UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

From entertainment to enlightenment : a study on a cross-cultural religious board game with emphasis… Ngai, May-Ying Mary 2010

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_2011_spring_ngai_may-ying.pdf [ 20.83MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0071581.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0071581-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0071581-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0071581-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0071581-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0071581-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0071581-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0071581-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0071581.ris

Full Text

FROM ENTERTAINMENT TO ENLIGHTENMENT: A STUDY ON A CROSS-CULTURAL RELIGIOUS BOARD GAME WITH AN EMPHASIS ON THE TABLE OF BUDDHA SELECTION DESIGNED BY OUYI ZHIXU OF THE LATE MING DYNASTY     by   May-Ying Mary Ngai     A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   The Faculty of Graduate Studies   (Asian Studies)    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Vancouver)    January 2011    © May-Ying Mary Ngai, 2010 Abstract  ii ABSTRACT    Based on textual sources and folk art works, this dissertation is an interdisciplinary investigation of three primary subject matters: the Chinese Buddhist device called the Xuanfo tu 選佛圖 (Table of Buddha Selection), its designer, Ouyi Zhixu 蕅益智旭 (1599-1655), who was a prominent patriarch of the Pure Land School, and a variety of similar religious devices found outside China.  Since a religious device of this nature is rarely mentioned in any literature of Chinese Buddhism, one chapter is devoted to reconstructing the history of this device, including those embedded with terms of Buddhism as well as of other Chinese religions.  For the same reason of lack of academic study, a historical survey of the game’s secular prototypes, the Shengguan tu 陞官圖 (Table of Bureaucratic Promotion), is also included.  These surveys also contain cultural and political conditions under which this gambling-oriented prototype and its religious counterparts were created.  Against these backgrounds, Xuanfo tu’s game board and its manual, the Xuanfo pu 選佛譜 (Manual of Buddha Selection), are analyzed contextually to help comprehend their contents and Zhixu’s intentions in creation and preaching.  The later chapters continue to trace the cultural journey of the device to other Asian countries — Korea and Japan to the east of China and Tibet, Nepal, India, and Bhutan to the west.  Similar religious devices are found to have been circulating in these areas for centuries.  A comparative study of them yields fascinating insights that enrich our knowledge of the content and audiences of these games, how the game’s layouts help propagandize religious beliefs, and how these teachings relate to the religious practice of the times.  This dissertation 1) demonstrates the roles of the device in spreading Zhixu’s teachings and reputation and generalizing Pure Land teachings during the Ming-Qing dynasties as an example of the Buddhist idea of upāya or expedient means, and 2) attempts to redraw attention to its basic function as a didactical tool and rediscover the otherwise unknown cross-border cultural phenomenon about the adoption of the game that have long been neglected by historians.  Table of Contents  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS    Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………ii  Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………iii  List of Tables………………………………………………………………………………...vi  List of Figures………………………………………………………………………………vii  Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………….xi    1      Introduction………………………………………………………………………..……1     1.1            Game Components………………………………………………………………7          1.1.1            Game board………………………………………………………………...7          1.1.2            Dice……………………………………………………………………….16     1.2            Missionary Life and Contributions of Ouyi Zhixu…………………………….17          1.2.1            The Ninth Patriarch of the Pure Land School…………………………….17          1.2.2            An influential teacher of intellectual leaders and government officials….24     1.3            Outline of the Dissertation……………………………………………………..32  2      Historical Survey of the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion in China……………...39     2.1            Tang Dynasty (618-907)……………………………………………………….39     2.2            Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties…………………………...46     2.3            Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties …………………………62     2.4            Concluding Remarks…………………………………………………………..87  3      Historical Survey of Religious Gambling Games in China…………………………89     3.1            Historical Survey of the Table of Immortal Selection……………………..…..90     3.2            Historical Survey of the Table of Buddha Selection…………………………105   Table of Contents  iv 4      Xuanfo Pu – The Game Manual by Ouyi Zhixu……………................…………...130     4.1            Section One: On the Dharma Represented by the Divination of the Dice…....132     4.2            Section Two: On the Promotion and Demotion of the Positions………....…..143          4.2.1            Contextual pattern……………………………………………….......…..143          4.2.2            The fifteen categories of Buddhist terms………………........…………..147                  4.2.2.1            Original statuses………………………………............….………148                  4.2.2.2            Saṃsāra: the six paths of reincarnation………….......…………..157                  4.2.2.3            The Strengthened Three Learnings………………...........……….162                  4.2.2.4     The Four Doctrines……………………………..............….…….166                  4.2.2.5            The path to the Pure Land of Buddha Amitābha……...............…175                  4.2.2.6            The destination………………………………………..............….177     4.3            Concluding Remarks………………………………………………...………..179  5       Gambling Board Games as Cultural Transmitters of Confucian Bureaucracy and          Buddhist Doctrine in Premodern Korea……….….……………...........…….……181     5.1            Historical Survey of the Promotion Games…………………….........……….183          5.1.1            Joseon dynasty before the late sixteenth-century…………..........………183          5.1.2            Japanese invasion between 1592 and 1598……………………...………199          5.1.3            Joseon dynasty from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries….....…204          5.1.4            Japanese Occupation between 1910 and 1945……………….....……….209     5.2            Game Components and Their Characteristics…………………….......………224          5.2.1            The game board of the bureaucratic Jongjeongdo…………........………224          5.2.2            The Jongjeongdo, Gwageo Examinations, and Yangban ruling class.….228          5.2.3            The generalization and the didactic characteristic of the Jongjeongdo…235          5.2.4            The game board of the Buddhist Seongbuldo………………….....……..239          5.2.5            Dice…………………………………………………………......……….251  6      Gambling Board Games as Cultural Transmitters of Confucian Bureaucracy and         Buddhist Doctrine in Premodern Japan……………………………....……………254     6.1            The Ban-Sugoroku and the E-Sugoroku……………………………...………255     6.2            Bureaucratic Promotion Gambling Games………………….........…………..262     6.3            Daoist and Shintō Versions…………………………………...........…………274 Table of Contents  v     6.4            Buddhist Promotion Games………………….........………………………….283  7      The Buddhist Games in Tibet and Some South Asian Countries……...........…….320     7.1            The Buddhist Salam Namshak in Tibet…………………….......…………….323          7.1.1            Śākya Pandita’s version……………………………………...........…….327          7.1.2            The Nyingma affiliation modern version …………........……………….331          7.1.3            Version discussed in Tsedan Geleh’s study………............……………..338     7.2            Sino-Tibetan Cultural Interactions…………………………........……………349          7.2.1            The establishment of Tibetan Buddhism……………….........………….350          7.2.2            The most active periods of political interactions between China and                              Tibet..........................................................................................................352          7.2.3            Cultural and artistic interactions between Tibet and China…….....…….356     7.3            Buddhist Games in Nepal and Bhutan………………………………….....….362     7.4            Other Karmic Games in India and Nepal……………………….....………….366          7.4.1            Hindu Shivasayujyam and Devisayujyam in India……………..……….366          7.4.2            Gyān Chaupar………………………………………….............……….369          7.4.3            Jain Gyān Chaupar……………………………………..........………….371          7.4.4            Hindu Gyān Chaupar in India………………………..............…………376          7.4.5            Hindu Gyān Chaupar in Nepal: Nāgapāśa……………............………...382          7.4.6            Sufi Islamic Gyān Chaupar in India………………...........……………..384     7.5            Concluding Remarks…………………………………................…………….387  8      Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………394  Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………….410  List of Tables  vi LIST OF TABLES   Table 4.1    Twenty-one statuses in the beginning section of Fashi yindi men………....….149  Table 5.1   Folk entertainment activities in Korea during the latter period of the Japanese                         Occupation……………………………………………………………….....210   List of Figures  vii LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1.1   Shengguan tu…….………………………….……………................……………9 Figure 1.2   Shengguan tu………….…………………….………………………......………10  Figure 1.3   The section of the “Fundamental cause of the initial functioning (of mind)”                         of the Xuanfo tu………………………….…………………………...............12 Figure 1.4   An example of the chushen section of the Shengguan tu….………..............…..14 Figure 1.5   An example of the chushen section of the Shengguan tu….………........………14 Figure 1.6   A die for Buddhist board game…....……………………….……….….....…….17 Figure 2.1   Shuanglu…………………………………………........…….……….………….45 Figure 2.2   A page from the manual of the game Han guan yi……….........…….…………56 Figure 2.3a   An example of the poetic couplets seen in some Qing dynasty Shengguan   tu………...……………………………………………….........……………..73 Figure 2.3b   Another example of the poetic couplets seen in some Qing dynasty   Shengguan tu…….……………………………………………………......….74 Figure 2.4   An example of the preface-like statements in some Qing dynasty                         Shengguan tu…...……………………………………….……………………75 Figure 2.5   A post-imperial Minguo shengguan tu……….………………….....……………86 Figure 2.6   An example of the Minguo shengguan tu with circular game board printed                        in colours………………………………………………………………...........86 Figure 3.1   Hulu wen (Gourd Inquiry)…….…………….…………………………………..99 Figure 3.2   Qiaoming xiaoyao tu (Carefree Table of Bridge Names)……...……………...101 Figure 3.3   Shuihu xuanxian tu (Table of Immortal Selection of the Water Margin)….…..103 Figure 3.4   Danao longgong hulu wen (Gourd Inquiry of Creating a Big Scene in the            Dragon Palace)……...………………………………………………………104 Figure 3.5   Xuanfo tu….…………...………………………………………………………107 Figure 3.6   Yuanrong situ zongxian zhi tu (Table of the General Phenomena of the            Perfect Completeness of the Four [Pure] Lands)…..………………………...119 Figure 3.7   Xifang situ (Four Western Lands)………..……………….…………….……..119 Figure 3.8   Xuanfo tu…..….……………………...…….……………...…………….…….128 Figure 4.1   The mulun or wooden wheel….…...…………………………………….…….134 Figure 4.2   Zhixu’s Xuanfo tu…….……….…………………………………………..……147 Figure 4.3   The detail of the Fashi yindi men on the game board…………………………148 Figure 4.4   The detail of the Fadao liubi men on the game board…………………………157 List of Figures  viii Figure 4.5   The detail of the Sizhong equ men on the game board………………………...158 Figure 4.6   The detail of the Yujie ren tian men on the game board………………………158 Figure 4.7   The detail of the Sewusetian men on the game board………………………....160 Figure 4.8   The detail of the Shengshan miee men on the game board………………...…..161 Figure 4.9   The detail of the Zengshangjie xue men on the game board…………………..162 Figure 4.10   The detail of the Zengshangding xue men on the game board…………...…..163 Figure 4.11   The detail of the Zengshanghui xue men on the game board…………...……164 Figure 4.12   The detail of the Zangjiao weici men on the game board……………….……166 Figure 4.13   The detail of the Tongjiao weici men on the game board……………….……167 Figure 4.14   The detail of the Biejiao weici men on the game board………………...……168 Figure 4.15   The detail of the sub-category of the Shixin on the game board………….….169 Figure 4.16   The detail of the sub-category of the Shizhu on the game board……………..170 Figure 4.17   The detail of the sub-category of the Shixing on the game board……………171 Figure 4.18   The detail of the sub-category of the Shihuixiang on the game board……….171 Figure 4.19   The detail of the sub-category of the Shidi on the game board………………172 Figure 4.20   The detail of the Yuanjiao weici men on the game board………………….…174 Figure 4.21   The detail of the Jingtu hengchao men on the game board……………….….175 Figure 4.22   The detail of the Yuanji guowei men on the game board………………….…177 Figure 5.1   Seunggyeongdo……………………………………………………………..….185 Figure 5.2   Sapan……………………………………………………………………….….186 Figure 5.3   Dongkuk jonggyeongjido………………………………………………………187 Figure 5.4   Yunmok, Yut, or Korean stick dice……......…………………………………....191 Figure 5.5   An example of a Korean Ramseungdo 覽勝圖………………………………..222 Figure 5.6   Seungramdo 勝覽圖………………………………………………………...…223 Figure 5.7b   Detail of Figure 5.7a……………………………………………………….…226 Figure 5.7a   An untitled Jongjeongdo…………………………………………..………….227 Figure 5.8   Seongbuldo in hanja (left; 68.4 x 105.1 cm) and in hangul (right; 62.7 x                      104.2 cm)……...……………………………………………………………243 Figure 5.9   Detail of the Seongbuldo in hanja shown in Figure 5.8…………….…………245 Figure 6.1   The Dashi shuanglu, or Dashi’s Double Sixes…………………...……………258 Figure 6.2   The Riben shuanglu, or Japanese Double Sixes………………….……………258 List of Figures  ix Figure 6.3   The Tango-no-zu-sugoroku 單語の圖壽古呂久 (単語の図寿古呂久;                       Double Sixes of [Japanese] Syllabary)………………………………….…..259 Figure 6.4   Meiji-kanshoku-sugoroku.……………………………………………….…….272 Figure 6.5   Danao shuijinggong (Daidō Suishōkyū)……………………………........……274 Figure 6.6   Sangū-jōkyō-dōchū-ichiran-sugoroku…………………………………………281 Figure 6.7   Senja[fuda]-sankei-shusse-sugoroku…………………………………………..282 Figure 6.8   Shōka-zōshin-no-zu……………………………………………………....…….289 Figure 6.9   Charactered dice for playing Buddhist e-sugoroku……………………………297 Figure 6.10   Jōdo-sugoroku………………………………………………………………..301 Figure 6.11   Muryōjukoku-Jōdo-sugoroku………………………………………………...302 Figure 6.12   An example of a plebeianized Jōdo-sugoroku with an emphasis on                         purgatories…….…………………………………………………………….305 Figure 6.13   An example of a plebeianized Jōdo-sugoroku with an emphasis on   purgatories……………………………………………………………...…..306 Figure 6.14   Zenaku-dōchū-shusse-sugoroku…………………………………………..….308 Figure 6.15   Dou-zenaku-dōchū-furiwake-sugoroku…………………………………...….310 Figure 6.16   Eikokushinpei zukai…………………………………………………………..313 Figure 6.17   Wirusonuji-riidoru-sugoroku………………………………………………...314 Figure 7.1   Salam Namshak in the thangka format……………………………………..…326 Figure 7.2   The alleged prototype of Salam Namshak attributed to Śākya Pandita……….330 Figure 7.3   Salam Namshak in the thangka format executed in the late-Qing dynasty……337 Figure 7.4   Salam Namshak in the thangka format………………………………...………339 Figure 7.5   Map of the Salam Namshak…………………………………………………....346 Figure 7.6   Details of Figure 7.3………………………………………………………..….361 Figure 7.7   A Nepalese version of the Buddhist promotion game……………………..…..364 Figure 7.8   A Bhutanese version of the Buddhist promotion game………………………..366 Figure 7.9   The karmic game of Shivasayujyam board……………………………………367 Figure 7.10   The karmic game of Devisayujyam board…………………...……………….368 Figure 7.11   Detail of a mid-nineteenth-century Jain Gyān Chaupar………..……………374 Figure 7.12   Cosmic Man in a Jain Gyān Chaupar painted on cotton cloth……………….375 Figure 7.13   The Wheel of Life……………………………………………………………375 Figure 7.14   A nineteenth-century Jain Gyān Chaupar on cotton cloth……….…………..376 List of Figures  x Figure 7.15   A mid-nineteenth-century cruciform karmic game board………………...…379 Figure 7.16   An early-nineteenth-century Pahari Kangra style Gyān Chaupar…………...381 Figure 7.17   Nāgapāśa, a Nepalese karmic game……………………………………….…383 Figure 7.18   A 100-square Muslim Gyān Chaupar on paper……………………………...385   Acknowledgements  xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I owe my gratitude to all those people who have made this dissertation possible; my work would not have been accomplished without their support and assistance in many different ways.  My deepest gratitude is to my supervisor, Dr. Jinhua Chen, who helped and encouraged me to select a rarely known subject that a study on it sounded challenging yet potentially full of surprises. He gave me the freedom to explore on my own and, simultaneously, insightful comments and criticisms to examine the subject from different angles. They were thought- provoking and helped me study the subject with various perspectives.  I am also indebted to the members of my dissertation committee, Dr. Daniel Overmyer, Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies, and Dr. Alison Bailey, Director of the Centre of Chinese Research, Institute of Asian Research, whose guidance, support, and encouragement at different stages of my research enabled me to better my work.  My enormous debt of gratitude can hardly be repaid to Dr. Daniel Overmyer, my academic mentor, whom I have known for over a decade since he supervised my Master’s thesis. He has always been there to listen and give great advice and, after he retired, have generously given his time to carefully read, correct, and comment on countless revisions of all the chapters of this dissertation as well as my presentation script for the oral defense.  I am deeply grateful to Dr. Bailey, with whom I had many long discussions on how to express ideas and interpret materials. She not only proofread this dissertation but also provided many stylistic suggestions and substantive challenges to help me clarify my arguments. I am also thankful to her for providing many useful suggestions for my oral defense presentation.  I need to express my gratitude and deep appreciation to the external examiner of my dissertation, Dr. John Kieschnick from the University of Bristol, UK, whose meticulous examination of my dissertation and insightful criticisms were inspirational, informative, and encouraging. I was very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and devoted reviewer like him, who reviewed my work with an exceptional degree of enthusiasm and attention.  I would like to show my gratitude to the members of my oral defense examination committee, Dr. Catherine Swatek of the Department of Asian Studies and Carla Nappi of the Department of History, whose comments and suggestions were very inspiring especially for the potential future developments of my subject. Particularly, I would also like to acknowledge Dr. James Benn from the University of McMaster, a best friend of Dr. Jinhua Chen, whose practical advice and valuable criticisms helped me enhance the background of my subject.  I am grateful too for the support and research assistance from the staffs and librarians of the Asian Library. I need to thank especially Eleanor Yuen, the Branch Head, who has always been eager to answer my requests and provide full support. Thanks also to Jing Liu, the Acknowledgements  xii Chinese Librarian, Shaun Wang, and Phoebe Chow, whose help and patience facilitated my research and enabled me to access to more searchable, electronic resources.  Most importantly, this dissertation would not have been possible without the love and patience of my husband, Yuet Chow. I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude to him, who has been a constant source of concern, support and strength all these years, especially during the months when my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, suffered from pain, and passed away unexpectedly. His care helped me gradually overcome emotional setbacks and finally put my focus back on my study. I am also thankful to him, my computer administrator, who saved me from worrying about viruses, losing data, installing programs, or software application.  I offer my regards and blessings to all of my friends and those whose names I did not mention, but who shared their knowledge and experiences that contributed in any aspect towards the successful completion of this dissertation. I greatly value their assistance and friendship and deeply appreciate their confidence in me.  Lastly, I appreciate the financial support from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Scholarship and the Faculty of Arts Graduate Award that funded parts of the research discussed in this dissertation, which allowed me to concentrate more on my research and writing. 1. Introduction  1 1    INTRODUCTION  Based primarily on textual sources and folk art works, this dissertation is an interdisciplinary investigation of three primary subject matters: the Chinese Buddhist device called the Xuanfo tu 選佛圖 (Table of Buddha Selection), its designer who was a prominent patriarch of the Pure Land School, and a variety of similar religious devices found outside China.  Since a religious device of this nature is rarely mentioned in any literature of Chinese Buddhism, one chapter of this study is devoted to bringing it out of oblivion by reconstructing its history and that of other similar religious products.  In order to give a holistic picture of the prevalence and the variety of these board games, the materials gathered for analysis will focus not only on those games that were embedded with ideas and terms of Buddhism but also on those of other Chinese religions.  In addition, this study aims to fill another gap through providing a historical survey of the game’s secular prototypes, the Shengguan tu 陞官圖 (Table of Bureaucratic Promotion).  This survey attempts to rewrite and supplement the history of this bureaucratic prototype and intends to give a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural and political conditions under which this gambling-oriented prototype and its religious counterparts were created.  Moreover, to complete our understanding of extant Buddhist games in regard to their characteristics and impacts on promoting Buddhist teachings among the players as well as how the players comprehended religion through playing the game, discussions include a general review of the game board of the Xuanfo tu and the personal opinions and experiences of Zhixu 智旭 (1599- 1655; zi Ouyi 蕅益, hao Babu daoren 八不道人), the creator of the only surviving version of this kind of Buddhist game in China.  All these topics constitute the first three main chapters 1. Introduction  2 of the dissertation while the rest of the dissertation, that is, the last three main chapters, trace the cultural journey of the device to other Asian countries, Korea and Japan to the east of China, and Tibet, Nepal, India, and Bhutan to the west.  Similar religious devices are found to have been circulating in these areas for centuries.  Their diversity in design and persistence and extensiveness in circulation can only be described as astonishing.  An examination of the materials I have managed to gather alone demonstrates how wide the range and coverage of the influences of the devices were, which suggests nothing but an otherwise unknown cross- cultural similarity in religious propaganda and communication within these areas.  As the devices in China are the focus of this dissertation and the periods for their emergence are the earliest among all these countries based on sources available to me, the histories and findings of the subjects in China will be taken as the criterion for comparison and analysis in my study. Since the subject matters discussed in this dissertation are comparatively new to many, a considerable effort has been made to analyze primary and secondary sources in different languages to trace the origin and establish the development and influence of the devices in the countries in question.  The cross-referencing of these materials opens new insights into different aspects of the research areas.  For instance, the original name for the secular prototype turns out to be a very helpful clue in dating the introduction of the board games into Korea and Japan.  Cross-referencing also uncovers a Korean source that has not been mentioned in any works by Chinese historians and folklorists but is valuable in representing the popularity of the board games in the late Ming period (1368-1644).  Other noteworthy and interesting findings are yielded by reexamining some frequently cited yet underappreciated materials.  In the case of China, for example, such new findings can enrich 1. Introduction  3 the details of or even rewrite the early development of the secular board game during the Tang dynasty (618-907). The primary sources for both the bureaucratic and religious promotion games in China are comparatively scarce and scattered, so there are only a few research papers on these subjects.  Other than brief mentions of the Daoist variants in some books, there has been almost no detailed study of the religious board games, particularly the Buddhist version designed by Zhixu, except for a brief discussion by Takahashi Junji 高橋順二 in his book, Nihon esugoroku shūsei 日本繪双六集成 (Collection of Japanese Pictorial Double Sixes), published in 19941 and a 2009 presentation paper named “Playing with Karma: A Chinese Buddhist Board Game” by Beverly Foulks,2 who discusses the game based on Zhixu’s own foreword to the game manual.  In regard to those studies of the bureaucratic prototypes, many of them are short essays based on different combinations of information selected from the same group of materials and coming up with similar findings and opinions.3  Most of these works emphasize a few prominent historical figures who had showed interest in the games and outline the same history for the games, considering the bureaucratic prototypes to be the folk products of the Tang-Song era (618-1279) that lasted through the downfall of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), and that some Daoist and gambling versions were popular in the  1 Takahashi Junji 高橋順二, Nihon esugoroku shūsei 日本繪双六集成 [Collection of Japanese Pictorial Double Sixes] (Tokyo: Kashiwa bijutsu shuppan 柏美術出版, 1994) 147-148. 2 This paper was presented at the North American Graduate Student Conference in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, April 18, 2009. 3 In fact, according to Lai Jianming 賴建銘, early around 1929, a Cantonese called Xie Baoqiao 謝保樵 (fl. 1920s-1930s) had already earned his doctoral degree at Columbia University by analyzing the development of the bureaucratic systems of the Ming and Qing dynasties based on his favourite plaything, the Shengguan tu. He was said to have taught and amused his classmates and even professors with this game; after graduation, he served as a diplomatic officer for a period of time.  Unfortunately, since Lai’s article is in Chinese, I have difficulty locating this dissertation, the probable first ever academic research work on the Shengguan tu, for my study here.  For details, see Lai Jianming, “Shengguan tu za hua 陞官圖雜話 [Trivial Talks about the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion],” Wenshi huikan 文史薈刊 1 (June, 1959) 71. 1. Introduction  4 Qing and even had been played by members of the imperial family.  Papers published early in the 1930s have already demonstrated such approaches; the “Tan shengguan tu 談陞官圖 (On the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion)” by Li Zhenggong 李正躬 in 1934 and the “Shoukanzu o kataru 陞官圖を語る (On the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion)” by Wu Shouli 吳守禮 in 1935 are two examples.4  After their attempts, the subjects fell into oblivion for several decades until recently when they began to attract attention once again.  However, a large portion of these later publications prefers summarizing information to working more on the new details of the history or the content.  The tendency is particularly obvious in those books with a general overview of a larger topic.  Examples can be seen in the 1990 book, Zhonghua chuantong youxi daquan 中華傳統遊戲大全 (Complete Collection of Chinese Traditional Games) by Ma Guojun 麻國鈞 and Ma Shuyun 麻淑雲; the 1993 book, Caiquan, boxi, duiwu: Zhongguo minjian youxi dubo huodong 猜拳‧博戲‧對舞: 中國民間遊戲賭 博活動 (Finger-Guessing Games, Gambling Games, Pair Dances: Chinese Folk Games and Gambling Activities) by Wang Dingzhang 王定璋; and the 1994 work entitled Zhongguo gudai dubo xisu 中國古代賭博習俗 (Gambling Customs in Ancient China) by Luo Xinben 羅新本 and Xu Rongsheng 許蓉生.5  Nevertheless, a handful of them still manage to discuss  4 See Li Zhenggong 李正躬, “Tan shengguan tu 談陞官圖 [On the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion],” Taibai 太白半月刊 1: 8 (1934) 414-415; and Wu Shouli 吳守禮, “Shoukanzu o kataru 陞官圖を語る [On the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion],” Nanpo dozoku: the Ethnographical Journal of South-East Asia and Formosa 南方 土俗 3: 3 (March, 1935) 37-46. 5 Ma Guojun 麻國鈞 and Ma Shuyun 麻淑雲, Zhonghua chuantong youxi daquan 中華傳統遊戲大全 [Complete Collection of Chinese Traditional Games] (Beijing: Nongcun duwu chubanshe 農村讀物出版社, 1990); Wang Dingzhang 王定璋, Caiquan, boxi, duiwu: Zhongguo minjian youxi dubo huodong 猜拳‧博戲‧ 對舞: 中國民間遊戲賭博活動 [Finger-Guessing Games, Gambling Games, Pair Dances: Chinese Folk Games and Gambling Activities] (Chengdu: Sichuan renmin chubanshe 四川人民出版社, 1993); and Luo Xinben 羅 新本 and Xu Rongsheng 許蓉生, Zhongguo gudai dubo xisu 中國古代賭博習俗 [Gambling Customs in Ancient China] (Shanxi Province: Shanxi renmin chubanshe 陝西人民出版社, 1994). 1. Introduction  5 the subjects with different approaches or to provide some new information by describing or analyzing the contents of various versions that were available to the authors, such as “Wei bei shidai taotai de shengguan tu 未被時代淘汰的陞官圖 (The Table of Bureaucratic Promotion that Has Not Been Eliminated by the Times)” by Lu Yan 魯言 in 1978, “ ‘Lidai Zhiguan biao’ yu ‘Shengguan tu’《歷代職官表》與《陞官圖》(“Table of the Government Official of Past Dynasties” and “Table of Bureaucratic Promotion”)” by Zhou Shao 周劭 in 1995, and “The Chinese Game of Shengguan tu” by Carole Morgan in 2004.6  Among all these studies, the most informative and comprehensive research has been done by Song Bingren 宋秉仁 in 2005 in “Shengguan tu youxi yange kao 陞官圖遊戲沿革考 (On the History and Development of the Game of the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion),” in which the author succeeds in tracing the history of the bureaucratic games in great detail and in collecting a considerable quantity of game boards with varied pattern designs and official systems.7 Similar to the general views of Chinese historians toward the games, the approach of many primary sources and modern research papers on the devices circulated in other Asian countries mentioned above is basically to present them artistically and ethnologically as a form of gambling game or folk art with religious, bureaucratic, or scenic spot themes. Sources of this type that are cited in this dissertation include a nineteenth-century text,  6 See Lu Yan 魯言, “Wei bei shidai taotai de shengguan tu 未被時代淘汰的陞官圖 [The Table of Bureaucratic Promotion that Has Not Been Eliminated by the Times],” Xianggang dubo shi 香港賭博史 [History of Gambling in Hong Kong] (Hong Kong: Guangjiaojing chubanshe 廣角鏡出版社, 1978) 216-284; Zhou Shao 周劭, “ ‘Lidai Zhiguan biao’ yu ‘Shengguan tu’《歷代職官表》與《陞官圖》[“Table of the Government Official of Past Dynasties” and “Table of Bureaucratic Promotion”],” Huanghun xiaopin 黃昏小品 [Dusk’s Sketches] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe 上海古籍出版社, 1995) 120-130; and Carole Morgan, “The Chinese Game of Shengguan tu,” The Journal of the American Oriental Society 124: 3 (July 2004) 517-532. 7 Song Bingren 宋秉仁, “Shengguan tu youxi yange kao 陞官圖遊戲沿革考 [On the History and Development of the Game of the Table of Bureaucratic Promotion],” Bulletin of Historical Research of Taiwan Normal University 台灣師大歷史學報 33 (2005) 27-78. 1. Introduction  6 “Huigu byeonjeung seol 戲具辨證說 (Investigation of Games and Toys),” by a Korean intellectual named Yi Gyugyeong 李圭景 (b. 1788-ca. 1850); a field research report, Chōsen no kyōdo goraku 朝鮮の鄉土娛樂 (Chōsen Local Entertainments), conducted by the Chōsen Sōtokufu 朝鮮總督府 (Government-General of Chōsen) that was published in 1941; a chapter, “The ‘Spectacle’ of Womanhood: New Types in Texts and Pictures on Pictorial Sugoroku Games of the Late Edo Period,” in a 2005 book by Susanne Formanek; and a 2006 book, The Art of Play: Board and Card Games in India, edited by Andrew Topsfield.8  These works provide considerable information about the game boards circulating in their countries, such as their contents, pattern designs, and distributions.  In addition to these aspects, a few cited sources also emphasize the analysis of the beliefs or systems embedded in the game boards, which are crucial to the study of the subject in understanding how the arrangements of different game designs present the teachings to the player in a limited space.  Fine examples can be seen in the 1977 Rebirth: The Tibetan Game of Liberation by Mark Tatz and Jody Kent, and the 1994 article “Jieshao yifu Xizang tangka sengren youxitu ‘Salang langxia’ 介紹一幅西藏唐卡僧人遊戲圖《薩朗朗廈》(An Introduction of the ‘Salam Namshak,’ a Tibetan Thangka of Game Board for Monks)” by Tsedan Geleh 次旦格列.9  8 See Chōsen Sōtokufu 朝鮮總督府 [Government-General of Chōsen, 1910-1945], Chōsen no kyōdo goraku 朝 鮮の鄉土娛樂 [Chōsen Local Entertainments] (Keijō: Chōsen Sōtokufu, 1941); Yi Gyugyeong 李圭景 (b. 1788-ca. 1850), “Huigu byeonjeung seol 戲具辨證說 [Investigation of Games and Toys],” Ohju yeonmun jangjeon sango 五洲衍文長箋散稿 [Uncollected Draft of Exegesis and Redundancy by Ohju] (Seoul: Dongguk munhwasa 東國文化社, 1959) 834-838; Susanne Formanek, “The ‘Spectacle’ of Womanhood: New Types in Texts and Pictures on Pictorial Sugoroku Games of the Late Edo Period,” Written Texts – Visual Texts: Woodblock-Printed Media in Early Modern Japan, eds. Susanne Formanek and Sepp Linhart (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005) 73-108; and Andrew Topsfield, ed., The Art of Play: Board and Card Games in India (Mumbai, India: Marg Publications, 2006). 9 Mark Tatz, and Jody Kent, Rebirth: The Tibetan Game of Liberation (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1977) and Tsedan Geleh 次旦格列, “Jieshao yifu Xizang tangka sengren youxitu ‘Salang langxia’ 介紹一幅西藏唐 卡僧人遊戲圖《薩朗朗廈》[An Introduction of the ‘Salam Namshak,’ a Tibetan Thangka of Game Board for Monks],” Tibetan Art Studies 西藏藝術研究 3 (1994) 25-26. 1. Introduction  7 With the help of the descriptions and the analytical information of all these primary and secondary sources, and the cross-referencing and the reexamination of these materials, this dissertation attempts to draw new attention to the basic function of the devices as a didactic tool for preaching religious beliefs and to rediscover the cross-border phenomenon of the adoption of the game for spreading religions in various countries that has long been neglected by historians. As repeatedly mentioned, since the subject in this study is fairly new to many researchers, this opening chapter intends to provide more background details on them before introducing the structure or general framework of this dissertation.  Hence, the subsequent section focuses on briefly describing the regular components of both the secular and religious devices found in China, and then the missionary life and contributions of Zhixu on which his reputation as a successful teacher of various Buddhist traditions is based.  1.1    Game Components  1.1.1    Game board At first glance, the board games look like a hybrid of western backgammon and Monopoly.  Printed on a piece of paper or paper board, both the Shengguan tu and the Xuanfo tu contained a number of spaces with captions followed by brief additional information or instructions printed inside (Figures 1.1, 1.2, 3.5 and 3.8).  There were several patterns of spatial arrangement.  The most common pattern was the type arranged by several layers of concentric quadrates with the most important positions located at the centre, with the lowest positions on the furthest outer quadrate.  In later periods, however, versions that 1. Introduction  8 were arranged in simpler spiral patterns could also be found.  The spaces of the Shengguan tu were filled with titles of government officials, under which there were a few lines of instructions about all possible moves in accordance with the outcomes from throwing the dice, denoting bureaucratic rewards, punishments, and special assignments.  The instructions also included sets of complex rules for the distribution of the counters for the purpose of gambling.  A player won the game when he was “promoted” to any of the high-ranking official posts at the centre.  For gamblers, bamboo slips were used as counters and the winner was the one who profited the most by calculating the counters after any one of the players reached the centre position.  In the case of the Xuanfo tu designed by Zhixu, the spaces were printed with Buddhist terms and statuses of different levels of enlightenment but t