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Book/Printed Material Zhu you ke. 祝由科.

About this Item


  • Zhu you ke.

Other Title

  • 祝由科.

Translated Title

  • Treatment by Incantation.


  • Zhu you ke (Treatment by incantation) is an extremely rare manuscript, said to have been written by a Daoist priest named Zhang Zun. Also known as Mi jue qi shu (The rare book of secrets), the work is in five unnumbered volumes, each designated by a character: qian, yuan, heng, li, and zhen. On the initial qian volume is a note that the original stone tablets of the texts entered the imperial collection in the 13th year of the Kangxi reign (1656) as one of Shi san ke (The 13 ways of treatment). The incantation treatment is the 13th of "13 ways." The work was probably issued before the early Qing dynasty. The qian volume has an account of its source. It states that in the 28th year of the Chunxi reign (1188) of the Song dynasty, provincial governor Ya Qi was ordered to harness the Yellow River, where he discovered 58 stone tablets carved with secret words. Zhang Zun deciphered the inscriptions, and from then on the treatment of diseases was resoundingly successful. It was said that during the Jingtai reign (1450--56) of the Ming dynasty, a physician named Xu Jinghui, a native of Linqing, Shandong Province, mastered and practiced the 13 ways of treatment and that his house became crowded by patients. Zhang Zun, the author of a postscript in the first volume, the one with the qian designation, wrote that there was another copy of the work, an inferior one. That version was seen in 1724, collated, and hand-copied by Shen Changfa, but the five volumes did not seem consistent with each other and the methods of incantations and taboos varied. It is assumed that the book was copied using different sources. Practicing treatment by incantation was an accepted and respected profession. A zhu you doctor used prayers, magic charms or taboos, and ceremonies to "move the spirit to the essence of qi." These means could cure not just illnesses and pains; they could stop infants from crying during the night, help women in childbirth, and treat unexpected injuries and bites by insects and animals. Examples of the results promised include "bringing wealth into the home by filling an urn with water," "exterminating rats by using magic charms," and "making a tiger by blowing a feather." The treatments in the book are for both adults and children. They include conditions of the pulse, childbirth, eyes, wind, teeth and stomatitis, ear and nose, orthopedics, sores and broken bones, wounds from arrowheads, incantations, and the like.


  • Zhang, Zun, Author.

Created / Published

  • [Place of publication not identified] : [Publisher not identified], [1368 to 1644]


  • -  China
  • -  1368 to 1644
  • -  Medicine, Chinese


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "Manuscript copy"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 5 volumes.
  • -  Original resource at: National Central Library.
  • -  Content in Chinese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
  • -  Title revised per Asian Division.--cc28 2023-01-06


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Chinese Books, Manuscripts, Maps, and Prints

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666347

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Zhang, Zun, Author. Zhu You Ke. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, to 1644, 1368] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Zhang, Z. (1368) Zhu You Ke. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, to 1644] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Zhang, Zun, Author. Zhu You Ke. [Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, to 1644, 1368] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.