An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Shuishi 水飾

Oct 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Shuishi 水飾 "Adornments on the waters" is a collection of stories attributed to the Sui period 隋 (581-618) scholar Du Bao 杜寶. It is listed in the in the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 of teh official dynastic history Suishu 隋書, but no author is mentioned. A sentence quoted in the encyclopedia Taiping guangji 太平廣記 says that Du Bao compiled a book called Shuishi tujing 水飾圖經, with a length of 15 juan "scrolls". It seems that the book Daye shiyi ji 大業拾遺記 described the Shuishi as a collection of 72 stories that were illustrated. The content ranged from the creation of the hexagrams by Fu Xi 伏犧 to the First Emperor's 秦始皇帝 (r. 246-210 BCE) search for the herb of immortality on an island in the Eastern Sea, to the historical person Liu Bei 劉備 crossing a ford of the Tanxi Creek 檀溪 and Qu Xuan's 屈原 suicide in the River Miluo 汨羅. The term shuishi means carved decorations on boats that were enriched with incrustations of gold or jade.
Fragments of the Shuishi are included in Ma Guohan's 馬國翰 reprint series Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書 from the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), and in Lu Xun's 魯迅 collection Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉.

Zheng Yunbo 鄭雲波 (ed. 1992). Zhongguo gudai xiaoshuo cidian 中國古代小說辭典, Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, p. 8.<