and Seas, compiled between the fourth and first centuries b.c.e., contains descriptions of hundreds of fantastic denizens of mountains, rivers, islands, and seas, along with minerals, flora, and medicine. The text also represents a wide range of beliefs held by the ancient Chinese. Richard Strassberg brings the Guideways to life for modern readers by weaving together translations from the work itself with information from other texts and recent archaeological finds to create a lavishly illustrated guide to the imaginative world of early China.llegorically; the strange creatures described in it were regarded as actual entities found throughout the landscape. The work was originally used as a sacred geography, as a guidebook for travelers, and as a book of omens. Today, it is regarded as the richest repository of ancient Chinese mythology and shamanistic wisdom. The Guideways may have been illustrated from the start, but the earliest surviving illustrations are woodblock engravings from a rare 1597 edition. Seventy-six of those plates are reproduced here for the first time, and they provide a fine example of the Chinese engraver's art during the late Ming dynasty. This beautiful volume, compiled by a well-known specialist in the field, provides a fascinating window on the thoughts and beliefs of an ancient people, and will delight specialists and general readers alike.


<p>A</p> <p>B O O KThe Philip E. Lilienthal imprint honors special books in commemoration of a man whose work at the University of California Press from 1954 to 1979 was marked by dedication to young authors and to high standards in the eld of Asian Studies. Friends, family, authors, and foundations have together endowed the Lilienthal Fund, which enables the Press to publish under this imprint selected books in a way that reects the taste and judgment of a great and beloved editor.</p> <p>The publisher gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution to this book provided by the PHILIP E. LILIENTHAL ASIAN STUDIES ENDOWMENT which is supported by a major gift from SALLY LILIENTHAL</p> <p>A CHINESE BESTIARY</p> <p>f ro n t i s p i e ce Perusing the Guideways through Mountains and Seas. Woodblock illustration from the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (Jieziyuan huazhuan, 1679). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri (Purchase: Nelson Trust).</p> <p>A CHINESE BESTIARYStrange Creatures from the GUIDEWAYS THROUGH MOUNTAINS AND SEAS</p> <p>Edited and Translated with Commentary by</p> <p>RICHARD E. STRASSBERG</p> <p>UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESSBerkeley Los Angeles London</p> <p>University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd. London, England 2002 by the Regents of the University of California Grateful acknowledgment is made to the National Library of China in Beijing for permission to reprint the seventy-six plates from the Guideways through Mountains and Seas and to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., for use of plates XLIII and XLIV.</p> <p>Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Shan hai jing (Chinese classic). English. A Chinese bestiary : strange creatures from the guideways through mountains and seas = [Shan hai jing] / edited and translated with commentary by Richard E. Strassberg. p. cm. Philip E. Lilienthal Asian studies endowment. Parallel title in Chinese characters. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0-520-21844-2 (alk. paper) 1. Chinadescription and travel. 2. Mythology, Chinese. 3. FolkloreChina. I. Strassberg, Richard E. II. Title. III. Title: Shan hai jing. ds707 .s4713 2002 951dc21 2002075442</p> <p>Manufactured in the United States of America 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of ansi/niso z39.48-1992 (r 1997) (Permanence of Paper). 8</p> <p>For all strange creatures and in memory of the late Yvonne Linnemayer and for Caroline W. Hall</p> <p>A thing is not strange in itself; it depends on me to make it strange.GUO PUPreface to the Guideways through Mountains and Seas</p> <p>Contents</p> <p>List of Illustrations Preface xiii Editorial Notes Introduction</p> <p>xi xvii 1</p> <p>PLATES I TO LXXVI FROM THE</p> <p>Guideways through Mountains and Seas 81Notes 229 273 293</p> <p>Selected Bibliography Glossary Index to Plates</p> <p>Illustrations</p> <p>FIGURES Perusing the Guideways through Mountains and Seas The Nine Bronze Vessels Painted image of a wu-shaman The rst page from the 1180 printed edition of the Guideways through Mountains and Seas 4. Painted illustration of a Man with Long Ears from Marvels of the East 5. Wu Rujun, A Kind of Xingtian 6. The Luo River diagram 7. The Five Dependencies of Yu the Great 8. General Map of the Four Seas, China, and the Barbarians 9. The world according to the Guideways through Mountains (chapters 15) 10. Modern map of mountains in the Guideways through Mountains (chapters 15) 11. Reconstructed version of the garrison map from Mawangdui 12. The world according to the Guideways through Seas (chapters 613) 13. The world according to the Great Wilds and the Lands within the Seas (chapters 1418) 14. Detail from Illustrated Scroll of Tributary Peoples 15a. Reconstructed side view of the inner con of Marquis Yi of Zeng 15b. Detail of a guardian gure on the side of the inner con of Marquis Yi of Zeng 16a. Reconstructed version of the Chu Silk Manuscript 16b. Individual gods from the reconstructed version of the Chu Silk Manuscript 1. 2. 3. ii 5 7 19 21 27 31 32 34 35 37 38 40 41 56 59 59 66 61</p> <p>X I</p> <p>17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25a. 25b.</p> <p>26a. 26b. 26c.</p> <p>26d.</p> <p>27. 28. 29. 30. 31.</p> <p>Detail of Divination Scroll of Astronomical and Weather Forms Drawing of a ying tiger Reconstruction of ominous strange creatures engraved in the Wu Liang Shrine Detail from Illustrations of Auspicious Anomalies Detail from The Beast of the White Marshs Illustrations of Strange Creatures Detail from The True Appearances of the Five Planets and Twenty-eight Constellations Illustrations of strange creatures from Approaching Renement The Ba-Snake Swallowing an Elephant Woodblock of the Heluo-Fish from Illustrations to the Guideways through Mountains and Seas Woodblock of the Heluo-Fish from An Expanded and Illustrated Edition of the Guideways through Mountains and Seas with Extensive Commentaries Woodblock of an inhabitant of the Land of the Feathered People from Illustrations and Records of Foreign Regions Woodblock of an inhabitant of the Land of the Feathered People from Collected Illustrations of Heaven, Earth, and Man Woodblock of an inhabitant of the Land of the Feathered People from the Guideways through Mountains and Seas with Extensive Commentaries Woodblock of an inhabitant of the Land of the Feathered People from An Expanded and Illustrated Edition of the Guideways through Mountains and Seas with Extensive Commentaries Lithographic reproduction of painted illustrations from A Preserved Edition of the Guideways through Mountains and Seas Portrait of the god Yuer from Illustrations to the Guideways through Mountains and Seas Xingtian [no. 233] from The Imperially Sponsored Collection of Past and Present Illustrations and Texts Plate LXV from the Haiqinglou edition of the Guideways through Mountains and Seas Lithographic illustrations of strange creatures from the Guideways through Mountains and Seas with Illustrations and Explanations</p> <p>62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 71</p> <p>71 72 72</p> <p>72</p> <p>72 74 75 76 77 78</p> <p>PLATES From the Guideways through Mountains and Seas 81</p> <p>X I I</p> <p>I L L U S T R A T I O N S</p> <p>Preface</p> <p>The Guideways through Mountains and Seas (Shanhaijing) is a unique and enduring record of a wide range of beliefs held by the ancient Chinese about their world, encompassing religion, mythology, geography, ora, fauna, minerals, and medicine. An encyclopedic cosmography mostly compiled from the Warring States period to the Western Han dynasty (c. 4thc. 1st cent. b.c.e.), it has been repeatedly hand-copied, reprinted, and re-edited through the centuries into our own time. Since the nineteenth century, it has also attracted the attention of foreign scholars and in recent years has been translated into at least ve di erent languages. The early Guideways may well have been illustrated, but if so, these images have all been lost, as have those known to have existed during the Six Dynasties, Tang, and Song periods. The earliest surviving set of woodblock illustrations is from a rare edition dated 1597, during the late Ming dynasty, and this set is reproduced here for the rst time in its entirety. The modern reader can now survey representations of some 350 gods, heroes, demons, foreign peoples, and other strange creatures from among the more than 550 that the book records. When the Guideways was edited and presented to Emperor Ming of the Western Han dynasty in 6 b.c.e., it was already regarded as a compendium of lost knowledge. Today, only a small number of these creatures are familiar to the Chinese, although the animistic and demonological worldview they represent survived throughout the country well into the twentieth century and is still embraced by some. In titling this present volume a bestiary, my intention is to suggest a general similarity to works from other premodern cultures in which examples of living anomalies were collected for purposes of instruction, curiosity, and delight. Strictly speaking, the Guideways di ers from the bestiaries of the late medieval period in Europe in that these strange creatures were almost never allegorically construed as vehicles of theological virtues or evils. Rather, they were regarded as actual entities found throughout the landscape. A part of the ecology within the cosmos of heaven and earth, they dwelled elusively alongside humankind, which was obliged to learn how to recognize them and to employ the appropriate strategies for coexisting with them. Preserving and transmitting such knowledge was undoubtedly one of the original purposes of the anonymous</p> <p>X I I I</p> <p>compilers of the Guideways. It is my hope that this way of presenting a selection of its content in conjunction with these images can enable the modern English-language reader to gain a broader understanding of an important worldview in ancient China. These panoramic images, like dioramas in a Wunderkammer or natural history museum, are unique windows opening onto vistas that simulate a sacred geography lled with strikingly unusual denizens. In contrast to the better-known philosophical and historical texts that have survived from early China and mostly propound the ideological concerns of intellectuals, ocials, and rulers, the Guideways preserves a perspective more characteristic of the beliefs of most traditional Chinese, regardless of social level. This particular set of illustrations was designed by the artisan Jiang Yinghao (. late 16th cent.) and intended for a broad reading public. Though they may have been derived from earlier pictorial traditions, they predominantly reect a later, more naturalistic style favored by many of the illustrators and commercial engravers of Jiangs time. Jiang, who remains otherwise unknown, clearly had his imagination sparked by reading the text, with the aid of the accumulated commentaries of scholars. Despite a few anacronisms and errors of interpretation, on its own his work represents an aesthetic achievement and is a worthy representative of the art of popular book illustration in late traditional China. This volume brings together versions of this edition from two great libraries. Most of the seventy-six plates are taken from the one preserved in the National Library of China in Beijing. However, damage to parts of plates XLIII and XLIV have made it necessary to substitute these pages from another edition in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. May the restoration of these images, like the joining of two halves of a tally, serve as a symbol of the continuing process of cultural collaboration between China and the United States. In addition to many colleagues who generously shared their knowledge with me, I would like to particularly thank all those who aided me in obtaining the illustrations and helped make possible their reproduction, especially Ms. Sun Beixin, vice director, and the librarians of the Rare Book Collection, National Library of China, Beijing; Dr. Chi Wang and Mr. David Hsu, Chinese Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Mr. James Cheng, East Asian Library, U.C.L.A. and Harvard-Yenching Institute Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Ms. Daisy Hu and Mr. Jin Shen, Harvard-Yenching Institute Library; Ms. Amy Tsiang, East Asian Library, U.C.L.A.; Ms. Jean Han, East Asiatic Library, U.C. Berkeley; Mme. Monique Cohen, Manuscrits Orientales, Bibliothque Nationale, Paris; Ms. Frances Wood, Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books, British Library, London; Mr. Charles Aylmer, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge; Mr. Martin Heidjra, Gest Oriental Library, Princeton University, as well as Professor Noel Barnard for permission to reproduce the drawings of the Chu Silk Manuscript. I should also like to thank professors Cyril Birch and Suzanne Cahill for their helpful comments on the manuscript as well as, at the University of California Press, Sheila Levine, executive editor; Sue Heinemann, project editor; Mimi Kusch, copy editor; Caralyn Bialo, editorial assistant; and Barbara Jellow, designer. The Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA also provided funds to support the drawing of the maps and the compilation of the index. Undoubtedly, as the Guideways continues to be read in an increasingly global culture, there will emerge a greater appreciation of its uniqueness, a deeper understand-</p> <p>X I V</p> <p>P R E F A C E</p> <p>ing of its content, and new solutions to its many textual problems. Some day, archaeologists may even unearth an early edition from the Warring States period that will either conrm our present knowledge or thoroughly surprise us. Until then, it is hoped that readers will experience the same degree of fascination with these strange creatures and their world that I have felt in the process of assembling this volume.</p> <p>P R E F A C E</p> <p>X V</p> <p>Editorial Notes</p> <p>ON THE TRANSLATION For a complete English translation of the Guideways, general readers may wish to consult the recent version by Anne Birrell (1999) despite her highly imaginative rendition of the names of places and things. Another English version by Hsiao-Chieh Cheng et al. (1985) may be useful but is also problematical in many places. Specialist readers will probably prefer the more reliable Italian version by Riccardo Fracasso (1996) or the one in French by Rmi Mathieu (1983). The latter two are sinological in style, however, with all names romanized instead according to the phonology of modern standard Mandarin. While this approach is sucient for the scholar, it presents two problems for nonspecialists. First, almost all Chinese graphs possess one or more meanings, and the natural tendency when reading is to register their signicant references as much as possible in addition to recognizing their sounds. The names of places and things in the Guideways can be seen to fall into three categories: those that convey fairly comprehensible meanings that can often be related to the accompanying descriptions; those that register an ambiguous meaning or multiple meanings that may or may not be related to the descriptions; and those that cannot be understood with any certainty even if the graphs may function semantically in other contexts. Romanizing the names conveniently avoids the many problems that arise with translation, but, for the Englishlanguage reader, it obscures the native experience of the text by suppressing much of its imagery. Second, it is certain that the original readers and most later ones before the rise of modern standard Mandarin never pronounced these names exactly as they are romanized today due to di erences in historical phonology and dialect variations. The earliest commentator, Guo Pu, already noticed these problems in the early fourth century c.e. and sought to include his own suggestions, but it is not always clear just how accurate or helpful they are. Although the tradition of reading the text takes note of these suggestions in the absence of other aids, it has not yet been possible to loc...</p>