Sub-page of XuanxuanQijing
  • Viciousman: Note: 元 is Yuan (Yun with tones), a Chinese word that means "currency"
    • tderz small correction: 元 yun is simply the monetary unit used in Mainland China; the meaning currency comes with hanzi as:
    • 币 b - money / coins / currency
    • 货币 - hub currency / monetary / money
    • 金钱 - jīnqin money; currency

John F. No. I'm afraid this is a case of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. No correction is needed. Yuan has other important meanings such as the Yuan dynasty, but the most important point here is that it often (and not incorrectly) appeared as a substitute for xuan when it was necessary to avoid xuan for taboo reasons (when it was part of the name of a current emperor). This occurs in many other contexts. It is valuable information as it helps with dating so should not be suppressed.


tderz: John, please believe me that I fully accept your authority on Asian languages.
However here the mentioning of "cost 30,- , ISBN: 7-81051-429-6 " above the initial comment (which I intended to correct a little bit) did set the context (price, not the historical source).

I believed that the sign 元 (after costs) is as self-explanative as $ or pound would be.
In the given context, the meaning Currency would thus be wrong IMO, as it would claim to cover the genus currency, yet here it seems to specify only Chinese currency unit.

Also I found this linguistic entry not so relevant for the description of the book, therefore I moved it to discussion here.

I underwrite your statement a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
I estimate myself a quite realistic person - of course that's at the same time subjective - AND I know my limitations concerning Chinese. (It's limited mainly to the remainders of a 3 months stay with medium level course in China 13 years ago. This means writing: gone; reading: mainly gone; many grammatical expressions mainly gone; I still succeed in communicating orally, e.g. by phone and I hear the language everyday spoken at home. My almost 8 year old son can write more than me, my 6 year old daughter will do so in a year. Still I cherish the thought to find (and use) the time (again) to learn Chinese, become 4 dan (then 5 dan) and so on...)

That's why I usually have usually no incentive to enter quarrels or discussion which deal with egos & opinions (not you) and could end either way. I am still convinced that I was correct in what I wrote about the genus currency 货币 and the species 'Chinese currency unit' 元, no matter how unimportant the question actually is. I never wrote or meant that a certain Chinese character is limited to one meaning only.

Perhaps I should withdraw from making comments or attempts of corrections, inspite that I make them in bona fide attitude.

John F. I'm sorry I didn't realise that currency was the topic, but it's an odd coincidence that the yuan/xuan alternation is commonly discussed re this book, so it's useful to have a note on it anyway. Let's call it serendipity!

Pinyin transcription of book title

Question to JohnF.: Does correct pinyin actually allow for capital starting letters?
In above example - Xunxun Qjīng - XXQJ is certainly a nom propre, thus allowed to have one capital letter.

  • Xunxun qjīng

However, are there firm rules for combining the four syllables with each other and the second capital letter?

  • Xunxun Qjīng
  • Xunxunqjīng etc.etc.

On GoGod XuanxuanQijing#20 you (JohnF.) write the Title as Xuan Xuan QiJing?, thus in 3 words.

After all these are not established expressions, hence could it also be interpreted as one concept defined by all4 syllables together?
I myself prefer of course - due to my Western background the split-up into smaller units comprising two capital letters (as in the CJK box above).

This and JohnF.'s possible reply could afterwards be moved to Pinyin.

John F. I'm no expert on any of the pinyins, though I have dealt with someone who was and she took them very seriously - not surprisingly since it had to do with maps (e.g. do you write Jinan or Ji-nan or Jin'an - I can't remember the right answer). I just make it up as I go along. I'm afraid, and I also confess to finding it a bit precious when people add the tones (what does this add for someone who knows no Chinese, and the marks often don't actually present the real pronunciation anyway because of tone sandhi etc) Fine in a dictionary, but not in ordinary text.

As to this particular case, I suspect a Chinese person would write it all as one word, for reasons of prosody (and probably also under the official rules for word splitting in pinyinised Chinese, though I know of no-one in the west who uses these - but capitals are definitely allowed). We, however, are used to word splitting under different concepts, and I would be inclined to say that it would normally be best as two words. Xuanxuan is not really a word but keeping it intact is perhaps a way of underlining that it is a quotation. Qijing is definitely classable as a word, even if it only applies to a very few books. A jing is a classic in the sense that it provides the warp (as the character shows) and any commentaries, revisions, summaries are seen as the weft so as to produce a complete fabric. This book certainly qualifies for the name, and in that sense I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the name Gateway to All Marvels. Although I think that is a good way of capturing the allusion to Lao Zi (and I'm sure it's better than anything involving mysterious), it's disappointing not to have the word Classic in there somewhere.

I'd like to register a disclaimer to Footnote 20 below. I can't believe I used Mystery of the Mysterious (and if I did I'd want to change it!) but more importantly I have not put the entire text on the GoGoD CD. I have certainly translated it all and added extensive notes to explain all the names, but only a very small portion has been published. It was planned for Yutopian, but as next to nobody buys go books any more thanks to the internet, it wasn't worth the effort of formatting it.

tderz Thank you for the extensive answer, JohnF. Pinyin is important for me as memory support, as I know a bit Chinese, but far from all characters and often I know the meaning, but are off with the tones. I think it does not disturb people who are not used to pinyin.

Yes, I saw a website w.r.t. Pinyin and roadsigns in different Sino-Asian countries which showed many different combinations.
Concerning money and internet: since more than a year I want to buy a new CD as mylast GoGoD is from 2003, but I also want to claim my Euro 5,- credit from my last overpayment out of principle, due to my misunderstanding pound/euro etc. and I found the proving e-mail, hence I will re-order soon (must find the time)
For the incredible work you did for Go community (interested in Go history) I would like to thank you, thus I will re-order GoGoD more frequently from now on. (penultimate order was in 1999, I think)

How to purchase a copy... and which one?

Floris: Does anyone know where you can purchase a copy? I'd really like to own this book.

Niklaus: You can find the problems online, for example [ext] here, but I guess you're after a real dead tree book. I tried finding it at [ext] http://dangdang.com, the biggest chinese online bookstore, but couldn't find it there. A google search turned up an ISBN number (7-80511-757-8), a publisher (shanghai wenhua 上海文化), and a price (28 元, which would be about 4 Euro) but I didn't find a way to order anything from that site, and it's doubtful they would ship to Europe anyway...

John F. You are entering murky waters as there are many versions. You can buy a copy of the original Japanese edition of 1642 for 500,000 yen, but it only has 166 problems. Modern Japanese editions mostly follow this. The best modern version, because it had 347 problems (but omitted other things), was a Korean one, but it is long out of print and the publisher has folded. (Actually they called themselves after this book!)

I'm not 100% up on Chinese editions, but the ones I have are far from complete collections. However, the benefit of these, as of the modern Japanese editions, is that the pros have corrected the faulty solutions (there aren't too many of them, but if you don't know which they are, you are forever wondering about _all_ the problems. (The Korean edition, which is the basis of the online problems, is uncorrected).

So you have to decide whether you are a collector or you just want the problems. If the latter, bear in mind that most of the problems turn up elsewhere, though usually without the names.

On this latter point, in case anyone misapprehends, I started putting the named problems on the MSO site, and now on the GoGoD CD. But the explanations of the names are not in the original - they come from me. I have always planned to put the rest of the problems and explanations on CD updates, because I've done all the hard work as regards the text. But I find making the diagrams too boring, and with many other things to do I haven't got round to it.

kokiri: Here are some links to the amazon.co.jp site- [ext] http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/250-6986847-3089811 to a search for the book, and [ext] http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4381071417/qid=1075113174/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_8_3/250-6986847-3089811 for one example.

If the links don't work, you can cut and paste 玄玄 碁経 into amazon.co.jp.

I've never tried ordering through amazon but there must be someone on SL who has.

Description of how to use amazon.co.jp is toward the bottom of GoBooks/Discussion

I own a couple of the other books (the Igo Hatsuyoron and the Gokyo Shumyo) in the same series as the book in the second link. They're nicely turned out books about half A4 or so, with an introduction by Hashimoto Utaro (IIRC), a scan of the introduction to a historic edition and a modern translation of it. They are in the format of questions on one page and the answers overleaf with 4 questions per page and a couple of diagrams for each answer.

In my opinion though, the books are more value to me for their historical interest than as practical manuals. Maybe I'm not strong enough (a lot of the problems are really hard) but I think that the layout gives the book less of an exam feel that I get with some other Tsumego books. I'm rambling a bit, but my point is really that I don't study these books the way I do some tsumego books - I'm more likely to open one up and spend a while contemplating a few problems and their solutions when I want to relax than try to drill them at all. That said, Utaro writes in one of the intros something along the lines of these problems being the ones that he and other pros have grown up with, studying again and again as children and upwards so maybe I'm just not strong enough to really gain from them. in short, if you're looking for a serious study manual, Floris, I'd see what some of the 3 dans think first.

Floris: Don't worry, i've already been studying the online version with uligo. Except I'd rather study from a book then from my computer.

Velirun: The uligo version is all well and good, but sadly, it does not have many variations. For a work like this, the more variation the better.

Floris - if you know someone who can read Japanese, you can order from either Amazon.co.jp at the link supplied above. Alternately, you could use [ext] http://www.fujisan.com, but I don't think you can order without using the Japanese interface, sadly. I just ordered my copies of gengen gokyo and gokyo shumyo there, totalled $55 after shipping. Hope this helps!

Velirun: Or even better, you can get a four-volume Korean set for $25 US - [ext] http://www.yclwaller.com. If only I'd found this a month ago...

maruseru: The Schaak en Gowinkel het Paard carries it.

Feylias: The 347 SGF for these problems are also included in the shareware software "Go Grinder."

Ben: Can anyone please further comment on what is on the latest (Summer '08) version of GoGoD with regards to the XXQJ? A translation of the text? An SGF database of the problems? Comments by the authors on the problems and solutions of all or only some of the problems? etc... any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Online Versions

  • Malcolm: Both of these (online versions) are great! One can print out one page at a time, and take it with you when commuting, for city-dwelling wage slaves like myself.
    • The sgf file is a very useful resource. However it mostly only gives the main line of the solution. This leaves a lot of work for the reader in some cases. For instance, in [ext] problem number 78 the sgf gives a variation where Black makes unconditional life. It seems to me there also is a line in which White makes a (very risky) ko. White may prefer this solution in some cases. More details [ext] here.
      • tderz: only gives the main line of the solution. This leaves a lot of work for the reader in some cases. Malcom, this is standard in TsumeGo! You see a tip of an iceberg (the solution) and the 89% below is very important.
      • Malcolm: Is it standard? I have a japanese book of Dan-level tsumego, and each problem gets three solution diagrams (solution, variation, mistake). Some of the harder ones get more. I think it's nice to have lots of detail in solutions - it really can help.

Original printing

frogola: Did China have printing technology in 1347? Or were the copies handmade?

Anonymous As early as the 9th century CE China used woodblock printing for books. This book would have come in stitched binding (xian zhuang) or codex format.

XuanxuanQijing/discussion last edited by on August 13, 2014 - 04:14
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