Sleuthing

When Che Xilun, preeminent Chinese scholar of baojuan (and incredibly kind man, if our email correspondence is anything to go on), compiled his catalogue of baojuan in China, Zhongguo baojuan zongmu 中國寶卷總目, he did so in part by collating previous catalogues into composite entries for each title. Given that his catalogue includes entries for over…Read more Sleuthing

Lord of Thunder, Mother of Lightning

Maybe I've been working with low cost 19th century woodblock editions of books for too long, but the truth is that I love their illustrations, probably much more than virtuoso paintings from the same era. Here, again from the Illustrated Stories of Twenty Four Filial Women , 1872 edition, are the Lord of Thunder (雷公)…Read more Lord of Thunder, Mother of Lightning

Filial modern women buy our towels!

I've included pictures from Yu Zhi's Illustrated Stories of Twenty Four Filial Women here before. Those illustrations come from the 1872 woodblock print edition, available via Google Books*. The University of Chicago library also has two editions of the text, with illustrations purportedly redrawn by none other than Wu Youru, the famous Shanghai lithographic print…Read more Filial modern women buy our towels!

The end of Chinese religion?

After two weeks in Beijing in 2012, I finally realized why I felt the city seemed so lifeless, even as it teemed with millions of people and their very real, full lives. Where were the temples? Where were the markers of a neighborhood like Tudi Gong shrines? Where were the folding tables full of offerings…Read more The end of Chinese religion?

Out in China with Mrs. Archibald Little

Ever since I read Heathen Chinese's post about Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang, I've been waiting for our library to make them available. I loved his American Born Chinese and I anticipate loving these books even more. And now I have them! But I'm saving them as a reward for whenever it is…Read more Out in China with Mrs. Archibald Little

Ningbo, China: The old Chen family home

Gene, his parents, and his mom's cousin are standing at the only remaining back door of the estate Gene's great-uncle had built for his still-expanding family in 1947. For much of her early childhood, Gene's mother lived there with a large pack of cousins. Great-aunt A-tai had sixteen children, thirteen of whom lived to adulthood.…Read more Ningbo, China: The old Chen family home

Ningbo, China: Tianyi ge

Tianyi Ge is the oldest extant library in China. It is also walking distance from Popo's house, which meant that one afternoon, we ventured there despite the chilly rain. The complex is beautiful. Originally built in the mid-16th century, the library then housed over 50,000 volumes. Over the centuries, the collection diminished. By the 20th…Read more Ningbo, China: Tianyi ge