Ji Tong (唧筒)

Ji Tong (唧筒, pump)
Ming Chinese handheld water pump
Drawing of a Ji Tong, from Qing period 'Fang Shou Ji Cheng (《防守集成》)'.
also known as Ji Shui Tong (唧水筒, water pump), is a simple handheld water pump made of bamboo. Essentially an oversized bamboo water gun, it can be used as fire extinguisher during siege situation.

Shen Shui Pen Tong (神水噴筒, lit. 'Divine water spurt tube')
Drawing of a Shen Shui Pen Tong, from 'Bing Lu (《兵錄》)'.
Shen Shui Pen Tong is essentially a weaponised version of Ji Tong. Instead of water, the bamboo tube is filled with a mixture of poisons, irritants, water and quicklime. The quicklime reacts chemically with water, turning the liquid into a dangerous boiling weapon.


  1. Were there fire fighting departments in Ming China?

    1. Sort of, although Ming firefighters were more like thief-catcher, night patrol and firemen roll into one. Firefighting was actually not their main responsitibity.

      BTW, Song Dynasty that preceeded Ming actually had specialised firefighters and an efficient warning system, but the system fall out of use.