An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jinyu tushuo 金魚圖說

Mar 24, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

Jinyu tushuo 金魚圖說 is an illustrated book on goldfish written by an unknown person called Gouqushan Nong 句曲山農 (fl. 1848) "Farmer of Crooked Mountain". He lived during the early 19th century and perhaps hailed from the district of Gourong 句容, Jiangsu. The appendix, called Xueshi jiupu 薛氏舊譜 "Old notes of Master Xue" likewise does not provide more information. The author says that Master Xue's book was illustrated excellently but provided not much textual information on goldfish (only 4 pages with brief notes), for which reason he decided to collect all written information on the matter had had been published since the 17th century and compiled a book. It was finished in 1848.

The text of the book is divided into 11 chapters describing the origin of goldfish, keeping in ponds and in pots, breeding, nourishment, types and kinds, diseases, and rating. The chapters provide important information on the keeping and breeding of goldfish and various races.

The illustrations are almost completely derived from Master Xue's book, but Gouqushan Nong added two figures to a total of 56. The original book was printed in colours.

Figure 1. Image of a goldfish
One of the two images which Gouqushan Nong added to Master Xue's old book. From Guangming zhi Men 光明之門.
Gou Cuihua 茍萃華 (1993). "Jinyu tushuo tiyao《金魚圖說》題要", in Gou Cuihua 茍萃華, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Shengwu 生物卷 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 815-816.
蜀漢 (221-263)