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Title:
“Monk Engages a Courtesan” 和尚冶游
Year: 1884 Volume: 11 Page Number: 22

From his birth in the time of King Zhao of Zhou (977/75-957 BC) until his death, the Buddha never set foot in China. So where do our monks come from? It was over eight hundred years later, in the time of emperor Ming of the Han dynasty (28-75 AD), a man who propagated lies and fantasies, that our troubles with them began. Although now monks are everywhere, which of them is a genuine Buddhist? Just because they are not blatantly committing illegal acts, people do not look closely at their behavior. The other day, when the Shanghai Lao Dangui Theater was giving a performance, a monk arrived waving an eagle-feather fan and wearing short silk garments. He sat high up in the central hall, chatting about current events freely. After a while, he procured a prostitute and let her to sit beside him and nuzzle him. They were flirting and toying with each other in a manner too revolting to describe. But the real reason that he became a monk was poverty: his parents were not able to support him. Or it was because he had suffered all kinds of hardships and got tired of the madding crowd. Therefore he took the tonsure to clear his mind. Or he might be a big criminal taking shelter among the Buddhist community, keeping silent and lying low, who saw life as death and never forgot his evil past.
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These kinds of utterly unscrupulous, lascivious and dissipated monks can only be called “human devils”. Local authorities should investigate carefully and expose him in the stocks (zhanlong) so as to denounce his evils publicly and warn others against following his bad example. (Seal: world of perfect bliss).

Translator: Zhou Yuan.
Revised by Peter C. Perdue

佛自周昭王時下生, 迄於滅度, 足跡未嘗履中國, 土和尚胡來哉?乃後八百年而有漢明帝, 說謊說夢, 惹出這場事來。 今之僧人徧天下矣, 其寔那个是佛門弟子?但非顯行不法, 人亦不予深究耳。 乃前日本埠老丹桂戲園夜演時, 來一和尚, 手搖雕扇, 身服羅襦, 高座正廳, 妄談時事。 嗣又喚到一妓, 就坐身旁, 以遨以嬉, 相偎相倚, 種種醜態, 不可描摹。 夫原其出家之始, 必其父母生而不能育, 窮而無所歸也;不然, 歷盡艱苦, 厭履塵囂, 薙去頭毛, 期清心地;又不然, 身犯巨案, 遁入空門, 匿跡銷聲, 視生如死, 從未有忘卻本來。 絕無忌憚, 荒淫謬妄, 至於如此之極者, 是直人妖而已矣。 有司官宜確切訪拿, 置諸站籠中, 以著罪惡而昭炯戒

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illustrations from the 1898 edition of the
Dianshizhai huabao, generously provided by
the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University

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