Since earlier 20th century, palm-sized
picture books (lianhuaihua 连环画 or xiaorenshu 小人书)
first appeared in Shanghai and
quickly became a popular pass-time and educational tool for
children as well as many young adults. Prior to the television
era, one could easily spot mobile picture book stalls in
almost every Chinese city, formed by a stand to hold books
and few benches around for readers, with book rental fee
ranged from one to five fens.
Here we introduce a classic picture
book titled "The Empty For Strategy (空城计)", depicting
how a military strategist defended his kingdom by winning
a critical battle against an empire of war machine with his
extraordinary courage and outstanding wisdom.
Original drawings were done by Chinese
Once upon a time between year 220 and 265, there were three
kingdoms in China, with Shu (蜀) in west, Wu (吴) at east and
Wei (魏) in north; among the three, Wei was militarily most
powerful and headed by a group of warmongers.
One day Sima Yi (司马懿), Wei's general secretary plus defence
secretary plus de facto vice
king, decided to lead 200,000-strong troops advancing
towards the border of Shu.
In the kingdom of Shu, there was a man named Zhuge Liang
(诸葛亮) who is one of the greatest military strategists plus
greatest statesmen plus greatest I
Ching masters in Chinese history, and by the time he
happened to be the premier of the kingdom. But when Zhuge
Liang received the report on Sima Yi's military actions,
it was too late for him to summon the force from other parts
of the kingdom.
Zhuge Liang calculated that Sima Yi would go for the Street
Pavilion Town (街亭) to control Shu's resource supply, so announced
that he wanted a brave and smart general to guard this vital
position. On hearing that, Ma Su (马谡) immediately self-recommended,
because he believed he was the most brave and smartest guy
in the kingdom.
Zhuge Liang understood that Ma Su had read many books about
of war, and might have a plan to write his own true stories
about the war (军旅报告文学是也), but wasn't quite sure if he was
good in the real battle situation. However, after Ma Su explained
his war theories twice, mentioned his elite background three
times and presented his pledge to win the fight four times,
Zhuge Liang gave it a go and appointed Lieutenant General
Ma Su as the Commander in Chief of the operation. He then
further arranged Wang to assist Ma at his side, Gao to help
Wang from nearby and Wei to support Gao from behind and Zhao
and Deng to keep a watchful eye on everybody from a distance.
Once arrived at Street Pavilion Town which did not have
a citywall around,
the Commander in Chief Ma decided to set up his military
base on a hilltop outside of the town. When the wisdom of
his decision was challenged by Wang, Ma shouted back: who
has read more books, and who has a higher position here,
you or me?
Of course, Ma read more books, and Ma was Wang's boss, so
Ma successfully set up his base on the hilltop, while Wang,
with just 5,000 soldiers under his command, guarded the town
by the main road down the hill.
Empty Town (2)
Empty Town (3)
Reincarnation (3) - A Pet Dog
A Loud Slap on the Face (1)