12 July 2019

Shiji v04 (last updated July 21)

Alright, it's summer and I have some more time to devote to translating again. Gonna quickly get Shiji v04 done and then move to doing both v02 of Planet Sutakola and continue Kamui-Den.

Regarding chapter 1, which chronicles the hectic back-and-forth conflict between Qi and Yan in the late Warring States period, the actual Shiji and other historical records explicitly state that King Kuai made his chancellor Zizhi as his successor. Not counting the legendary emperors, this seems to be the only historically attested incident of a ruler abdicating the throne willingly to a non-kin member. The fact that this had disastrous consequences seemed to prove to all the political philosophers active during the late Warring states that willing abdication to the "most capable" as you might have in a more democratic state was a big no-no. Consequently, all the different schools of political philosophy still agreed on the idea of a universal monarchy ideally passed down through primogeniture, though different schools of thought had different ideas on how much power/responsibilities the nobles or minister should have. If you're at all interested in the intellectual history on how prominent thinkers proposed solutions on how to "fix" the broken realm that was the turbulent Eastern Zhou, I'd highly recommend Yuri Pines' Envisioning Eternal Empire: Chinese Political Thought of the Warring States Era.
This tactic was consequently named the "fire oxen strategy (火牛之計)." It's pretty interesting how setting animals on fire comes up quite often in military history. Some are likely more legendary, like with Olga of Kiev's burning of a Drevlian city, while others, such as using bats carrying incendiaries to burn Japanese cities in WW2 sounds completely insane but was something that actually happened was attempted.

Shiji v04 c1: Mega
Shiji v04 c2: Mega


  1. did you drop historie?I Noticed the next volume is about to come out in japan.

    1. Nope. The next volume simply contains chapters I've already done. Iwaaki typically takes breaks before releasing a new tankoban volume to re-do the art. So we're all still fully caught up with Japan.

  2. Nice! Been waiting for this one.

  3. HI what about Ad astra. or we are also up to date? thanks for your effort