The Song dynasty Ma Ling (fl. c. 1105) wrote a history of the Southern Tang, a short-lived dynasty (937-75) which was one of the Ten States in southern China in the 10th century. Among its imperial and other biographies, there is one folio dedicated to jesters, the ‘Huixie zhuan’ 詼諧傳 (‘Biographies of Humorists’), including the jesters Li Jiaming 李家明 (Adding Clarity Li), Shen Jiangao 申漸高 (Gradually Stretching Taller), and Wang Ganhua 王感化 (Subtle Reformer King).
A few of these anecdotes have already been featured here – click on the images below for the full stories. Others will be added as they bubble to the surface.
`Huixie zhuan’ 詼諧傳, in Nan Tang shu 南唐書 (Book of the Southern Tang Dynasty), by Ma Ling 馬令 (fl. c. 1105), fol. 25, Siku Quanshu 四庫全書 (Shanghai: Guji Chubanshe, 1987), vol. 464, pp. 361b-64a.
There is a digital version of the Chinese text at the Chinese Text Project.
Kurz, Johannes, China’s Southern Tang Dynasty, 937-976 (New York: Routledge, 2011).
Wilkinson, Endymion, Chinese History: A Manual (Cambridge, MA: Harvard-Yenching Institute, 2000), Monograph Series 52, p. 822.