scan, paper, black-and-white; original source: handwritten calligraphy, paper, black-and-white
Song wenshen sanzijing 送瘟神三字经 (The three character classic of the god of epidemics). Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu, 1964:22-23.
学愚公 毅力深 除害尽 才甘心
Foolish Old Man, Three Constantly Read Articles, Lao sanpian, Three Character Classic, Mao Zedong, Mao's words, Confucius, studying, knowledge, calligraphy, new society, hero, heroism, strong body, new society, Sanzijing
Three Character Classic of the God of Epidemics (Song Wenshen Sanzijing 送瘟神三字经)
In these new Three Character Classics, Mao and his words have come to complement or replace Confucian teachings of old. By being presented in the form of a Confucian Classic, they inherit or merge with its authoritative status while somehow tainting, if not subverting, its message as they advocate new (i.e., Maoist) knowledge for a “new society” (新社会). A typical example of such new knowledge would be the Three Character Classic of the God of Epidemics (送瘟神三字经 Song Wenshen Sanzijing) (SWSSZJ 1964). Produced in handwritten calligraphy, it was deemed useful because it could be used to teach people how to write while instructing them how to ward off disease.
The book begins by elaborating how difficult it was to treat the sick in the “old society.” This story of “blood and tears” (血泪) is contrasted with the good tidings brought about in the “new society,” in which all of these diseases will be eradicated (血泪史留至今新社会传佳音党号召送瘟神断病源要认真) (SWSSZJ 1964, 12–15). It is important, so the text preaches (in the selection reproduced here), to develop a “strength of will” (毅力) by studying the example of the Foolish Old Man 愚公 (学愚公毅力深除害尽才甘心), an important hero in the Maoist canon. If one emulates him, one will have a healthy, strong body and will thus be able to work better (快治病早除根身体好劳力增). As a result, all people will live longer, and nature will flourish everywhere (人添寿五谷登看杨柳条条青). It will be beautiful everywhere, and spring will last forever (山河美万年春).