The 600-year-old stone tablet inscribed with the life story of the founding Ming Dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, known as the Imperial Tomb Tablet of the Great Ming 大明皇陵之碑, or the Huangling Bei, stands over 7 meters high and is borne on the back of a stone turtle. I was able to visit the remote cemetery in northern Anhui Province where this tablet stands, but was surprised to discover that the complete text had never been translated into English. I started this blog to amend this discrepancy and launch the first full English translation of this important document. Click here to start from the beginning of the Huangling Bei 皇陵碑 text and scroll through the translation in 10-line increments. Please feel free to disagree with my word choices and interpretations! You can use the “Huangling Bei texts” tab in the “Categories” sidebar at right for commentary and other categories.
Here is a PDF of the translation: Huangling Bei Monograph April 2020
And click here for some basic background on this text.
I am working on plans to start a new translation of another text important to the Ming founding. Stay tuned! I have also just published The Lacquered Talisman, based on the first section of the Huangling Bei, through the Hong Kong based Earnshaw Books.