Fires Exploding Pearls!

David Leffman woodblock, Woodblock print Leave a Comment

Here’s a print of Zhao Gongming (趙公明) on his tiger, holding a gold ingot and his magical sword breaker, which fires out explosive “sea-smoothing” pearls. In the sixteenth-century novel Creation of the Gods, Zhao is a general from Mount Emei in Sichuan province, who fights for the corrupt and crumbling Shang dynasty. After being killed by the Daoist Jiang Ziya, …

Rank Badge Beasts

David Leffman Uncategorized Leave a Comment

This hand-coloured Chinese woodblock print from Yangliuqing, a famous craft centre outside of Tianjin city in northern China, came up recently at auction. The title, wenjing wuwei (文經武緯) literally means “civil warp, military woof” – the idea that civil and military departments should work closely together to govern the country. In reality, civil officials, who were only appointed after years …