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Chinese Literature
Sanshiliuji 三十六計 "The Thirty-Six Stratagems"

The Sanshiliuji 三十六計 "Thirty-six stratagems" is a military primer of obscure origin. The whole book is divided into six parts, each part including six stratagems. Each stratagem is designated with a four-character headline (those of the last part only three characters), giving it the character of a proverb. This fact contributed to the popularity of the Sanshiliu ji, inspite of its quasi non-canonical status. The stratagems are formulated in a very concise and oversimplified way and seem to be compiled on the base of daily used proverbs with universal validity, mixed with cryptic statements. A lot of examples are derived from statements in the divinatory classic Yijing 易經, others quote examples from history.
There are no traditional prints included in any scholarly collection of writings. There is a print by the Jiefangjun zhengzhi xueyuan tushu ziliao guan 解放軍政治學院圖書資料館 from 1962 with the title Sanshiliu ji xinbian 三十六計新編. In 1981 the Zhanshi press 戰士出版社 published another edition with the same title.

Sources: Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed., 1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典, p. 20. Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe.
Liu Qing 劉慶 (1996). "Sanshiliu ji 三十六計", in: Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典, ed. by Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, p. 420. Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe.
Yang Qingwang 楊慶旺, Ha Hua 哈鏵 (1987). Zhongguo jinshu zhishi cidian 中國軍事知識辭典, p. 30. Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe.

1. 勝戰計 Shengzhanji Stratagems of battles won
2. 敵戰計 Dizhanji Stratagems of indecisive battles
3. 攻戰計 Gongzhanji Stratagems of offensive battles
4. 混戰計 Hunzhanji Stratagems of multiple party battles
5. 並戰計 Bingzhanji Stratagems of unification and annection battles
6. 敗戰計 Baizhanji Stratagems of battles lost
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 18, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail