scan, paper, black-and-white; original source: print on paper
Gengchu siyang guanli sanzijing 耕畜饲养管理三字经 (Three character classic on husbandry). Beijing: Xinhua 1963:3.
我中华 人口多 地面大 物产博 共产党 拿大舵 闹革命 建强国
Three Character Classic, parody, studying, peasants, collective, Mao Zedong Thought, Chinese Communist Party, countryside, agriculture, Red is the East, sun, iconography, sunrays, lush field, electric mast, information, Confucian morality, Confucian values
Three Character Classic on Husbandry (Gengchu siyang guanli Sanzijing 耕畜饲养管理三字经)
Throughout the 1960s, quite a number of Three Character Classic parodies continued to be published. Some of them were re-publications of Three Character Classics that first appeared in the 1950s (such as the Three Character Classic for Studying Culture, the 1956 Three Character Classic for Children, and many medical Three Character Classics). Not unlike the 1950s, the 1960s also saw a continuous outpour of Three Character Classics for peasants. One of these publications, the Three Character Classic on Husbandry (耕畜饲养管理三字经 Gengchu siyang guanli Sanzijing) published in 1963 propagates a “collective spirit” (它的主要目的是对群众进行集体主义的思想教育) (GCSYGLSZJ 1963).
The book begins with a short introductory passage in which the victory of the CCP and Mao’s thought of “stressing agriculture” is praised (毛主席方针定对农业要看重) (GCSYGLSZJ 1963, 3–4, quote from 4). This passage is illustrated with two images, the first of which comprises many stereotypical elements from the “grammar of propaganda” of the time: it shows a morning sun (“Red Is the East”) rising and shining over a lush field, with a tractor in the front and a factory and bridge, as well as electric masts, in the back.
The Three Character Classic on Husbandry then explains in detail how to raise animals: how to look after them, how to clean them properly, how to avoid disease, etc.—even describing how not to overtire the animals, especially those that are pregnant or old (GCSYGLSZJ 1963, 6–17). Next, it includes a passage reminding the reader how to use the communal animals responsibly and how to watch out for and identify those fellow villagers who will only abuse the animals for their own purposes (GCSYGLSZJ 1963, 18–19). While teaching in a manner and style far different from the original Confucian primer, the book comes back, however, to values that lie at the heart of the (Neo-)Confucian philosophy: altruism and an abhorrence for selfish profit.