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  • 1 Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures, Ryūkoku University, 4F Hakua-kan, Ōmiya Campus, 125-1 Daiku-Chō, Shichijō Ōmiya, Shimogyōku, Kyōto, Japan
  • | 2 Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, AMES Faculty, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, UK
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ABSTRACT

This paper identifies three manuscript fragments from Turfan as an Old Uyghur version of the story of Shunzi 舜子, a medieval Chinese narrative about Emperor Shun acting as a filial son. In China, the story was part of the lore of filial sons (xiaozi 孝子), popular throughout most of the dynastic period. Early versions of the Chinese story survive in Japan and Dunhuang, and these display obvious parallels with the Uyghur text. While this allows a positive identification of the content of the three Turfan fragments, the differences reveal that none of the known Chinese versions could have served as the source text for the translation. The Old Uyghur version, therefore, represents an otherwise unattested version of the story, which may have developed among the Uyghurs.