Encyclopedia on Classic Chinese Technology

The Exploitation of the Works of Nature (天工开物) is an encyclopedia on ancient Chinese technology, compiled by Song Yingxing, a Ming Dynasty scholar and engineer, published in May 1637, but destroyed by Manchus.

After more than 200 years of Manchu reign, Chinese became rather ignorant of most ancient knowledge, including the book The Exploitation of the Works of Nature.

Fortunately, some copies were secretly brought to Japan, hand-copied in the 17th century and eventually printed out in the 18th century.

It was only after Manchu’s reign ended in 1911, Chinese have realized the existence of this book when the copies brought back from Japan. MORE

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