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Chinese 15th century Daoist image of internal topography

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Credit: Chinese 15th century Daoist image of internal topography. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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Fifteenth century Chinese woodblock illustration from the Daoist Canon (Daozang), showing the internal topography or inscape (neijing) of the human body according to Daoist teachings. Extracts from Daoist texts are incorporated into the design (see 'Lettering'). Around the human figure are depictions of the Blue/Green Dragon (qing long), White Tiger (bai hu) and Red Sparrow (zhu que) and of Xuan Wu, God of the Northern Sky.

Lettering

Image title: Illustration of internal topography (neijing), side view Other lettering: The gentleman is advised to study diligently the three-in-one. Eventually he will possess the art of longevity and immortality. The Daoist mysteries will be achieved and the myriad things will flourish. The essence and spirit that fill the body will not be recklessly wasted. Grasp the golden essence and go to the root of life.The sun prospers in the east while the moon prospers in the west. In the jar is the drug of longevity itself. Turn back the years, become a child again; heaven and earth are in balance.

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