The Notion of bianxing 變形 in the Monkey Tales Contained in the Three Chapters "Chushou" 畜 獸 of Taiping Guangji 太平廣記
The 10th-century leishu 類書 (encyclopaedia) by Li Fang entitled Taiping Guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Records of the Taiping Era) is a Song period collection of miscellanea of strange persons and events divided into 500 juan 卷. The classifications of the entries about animals in this collection are from juan 418 to 479. This study examines twenty-five anomaly accounts of shape-changes within the last three juan of “Chushou” 畜獸 (Domesticated and Wild Beasts) dedicated to apes and monkeys, i.e. juan 444, 445, and 446. This paper also analyses the concept of bianxing 變形 (transmutation) related to the physique and spiritual forms of these apes and monkeys, after their clashes and contaminations with human beings. The research considers four categories of changes considering extracts from all the entries. When possible, further information on apes and monkeys is given.