Posted On:8/17/2010 11:48pm
Style: Cheng Man Ching Taijiquan
PART 4: The San Feng Scholars
It is rather unfortunate that I was unable to obtain original texts for this section. However, it is my hope that in the near future such an opportunity will present itself. (Currently a poster offered his assistance in obtaining some of the original texts. Hopefully he will be able to.) For now, we will have to be content with a simple copy of a translation. In the case of Ren Ziyuan’s writing, I was unable to obtain any translation at all. However, we do have the rough information his writings conveyed, and for now must be content with that as well. In the case of Lang Ying, it is not clear where the exherpt comes from. Lang was known for collecting Ming Dynasty artifacts and works of art, and taking extensive notes on the subject. Unfortunately, he was not known for citing his sources. As such, we have what appears to be a transcript of origins uncertain, and therefore must be equally cautious of jumping to conclusions.
I would like to present to you, the four primary scholars which in my humble opinion, are directly responsible for both the propagation of the “Zhang San Feng” mythos, and (in most cases unwittingly) the shaping of the notion of “internal” martial arts. They are, in chronological order, Ren Ziyuan (任自垣,) Lang Ying (郎瑛,) Zhang Tingyu (张廷玉,) and Huang Tsung-hsi (黃宗羲.) The San Feng Scholars, as I like to think of them, have either written or compiled official documents which paint for us a detailed picture of Zhang San Feng, with the last scholar, Huang Tsung-hsi, linking the Taoist sage to martial arts for the first time in history.
The texts in question are: Ren Ziyuan’s Dayue Taihe Shanzhi (Gazette of Sacred Mountain of Great Harmony, 大岳太和山志) which provides the very first historical description of the Taoist Zhang San Feng; Lang Ying’s Ch’i-hsiu lei-kao (七修類稿) which offers another apparent eyewitness account written long after the actual events seemingly took place; Zhang Tingyu’s Ming shi (明史,) the Qing Dynasty’s records of the Ming Dynasty which in turn use the Ming shi lu (明實錄) as its source; and finally Huang Tsung-hsi’s famous Epitaph of Wang Cheng-nan, arguably the most researched, referenced, and debated document in recent martial arts history. This document is the first to suggest the existence of an “Internal school,” compare Shaolin to “hard,” or “external” methodology, and link Zhang San Feng to martial arts.
In this section, I will present each scholar's background, a rough translation of his work, and a brief analysis of each.
Kama Sutra blue belt.
Originally Posted by Emevas
I used to **** guys like you in prison.
Originally Posted by Rock Ape
Dude I kill people for a fucking living.
Posted On:8/18/2010 1:12pm
k sri, I got your list! I'll added all of those to the hunt and ask around, especially ask my wushu class teacher about getting ahold of copies of them, would getting them in hanzi be fine if I can't get translations? As Tang Hao's books are hard enough to find as is but I should be able to get the traditional hanzi version if nothing else
Posted On:8/18/2010 1:48pm
Comrade, Hanzi should be fine.
As I said, worst case scenario, I will get the translation done state-side.
Again, my sincerest appreciation for your assistance.
Posted On:8/18/2010 10:54pm
The name Ren Ziyuan(任自垣)should strike a note with scholars of the Ming Dynasty and Taoism alike. It was Ren Ziyuan who was present during one of the greatest moments of Taoist history, having been appointed the General Intendant of Mt. Wudang during its reconstruction. (Chinese Culture, Kohn, 246) It was Ren Ziyuan who was tasked with compiling the Ming Dynasty Taoist Canon, which is the source of the vast majority of Taoist texts available to us today. (Chinese Culture, Kohn, 174) It is also from Ren Ziyuan that we get our first available record of a Zhang San Feng, via his , Dayue Taihe Shanzhi (Gazette of Sacred Mountain of Great Harmony, 大岳太和山志.) (Daoism Handbook, Kohn, 93)
Ren began his Taoist studies at Wanning gong (Monastery of 10,000 quietitude, 萬寧宮,) on Maoshan. (Daoism Handbook, Kohn, 598) In the year of 1411, he was appointed to an office with the Daolu si. At this time, he, along with Hu Ying, was ordered by the Yongle Emperor to look for the Taoist Immortal Zhang San Feng. Upon his return in 1413, he was recommended by Zhang Yuqing (the 44th Celestial Master) to become head of all Wudang Temples, a position he held for 15 years. It was during this time that his gazette was compiled. In 1419, he was again summoned to court. This time, he was ordered to compile a new Taoist Canon, the previous one having been burned during the Yuan Dynasty. (Daoism Handbook, Kohn, 598)
It should also be noted that Ren’s writing makes the claim that the earlier Hongwu Emperor (Tai-tzu) summoned Zhang San Feng to court. However, none of Hongwu’s court records mention such an event anywhere. It should also be noted that the Taoists listed by Ren as Zhang San Feng’s students were long dead at the time of compilation of the Daiyue Taihe Shanzhi, leaving no means to verify or dispute such claims. Furthermore, as stated earlier in section 2.2, the Yongle Emperor (the one who appointed Ren to his current position) was brutal and calculating. To say no to him would almost certainly mean death (See Fang Xiaoru, 方孝孺.) For these reasons, we must take Ren’s records with a large grain of salt.
Once again, I must apologize for lack of original text. It is my sincere hope to update this section at a later point with a transcription and accurate translation of the original. For now, here is the information conveyed via Ren Ziyuan’s Dayue Taihe Shanzhi.
Daoism Handbook, Livia Kohn
Daoism and Chinese Culture, Livia Kohn
Introducing Daoism, Livia Kohn
Religion and Chinese Society, John Lagerway
Posted On:8/18/2010 10:58pm
Publication Period: 1431
Real Name: not stated
Taoist Title: not stated
Native: not stated
Clothing: wore cassock in any weather
Nick Name: not stated
2. big in stature (imposing)
3. body like that of a tortoise and crane (symbol of longevity)
Would not teach when sought for instruction, but would endlessly lecture when asked about the “three teachings.”
4 students/desciples (conveniently dead at the time of Ren’s publication)
Posted On:8/18/2010 11:34pm
In cross-referencing information pertinent to the Ming history and culture, a number of Sinologists turn to the writings of Lang Ying, a noted scholar of the late Ming Dynasty. Described as a prolific author, scholar, bibliophile, as well as a notorious connoisseur of arts, (Asian Studies, 791) Lang Ying was indeed a repository of information on Ming culture, arts, and literature.
Lang began formal studies at a very young age, but had no interest in a career as an official. His passion was directed towards the study of literature so much so, that he spent all his funds purchasing books and objects of art, resulting in considerable drain of his family inheritance. (Asian Studies, 792) Unfortunately apart from Lang’s scholarly activities, very little is known about his personal life. We do know that he devoted his entire career to the study of literature on widely ranging topics. We also know that over his lifetime he had acquired enormous amounts of information which he compiled in his Ch’i-hsu Lei Kao (七修類稿,) first printed in the middle of the Chia-Ching Period (1522-1566.)
Lang was also known for collecting information on local mythology and legends. There were several field-studies which Lang engaged in, in a manner very similar to that of an ethnologist (analyzing the region, distribution, and social structure of the surroundings.) (Cass, 93) In fact, he did several studies of the Shangdong Fox-Faery sightings, which he painstakingly recorded.
However, Lang is not without his critics. One of the major problems present with his Ch’i-hsu Lei Kao, is a complete lack of citation. Some scholars complain about the lack of his organizational structure, the insubstantiality of some of the material, and the fact that Lang was not prone to making his own observations on the material he copied, preferring to copy the remarks of others. These elements combined, have caused scholars to be wary of using the Ch’i-hsu Lei Kao as a solid source of information. (Asian Studies, 792)
Black Belt Magazine, Sep. 1964, The Origin of T’ai-Chi Ch’uan, William C C Hu
Dictionary of Ming Biography, Asian Studies
Dangerous Women: Warriors, Grannies, and Geishas of the Ming, Victoria Baldwin Cass
Out of the Margins: The Rise of Chinese Vernacular Fiction, Liangyan Ge
The Eternal Present of the Past: Illustration, Theatre, and Reading of the Wan Li Period, Li-Ling, Hsiao
What are the Animals To Us? Approach From Science, Religion, Folklore, Literature and Art, David Aftandillan, David Scofield Wilson
Posted On:8/18/2010 11:40pm
Black Belt Magazine, The Origin of T’ai-Chi Ch’uan, William C. C. Hu
P.21Exherpt from Ch’I Hsiu Lei Kao (七修類稿)
“The immortal Chang’s real name was Chun-pao and was known also by his tzu or style as Ch’uan-i. He styled himself as Hsuan-hsuan. His contemporaries very often called him Chang-La-t’s or ‘dirty Cheng.’ In the third year of the Tien-shun (1459), he visited the Emperor. I saw him then. His beard, whiskers and the hair on his temples were ball and bristling. He curled his hair in a ball on top of his head; his back was stooped. A swarthy complexion and a large stomach. He was led by a servant. The Emperor granted him a title of honour, conferring upon him the title T’ung-wei’hsien’hua chen-jen, or ‘the spiritual man who understands the power of the occult.’”
Ch’i-hsu Lei Kao (七修類稿)Synopsis
Publication Period: ~between1522-1566
Real Name: Chuan-pao
Taoist Title: Ch’uan-I
Native: not stated
Clothing: not stated
Nick Name: Dirty Chang
2. bristling whiskers
3. swarthy complexion
4. large stomach
Posted On:8/18/2010 11:57pm
There is very little mystery or ambiguity present in the history of Zhang Tingyu. He was born in Tongcheng, Anhui Province, became a noteworthy official, and was known to have compiled numerous scripts and dictionaries for the Qing Court. (Yong, Peng, 333) By request of the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Zhang served as editor-in chief for the Ming-shih (明史,) the records of the Ming Dynasty, which consisted of various court records and documents collected and compiled from an earlier Ming-shih Lu (明實錄</SPAN>,) or Ming Veritable Records.The Ming-shih material on Zhang San Feng in this instance, can be seen as a copy of a previous record, and should not be used as a validating source of it’s own.
Posted On:8/18/2010 11:58pm
Black Belt Magazine, The Origin of T’ai-Chi Ch’uan, William C. C. Hu
P.20-21Exherpt from Ming-shih(明史)
“Chang San Feng is a native of I-Chou in the Liao-tung peninsular. His real name is Ch’uan-I, while he is also called Chun-pao. He was tall and had an imposing appearance. He bore the classical signs of longevity which were the elements of the tortoise and the crane. He had large ears and round eyes. His beard bristled with fury, like the blade of a halberd. In the winter or in the summer, he wore only a single garment and a matted hat. He either ate a great deal or else he would go for days without any food He could travel very rapidly as to go many miles in a single day. He was very virtuous and often laughed and giggled, that no one who was near him could remain melancholic. He often visited the Wu-tang mountains with his disciples. There he built a grass hut and took residence. In the twenty-fourth year of Hung-wu, the emperor T’ai-tsu heard of his name and ordered messengers who fruitlessly searched for him.”
Publication Period: 1739
Real Name: Ch’uan-I, Chuan-pao
Taoist Title: not stated
Native: I- Chou, Liao-tung peninsular
Clothing: single garment year round, matted hat
Nick Name: Dirty Chang
3. “classical signs of longevity” (tortoise and crane)
4. large ears
5. round eyes
6. bristling beard
1. either ate a lot or went for days without food
2. Traveled rapidly
3. Very virtuous
4. Often laughed and giggled
5. Often visited Wudang, built grass hut
Posted On:8/19/2010 8:06pm
Style: Tai Chi
Glad to see you have started up on this project again. I had a long conversation with Stanley Hemming at a house warming party in May and talked a bit about this. He confirmed that so many of the stories about heroes and martial arts masters, including their names, were often a matter of subtle and not so subtle propaganda.
We had a guy coming to class for a few months who would go from rational conversation to chi balls and aliens building the pyramids in about 3 minutes. He mentioned that it must be possible to walk through walls because bodies of monks were found in walls. I suggested it could as easily been some malcontent being walled up and then his body discovered years later during an earthquake or renovation.
As i said that, i suddenly had this image of some monk saying, "Oh yes, that must be Brother Chou, he was said to be a very holy and powerful man. If you meditate and practice quietly for 30 years instead of pursuing those foolish notions of yours, maybe you can surpass him and walk all the way through a wall." And thus a legend is born and grows turning a trouble maker into an example to keep other troublemakers quiet.
Articles and Reviews
Tools and Info