Lu Ban


Lu Ban

Lu Ban (zh-cw|c=鲁班|w=Lu Pan, fl. 5th century BC) was a Chinese carpenter, philosopher, military thinker, statesman and contemporary of Mozi, born in the State of Lu. [According to a citation from Youyang Zazu Vol. 24 dated to the 7th century, he was from Dunhuang.]

His real name was Gongshu Ban (zh-cp|c=公输般 or 公输班|p=Gōngshū Bān), also known as the Master Gongshu (Gongshuzi), because he was from the State of Lu, he was most commonly referred to as Lu Ban from records. Lu Ban is well notable for his achievements after his subject to the State of Chu.

According to the tradition, he was responsible for several inventions as seen on "Mozi" chapter 49 and 50:

* Cloud ladder — a mobile counterweighted siege ladder. [公输盘为楚造云梯之械,成,将以攻宋。(Mei's Translation: Gongshu Ban had completed the construction of Cloud ladders for the State of Chu and was going to attack the State of Song with them.) Mozi Ch. 50, Para. 1.]
* Grappling hooks and ram — boat implements used during on a naval warfare. [公输子自鲁南游楚,焉始为舟战之器,作为钩强之备,退者钩之,进者强之,量其钩强之长,而制为之兵。楚之兵节,越之兵不节,楚人因此若埶,亟败越人。(Mei's Translation: Gongshuzi came south from the State of Lu to the State of Chu, and began making implements for naval warfare which consisted of grappling hooks and rams. When the enemy were retreating they used the hooks. And when the enemy were advancing they employed the rams. And the weapons were made according to the length of these hooks and rams. The weapons of the State of Chu thus were all standardized, and those of the State of Yue were not. And, with this advantage, the people of Chu greatly defeated the people of Yue.) from Mozi Ch. 49, Para. 20.]
* Wooden bird — a non-powered flying wooden bird which could stay in the air for three days, and had been suggested to be a proto-kite. [公输子削竹木以为鵲,成而飞之,三日不下。(Mei's Translation: Gongshuzi constructed a bird from bamboo and wood and when it was completed he flew it. It stayed up [in the air] for three days.) Mozi Ch. 49, Para. 21.]

There were also others inventions that contributed to him, such as lifting implement for burial, [Liji Ch. 4.] wooden horse carriage and coachman, [Lunheng Ch. 85, by Wang Chong (b. 27).] and some other woodworking that can be see from various texts which thereafter led Lu Ban to be acknowledged as the master craftsman:

* The Book of Lineages (世本), written in about 3rd century BC.
* The Tales of the Marvellous (述异记), written in about 5th century by Ren Fang.
* The Records of Origin on Things and Affairs (事物纪原), written in about 11th century by Gao Cheng.
* The Origin on Things (物原), written in about 15th century by Luo Qi.
* The Treatise of Lu Ban (鲁班经), an attributed texts to Lu Ban written between 13th to 15th century.

Footnotes

References

*cite book | author=Du Shiran et al | title=Biographies of Ancient Chinese Scientists Series One: [http://www.xys.org/xys/ebooks/others/science/history/china/luban.txt Lu Ban] | publisher=Kexue Chubanshe | location=Beijing | pages=22-25 | year=1992 | id=ISBN 7-03-002926-7
*cite book | author=Wang Fu et al | title=Records of Lu Ban: China's Earliest Inventor — Lu Ban | publisher=Zhongguo Kexue Jishu Chubanshe| pages=3-6 | location=Beijing | year=1994 | id=ISBN 7-5046-1676-1
*cite book | author=Li Shaoyuan; Zhao Beizhi et al | title=Stories of Chinese Scientist and Inventors | publisher=Jindun Publishing House | pages=1-8 | location=Beijing | year=1996 | id=ISBN 7-5082-0168-X
*cite paper | author=Yu Xuecai; Li Chunfu | title=Gongshu Ban, No. 22 Monograph in Research Library of Chinese Architectural Culture | publisher=Huazhong Architecture Bimonthly | date=May 2004 | url=http://www.cotsa.com/cotsa/files/公输般.pdf

External links

* [http://www.techno.edu.ru:8001/images/pub_en_jour/2006/03/01/0000028428/hmm_3-22.pdf A Restoration of Lu-Ban's Wooden Horse Carriage] (PDF)
* [http://www.cic.sfu.ca/nacc/articles/legalmohist/mozi_mei/momei.html Mozi - Mei translation]


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