ABSTRACT

After the remarks by Mr. K.P. Mayer on this subject in T'oung Pao 52 (1965-1966), pp. 1-7, and the attempts of Professor Werner Eichhorn on p. 129 of his Heldensagen aus dem unteren Yargtze-Tal (Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1969) and myself in TP 57 (1971), pp. 166-167, the last word on this technical subject has been said by Professor Hayashi Minao https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline204.jpg"/> in his splendid study on ancient Chinese arms, Chūkoku In-Shū jidai no buki https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline205.jpg"/> https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline206.jpg"/> (Kyoto University, Institute of Humanistic Studies, 1972). His eighth chapter, entitled "The Crossbow", occupies pp. 301-320 of this work; beside a number of useful illustrations, it contains line drawings of the trigger mechanism, with the names attached to the parts. From these drawings and from the text of the chapter the following identifications emerge:

pi https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline207.jpg"/> is the stock;

chi https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline208.jpg"/> is the complete trigger mechanism;

kuo https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline209.jpg"/> is the bronze casing which contains the mechanism;

The U-shaped centrepiece has one short and one long arm. The shorter forward prong, behind which the bowstring is hooked, is the ya https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline210.jpg"/>. The longer prong which serves as the sight and which is therefore sometimes calibrated, is the tu https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline211.jpg"/>.

The hidden central element which blocks the turning of the ya, is the niu https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline212.jpg"/> (and not the erh https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline213.jpg"/> as Mr. Mayer and I believed).

The actual trigger is the hsüan tao https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline214.jpg"/> or chiao https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline215.jpg"/>; when pulled, it releases the niu (no. 5), and as now the niu no longer blocks the ya (no. 4), the latter swivels downward under the pressure of the string which is now released.

The moving parts turn on two bolts or cotter pins, called shu https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline216.jpg"/>.

The trigger is protected by a metal hoop, hsien https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline217.jpg"/> or kuan https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline218.jpg"/>, the triggerguard.

The triggerguard is reinforced by a piece of wood inserted perpendicularly into the stock; this is the k'uei https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline219.jpg"/> or fu https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline220.jpg"/>, the grip, which is perhaps identical with the ch'i https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315234359/b46dc919-5ac4-4246-9e2b-7d233cf7b9c8/content/inline221.jpg"/>.