Sancai Tuhui Xuji
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Sancai Tuhui Xuji
Continuation Volume for Assembled Pictures of the Three Realms 1
Illustration: thumb techniques 2    
The original Sancai Tuhui,3 "Assembled Pictures of the Three Realms, i.e., Heaven, Earth and Man..., brings together maps of areas, drawings of buildings, schemata of compounds and cities, sketches of items of everyday use, and portraits of important historical personages".4 It was compiled in 106 folios by Wang Qi (fl. 1565-1614).5

The present selection comes from the third section, Affairs of Man. In all the section has 鼓琴圖 Illustrations for playing qin, 象戲圖 Illustrations for playing chess (xiangqi), and 打馬圖 Illustrations for playing a game like dominoes.

For qin play Sancai Tuhui Xuji has the following:

  1. A hand diagram (VI/463)
  2. 33 diagrams for finger techniques (VI/463)
  3. Several more sections on finger techniques (VI/472)
  4. Modal preludes; the tablature and lyrics are the same as in Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585)
        Gong Yi (VI/474; see 1585, IV/304)
        Shang Yi (VI/474; see 1585, IV/357)
        Jiao Yi (VI/474; see 1585, IV/412)
        Shangjiao Yi (VI/475; see 1585, IV/419)
        Zhi Yi (VI/475; see 1585, IV/438)
        Yu Yi (VI/475; see 1585, IV/463)

See also the Complete Collection of Pictures and Books of Old and Modern Times (古今圖書集成 Gujin Tushu Jicheng) for other illustrations on this site. "The largest encyclopaedia of premodern China, it has a total length of 10,000 juan and was compiled on imperial order of the Kangxi Emperor 康熙帝 (r. 1661-1722) between the years 1701 and 1706" (

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Sancai Tuhui Xuji 三才圖會續集 (QQJC VI/463-476)
See Sancai Tuhui below.

2. Images
This illustration shows both 擘 (bo) the thumb plucking out and 托 (tuo) the thumb plucking in. It is distinctive from most other such illustrations is that it has the hand and the representational image (鶴鳴 a crane calling out) within the same diagram. Compare, e.g., Taiyin Daquanji, Folio 3.

3. Sancai Tuhui 三才圖會 (Wiki)
106 folios. 10.127. With its date given as 1607, it is not clear to me how the Xuji Continuation differs from it.

4. The quote is from ICTCL, p.528.

5. 王圻 Wang Qi (fl. 1565-1614)
He is also credited with a Chuncao Xianfang Qinpu.

Return to the annotated handbook list or to the Guqin ToC.