The Canon of Reason and Virtue

The Canon of Reason and Virtue

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus

From the Foreword: ‘This booklet, The Canon of Reason and Virtue, is an extract from the author’s larger work, Lao-Tze’s Tao Teh King, and has been published for the purpose of making our reading public more familiar with that grand and imposing figure Li Er, who was honored with the posthumous title Poh-Yang, i. e., Prince Positive (representing the male or strong principle); but whom his countrymen…

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Myths and Legends of China

Myths and Legends of China

Edward T.C. Werner

This is the Chinese volume in the Myths and Legends series, e.g. Babylonia, British, and Celtic. The author consulted mostly Chinese sources to splice together this broad look at Chinese traditional folklore, related to all three of the main Chinese religions, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Werner covers such topics as the evolution of Chinese cosmology, and the enormous pantheon of native Chinese Gods…

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Kung-Fu, or Tauist Medical Gymnastics

John Dudgeon

Fully illustrated. This is an extremely rare 19th century treatise on Chinese medicine, particularly the practices of the Kung Fu school. Although best known for a fighting style, Kung Fu includes a whole range of medical practices based on late Taoist alchemy. Dudgeon describes the use of yoga-like postures, movements similar to Tai Chi…

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China and the Manchus

China and the Manchus

Herbert A. Giles

China and the Manchus by Herbert A. Giles was first published as part of the Cambridge Manuals of Science and Literature series. The volume presents a historical account of the Manchu people and the Qing Dynasty.

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Chinese Occultism

Chinese Occultism

Paul Carus

This is an extended excerpt from a collection of essays by Paul Carus on Chinese topics. Carus discusses the I Ching and other methods of divination, the five Chinese elements (water, fire, wood, metal and earth); the Chinese Zodiac, Fung-shui, the Lo-pan, the Chinese invention of the magnetic compass, and the personification of constellations. He gives ancient near eastern parallels, and proposes…

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Yin Chih Wen, The Tract of the Quiet Way

Yin Chih Wen, The Tract of the Quiet Way

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus

From the Introduction: ‘THE Yin Chih Wen is a religio-ethical tract, which, in spite of its popularity all over the Middle Kingdom, has not as yet, so far as we know, been translated into any Western language. Next to the Kan-Ying P’ien it is read and studied and taught both in schools and at the home, and there is probably no family in China without it; but its contents are very little known in the. Western world…

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Symbolism in Chinese Art

Symbolism in Chinese Art

W. Perceval Yetts

“One of the most distinctive and striking features of Chinese Art is the symbolic character of its expression. From the earliest times the Chinese artist his exerted his skill with the intention of producing not merely objects pleasing to the eye, but at the same time emblems conveying a definite meaning.”

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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion

The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion

C. Spurgeon Medhurst

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of translations of the Tao te Ching, the root sacred text of Taoism, one of the three traditional religions of China. This one, written by an ex-missionary who appears to have had Theosophical leanings, includes extensive notes on similarities with other religions, primarily Christianity, but also Buddhism and Hinduism. This gives a new way of looking at this multi-faceted text…

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The Religion of the Samurai

The Religion of the Samurai

Kaiten Nukariya

Kaiten Nukariya’s 1913 Religion of the Samurai focuses on Northern (Mahayana) Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism in particular. This short book contains a wealth of detail, as well as very lucid explanations of seemingly elusive Zen Buddhist concepts. It includes a text on the ‘Origin of Man’ by Kwei Fung Tsung Mih, a notable Chinese scholar who was the seventh Patriarch of the Kegon sect. With extensive footnotes.

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A Description of the Empire of China, Volume 2

A Description of the Empire of China, Volume 2

J. B. Du Halde

This is Volume 2 of 2. ‘A description of the empire of China and Chinese-Tartary: together with the kingdoms of Korea, and Tibet: containing the geography and history (natural as well as civil) of those countries. Enrich’d with general and particular maps, and adorned with a great number of cuts.’

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A Description of the Empire of China, Volume 1

A Description of the Empire of China, Volume 1

J. B. Du Halde

‘A description of the empire of China and Chinese-Tartary: together with the kingdoms of Korea, and Tibet: containing the geography and history (natural as well as civil) of those countries. Enrich’d with general and particular maps, and adorned with a great number of cuts.’ This book is quite large in size (123MB), but contains a wealth of information, so well worth downloading if you are able.

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Some Chinese Ghosts

Some Chinese Ghosts

Lafcadio Hearn

This book was published before the author went to live in Japan and he admits, in his notes at the end of the book, to basing these stories on translations of Chinese tales by early Orientalists. So maybe not as informed as Hearns later books, but still an enjoyable read. The stories are: The Soul of the Great Bell; The Story of Ming-Y; The Legend of Tchi-Niu; The Return of Yen-Tchin-King; The Tradition of the Tea-Plant; and…

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