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Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《射義 - She Yi》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《射義》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "The meaning of the ceremony of archery"]

1 射義:
古者諸侯之射也,必先行燕禮;卿、大夫、士之射也,必先行鄉飲酒之禮。故燕禮者,所以明君臣之義也;鄉飲酒之禮者,所以明長幼之序也。
She Yi:
Anciently it was the rule for the feudal lords, when they would practise archery, first to celebrate the ceremony of the Banquet, and for the Great officers and ordinary officers, when they would shoot, first to celebrate the ceremony of the Drinking in the country districts. The ceremony of the Banquet served to illustrate the relation between ruler and subject; that of the District-drinking, to illustrate the distinction between seniors and juniors.

2 射義:
故射者,進退周還必中禮,內志正,外體直,然後持弓矢審固;持弓矢審固,然後可以言中,此可以觀德行矣。
She Yi:
The archers, in advancing, retiring, and all their movements, were required to observe the rules. With minds correct, and straight carriage of the body, they were to hold their bows and arrows skilfully and firmly; and when they did so, they might be expected to hit the mark. In this way (from their archery) their characters could be seen.

3 射義:
其節:天子以《騶虞》為節;諸侯以《貍首》為節;卿大夫以《采蘋》為節;士以《采繁》為節。《騶虞》者,樂官備也,《貍首》者,樂會時也;《采蘋》者,樂循法也;《采繁》者,樂不失職也。是故天子以備官為節;諸侯以時會天子為節;卿大夫以循法為節;士以不失職為節。故明乎其節之志,以不失其事,則功成而德行立,德行立則無暴亂之禍矣。功成則國安。故曰:射者,所以觀盛德也。
She Yi:
To regulate (the discharging of the arrows), there was, in the case of the son of Heaven, the playing of the Zou-yu; in the case of the feudal lords, that of the Li-shou; in the case of the dignitaries, the Great officers, that of the Cai-pin; and in the case of officers, that of the Cai-fan. The Zou-yu is expressive of joy that every office is (rightly) filled; the Li-shou is expressive of the joy at audiences of the court; the Cai-pin is expressive of the joy in observing the laws (which have been learned); and the Cai-fan is expressive of the joy in being free from all failures in duty. Therefore the son of Heaven regulated his shooting by keeping in his mind the right feeling of all officers; a feudal prince, by keeping in his mind the times of his appearing before the son of Heaven; a dignitary, being a Great officer, by keeping in his mind the observing of the laws (which he had learned); and an officer, by keeping in his mind that he must not fail in the duties of his office. In this way, when they clearly understood the meaning of those regulating measures, and were thus able to avoid all failure in their services, they were successful in their undertakings, and their character and conduct were established. When their characters were established, no such evils as oppression and disorder occurred; and when their undertakings were successful, the states were tranquil and happy. Hence it is said that 'the archery served to show the completeness of (the archer's) virtue.'

4 射義:
是故古者天子以射選諸侯、卿、大夫、士。射者,男子之事也,因而飾之以禮樂也。故事之盡禮樂,而可數為,以立德行者,莫若射,故聖王務焉。
She Yi:
Therefore, anciently, the son of Heaven chose the feudal lords, the dignitaries who were Great officers, and the officers, from their skill in archery. Archery is specially the business of males, and there were added to it the embellishments of ceremonies and music. Hence among the things which may afford the most complete illustration of ceremonies and music, and the frequent performance of which may serve to establish virtue and good conduct, there is nothing equal to archery: and therefore the ancient kings paid much attention to it.

5 射義:
是故古者天子之制,諸侯歲獻貢士於天子,天子試之於射宮。其容體比於禮,其節比於樂,而中多者,得與於祭。其容體不比於禮,其節不比於樂,而中少者,不得與於祭。數與於祭而君有慶;數不與於祭而君有讓。數有慶而益地;數有讓而削地。故曰:射者,射為諸侯也。是以諸侯君臣盡志於射,以習禮樂。夫君臣習禮樂而以流亡者,未之有也。
She Yi:
Therefore, anciently, according to the royal institutes, the feudal princes annually presented the officers who had charge of their tribute to the son of Heaven, who made trial of them in the archery-hall. Those of them whose bodily carriage was in conformity with the rules, and whose shooting was in agreement with the music, and who hit the mark most frequently, were allowed to take part at the sacrifices. When his officers had frequently that privilege, their ruler was congratulated; if they frequently failed to obtain it, he was reprimanded. If a prince were frequently so congratulated, he received an increase to his territory; if he were frequently so reprimanded, part of his territory was taken from him. Hence came the saying, 'The archers shoot in the interest of their princes.' Thus, in the states, the rulers and their officers devoted themselves to archery, and the practice in connexion with it of the ceremonies and music. But when, rulers and officers practise ceremonies and music, never has it been known that such practice led to their banishment or ruin.

6 射義:
故《》曰:「曾孫侯氏,四正具舉;大夫君子,凡以庶士,小大莫處,御于君所,以燕以射,則燕則譽。」言君臣相與盡志於射,以習禮樂,則安則譽也。是以天子制之,而諸侯務焉。此天子之所以養諸侯,而兵不用,諸侯自為正之具也。
She Yi:
Hence it is said in the ode (now lost), 'The long-descended lord Presents your cups of grace. His chiefs and noble men Appear, all in their place; Small officers and Great, Not one will keep away. See them before their prince, All in their full array. They feast, and then they shoot, Happy and praised to boot.' The lines show how when rulers and their officers earnestly devoted themselves together to archery, and the practice in connexion with it of ceremonies and music, they were happy and got renown. It was on this account that the son of Heaven instituted the custom, and the feudal lords diligently attended to it. This was the way in which the son of Heaven cherished the princes, and had no need of weapons of war (in dealing with them); it furnished (also) to the princes an instrument with which they trained themselves to rectitude.

7 射義:
孔子射於矍相之圃,蓋觀者如堵墻。射至於司馬,使子路執弓矢,出延射曰:「賁軍之將,亡國之大夫,與為人後者不入,其餘皆入。」蓋去者半,入者半。又使公罔之裘、序點,揚觶而語,公罔之裘揚觶而語曰:「幼壯孝弟,耆耋好禮,不從流俗,修身以俟死,者不?在此位也。」蓋去者半,處者半。序點又揚觶而語曰:「好學不倦,好禮不變,旄期稱道不亂,者不?在此位也。」蓋僅有存者。
She Yi:
(Once), when Confucius was conducting an archery meeting in a vegetable garden at Kio-hsiang, the lookers-on surrounded it like a wall. When the proceedings reached the point when a Master of the Horse should be appointed, he directed Zi-Lu to take his bow and arrows, and go out to introduce those who wished to shoot, and to say, 'The general of a defeated army, the Great officer of a ruler-less state, and any one who (has schemed to be) the successor and heir of another, will not be allowed to enter, but the rest may all enter.' On this, one half went away, and the other half entered. After this, (wishing to send the cup round among all the company), he further directed Gong-wang Qiu and Xu Dian to raise the horns of liquor, and make proclamation. Then Gong-wang Qiu raised his horn, and said, 'Are the young and strong (here) observant of their filial and fraternal duties? Are the old and men of eighty (here) such as love propriety, not following licentious customs, and resolved to maintain their characters to death? (If so), they may occupy the position of guests.' On this, one half (of those who had entered) went away, and the other half remained. Xu Dian next raised his horn, and proclaimed, 'Are you fond of learning without being tired? are you fond of the rules of propriety, and unswerving in your adherence to them? Do those of you who are eighty, ninety, or one hundred, expound the way (of virtue) Without confusion or error? If so, you can occupy the position of visitors.' Thereupon hardly any remained.

8 射義:
射之為言者繹也,或曰舍也。繹者,各繹己之志也。故心平體正,持弓矢審固;持弓矢審固,則射中矣。故曰:為人父者,以為父鵠;為人子者,以為子鵠;為人君者,以為君鵠;為人臣者,以為臣鵠。故射者各射己之鵠。故天子之大射謂之射侯;射侯者,射為諸侯也。射中則得為諸侯;射不中則不得為諸侯。
She Yi:
To shoot means to draw out to the end, and some say to lodge in the exact point. That drawing out to the end means every one unfolding his own idea; hence, with the mind even-balanced and the body correctly poised, (the archer) holds his bow and arrow skilfully and firmly. When he so holds them, he will hit the mark. Hence it is said, 'The father (shoots) at the father-mark; the son, at the son-mark; the ruler, at the ruler-mark; the subject, at the subject-mark.' Thus the archer shoots at the mark of his (ideal) self; and so the Great archery of the son of Heaven is called shooting at (the mark of) the feudal prince. 'Shooting at the mark of the feudal prince' was shooting to prove himself a prince. He who hit the mark was permitted to be, that is, retain his rank as) a prince; he who did not hit the mark was not permitted to retain his rank as a prince.

9 射義:
天子將祭,必先習射於澤。澤者,所以擇士也。已射於澤,而後射於射宮。射中者得與於祭;不中者不得與於祭。不得與於祭者有讓,削以地;得與於祭者有慶,益以地。進爵絀地是也。
She Yi:
When the son of Heaven was about to sacrifice, the rule was that he should celebrate the archery at the pool, which name suggested the idea of selecting the officers (by their shooting). After the archery at the pool came that in the archery hall. Those who hit the mark were permitted to take part in the sacrifice; and those who failed were not permitted to do so. (The ruler of those) who did not receive the permission was reprimanded, and had part of his territory taken from him. The ruler of those who were permitted was congratulated, and received an addition to his territory. The advancement appeared in the rank; the disapprobation, in the (loss of) territory.

10 射義:
故男子生,桑弧蓬矢六,以射天地四方。天地四方者,男子之所有事也。故必先有志於其所有事,然後敢用穀也。飯食之謂也。
She Yi:
Hence, when a son is born, a bow of mulberry wood, and six arrows of the wild raspberry plant (are placed on the left of the door) for the purpose of shooting at heaven, earth, and the four cardinal points. Heaven, earth, and the four points denote the spheres wherein the business of a man lies. The young man must first give his mind to what is to be his business, and then he may venture to receive emolument, that is, the provision for his food.

11 射義:
射者,仁之道也。射求正諸己,己正然後發,發而不中,則不怨勝己者,反求諸己而已矣。孔子曰:「君子無所爭,必也射乎!揖讓而升,下而飲,其爭也君子。」
She Yi:
Archery suggests to us the way of benevolence. (The archer) seeks to be correct in himself, and then discharges his arrow. If it miss the mark, he is not angry with the one who has surpassed himself, but turns round and seeks (for the cause of failure) in himself. Confucius said, 'The student of virtue has no contentions. If it be said that he cannot avoid them, shall this be in archery? (But) he bows complaisantly to his competitor, ascends (the hall), descends (again), and exacts the forfeit of drinking. In his contention, he is still the superior man.'

12 射義:
孔子曰:「射者何以射?何以聽?循聲而發,發而不失正鵠者,其唯賢者乎!若夫不肖之人,則彼將安能以中?」
She Yi:
Confucius said, 'How difficult it is to shoot! How difficult it is to listen (to the music)! To shoot exactly in harmony with the note (given) by the music, and to shoot without missing the bull's-eye on the target - it is only the archer of superior virtue who can do this! How shall a man of inferior character be able to hit the mark?

13 射義:
》云:「發彼有的,以祈爾爵。」祈,求也;求中以辭爵也。酒者,所以養老也,所以養病也;求中以辭爵者,辭養也。
She Yi:
It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, viii, ode 6, 1), '"Now shoot," he says, "and show your skill." The other answers, "Shoot I will, And hit the mark;--and when you miss, Pray you the penal cup to kiss."' 'To pray' is to ask. The archer seeks to hit that he may decline the cup. The liquor in the cup is designed (properly) to nourish the aged, or the sick. When the archer seeks to hit that he may decline the cup, that is declining what should serve to nourish (those that need it).

URN: ctp:liji/she-yi