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Soushenji No. 104 translation: Hairy Tortoises and Horned Hares


搜神記:龜毛兔角 (No. 104)

This is a translation and annotation of text No. 104 in 搜神記 (Soushenji – ‘In Search of the Supernatural’), a collection of strange happenings compiled by 干寶 (Gan Bao) in the 4th century C.E.

In order to be useful to people studying the text, this translation aims to be literal and close to the original.

龜毛兔角 (No. 104)
[tortoise] [hair] [rabbit] [horn]
Hairy Tortoises and Horned Hares

商紂之時,
[Shang] [Zhou] ['s] [time]
In the time of King Zhou of Shang,

大龜生毛,
[big] [tortoise] [grow] [hair]
The giant tortoises grew hair,

兔生角,
[rabbit] [grow] [horn]
and the rabbits grew horns;

兵甲將興之象也。
[weapons] [armour] [will] [arise] ['s] [sign] [it is so].
signs that weapons and armour would arise.

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  • nickzi

    I think the correct understanding of 商紂is (King) Zhou of Shang. Zhou was the posthumous name he received from his conqueror King Wu of the Zhou dynasty. He’s better known as Di Xin to scholars of the Shang dynasty.

    • http://eastasiastudent.net 葛脩遠

      Ah yes, so it is. Got it, thanks

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