Exotic weapons from 'San Cai Tu Hui (《三才圖會》)'

San Cai Tu Hui (《三才圖會》), compiled by Wang Qi (王圻) and his son Wang Si Yi (王思義), is a late Ming encyclopedia that contains everything from day-to-day tools and transportations, clothes, palace and ritual implements, martial arts, weapons of war to plants and animals, foreign people and countries, medicine, history as well as astrology. It is an excellent and invaluable resource for researching social structure and customs of the Ming Dynasty, as well as general worldview of Chinese people during the Ming period.

Some weapons recorded in San Cai Tu Hui are not found elsewhere. Note that these weapons were considered exotic even during the Ming period, and hardly anyone used them.

From left to right: Liu Ke Zhu, Tie Gu Duo, Gou Lian.

  • Gou Lian (鈎鐮): A Gou Lian Qiang (鈎鐮鎗).
  • Tie Gu Duo (鐵骨朵): Even though its name usually refers to a mace, the weapon shown here resemble a trident with two extra downward-pointing prongs.
  • Liu Ke Zhu (留客住, lit. 'Detain a guest'): A spear with four hooks or barbs, apparently used to entrap people.

From left to right: Long Zha, Jian, Qing Ren Ba.

  • Qing Ren Ba (請人拔, lit. 'Staff to see a visitor out'): A quarterstaff. 
  • Jian (鑑): Alternate writing of Jian (鐧).
  • Long Zha (龍吒, lit. 'Dragon howl' in context it means 'Dragon claw'): A weapon similar to Shuang Fei Zhua (雙飛撾), with a dragon claw-shaped catcher.

From left to right: Gang Cha, Xing Chui, Mei Zha.

  • Mei Zha (梅吒, lit. 'Plum howl', in context it means 'Plum flower claw'): Similar to Long Zha, but with a claw shaped like plum flower.
  • Xing Chui (星鎚, lit. 'Star hammer'): A meteor hammer.
  • Gang Cha (鋼叉, steel fork): A steel fork.

From left to right: Gang Bian, Wai Yue Ya, Nei Yue Ya.


From left to right: Wu Cha, Wen Cha, Er Lang Dao.

  • Er Lang Dao (二郎刀, 'Glaive or Er Lang Shen'): A San Jian Liang Ren Dao (三尖兩刃刀). However, this example only has one point instead of three.
  • Wen Cha (文叉, lit. 'Scholar's fork'): A steel fork.
  • Wu Cha (武叉, lit. 'Martial fork'): A steel fork. It is distinguished from Wen Cha by having its right prong points downward.

From left to right: Chang Jiao Zuan, Chun Jie, Tong Quan.

  • Tong Quan (銅拳, lit. 'Bronze fist'): A long handled war pick/war hammer shaped like a fist holding a large nail, or sometimes a brush-shaped spike. In modern Chinese martial arts communities, this weapon is known as Zhua (撾). Incidentally, this weapon is very similar to German Dolchstreithammer.
  • Chun Jie (杶結, possibly means 'Chinese mahogany bud'): Judging by its name, this is most probably a mace-type weapon.
  • Chang Jiao Zuan (長腳鑽, lit. 'Long-legged drill'): A type of bident.

From left to right: Mu Pa, Tie Pa, Hun Tian Chuo.

  • Hun Tian Chuo (混天戳, lit. 'Chaotic heaven poke'): Possibly the most exotic and ridiculous polearm, ever. 
  • Tie Pa (鐵扒, lit. 'Iron rake'): A Pa (扒) with its entire head made of iron. Subtype of Tang Pa (钂鈀).
  • Mu Pa (木扒, lit. 'Wooden rake'): A improvised polearm modified from agricultural rake. Subtype of Tang Pa (钂鈀).

Xiu Kou, Niu Zi and Tie Quan.
  • Xiu Kou (袖口, cuff): A pair of weapons possibly related to tonfa.
  • Niu Zi (扭子, button): A pair of metal rings. It is possibly related to Gelang Lanun (Malay: Pirate ring), a silat weapon that is said to be introduced to the Malay world by Chinese pirates.
  • Tie Quan (鐵拳, iron fist): A pair of knuckle-like weapons.
(Special thanks to Antonin Nowak for pointing out the possible relation between Niu Zi and Galang Lanun to me.)

4 comments:

  1. I bet a Chaotic Heavean Poke would hurt a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure it does, although its multiple spikes and hooks are quite redundant.

      Delete
  2. what's difference between 鐵鞭 and 鋼鞭

    ReplyDelete
  3. @s ss
    No difference actually. Just different names for the same thing.

    ReplyDelete

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