playful cubes for storytelling, brainstorming ideas or playing games in three dimensions

Community & Events

Diffusion engaging with the community, online and out in the world.


an ongoing programme enabling residents at Proboscis studio to create eBooks and StoryCubes for their own projects.

Learning, Schools & Education

eBooks & StoryCubes created for learning and educational purposes


Browse the collection of Diffusion Shareables: eBooks & StoryCubes

The 36 Stratagems

Submitted by on May 30, 2009 – 9:38 am


Download A4 | US Letter PDF 1.9Mb

AboutThe Thirty-Six Stratagems is collection of ancient Chinese proverbs whose origin is unknown, but is understood to date back to the late Ming or early Qing dynasty. Contemporary versions are all derived from a tattered book discovered at a roadside vendor’s stall in Sichuan or Shannxi in 1941, first coming to wider attention in 1961 when published in the  Chinese Communist Party’s Guangming Daily newspaper. 

The Stratagems (an alternative title was The Secret Art of War) are often paired with Sun Tzu’s celebrated Art of War, but lean more heavily towards the fields of politics, diplomacy and espionage. The text restricts itself to simply naming each strategy with a brief explanation, often containing allusions to the I-Ching, or Book of Changes – modern editions often also contain illustrative stories from folklore and history.

Six multiplied by six equals thirty-six.
Calculations produce tactics which in turn produce calculations. 

Each side depends upon the other. 

Based on this correlative relationship, ploys against the enemy are devised. 

Rigid application of Military theory will only result in defeat on the battlefield.

Unknown first publication date, believed late Ming or early Qing dynasty
Sourced from Wengu and Wikipedia
Translated by Stefan Verstappen

*** a ‘book’ (long edge binding) eBook created using the new Diffusion Generator ***

No comment so far