Gong An story
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Chinese Crime Fiction. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2012.|
In general 
Some well known stories include the Yuan Dynasty story Circle of Chalk (Chinese:灰闌記), the Ming Dynasty story collection Bao Gong An (Chinese:包公案) and the 18th century Di Gong An (Chinese:狄公案) story collection. The latter was translated into English as Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee by Dutch sinologist Robert Van Gulik, who then used the style and characters to write an original Judge Dee series.
One notable fact is that a number of Gong An works may have been lost or destroyed during the Literary Inquisitions and the wars in ancient China. Only little or incomplete case volumes can be found; for example, the only copy of Di Gong An was found at a second-hand book store in Tokyo, Japan.
Gong An 
- 1.The term "Gong An" was originally referred as the table, desk, or bench of a Chinese magistrate. 
- 2.Then it was referred to a complicated/strange legal case.
- 3.The court events were recorded by monks and later being used as a warning of thought or practice meditation's motto.
The hero/detective of these novels is typically a traditional judge or similar official based on historical personages such as Judge Bao (Bao Qingtian) or Judge Dee (Di Renjie). Although the historical characters may have lived in an earlier period (such as the Song or Tang dynasty) most stories are written in the latter Ming or Qing period.
These novels differ from the Western tradition in several points as described by van Gulik:
- the detective is the local magistrate who is usually involved in several unrelated cases simultaneously;
- the criminal is introduced at the very start of the story and his crime and reasons are carefully explained, thus constituting an inverted detective story rather than a "puzzle";
- the stories have a supernatural element with ghosts telling people about their death and even accusing the criminal;
- the stories are filled with digressions into philosophy, the complete texts of official documents, and much more, making for very long books;
- the novels tend to have a huge cast of characters, typically in the hundreds, all described as to their relation to the various main actors in the story.
Van Gulik chose Di Gong An to translate because it was in his view closer to the Western tradition and more likely to appeal to non-Chinese readers.
See also 
Kōan -- Japanese rendering of this Chinese term.
- See The Zen Kōan (see note ) p4-6, and also "The form and function of kōan literature" (subtitle) "A historical overview", T. Griffith Foulk, in The Kōan (subtitle) Texts and contexts in Zen Buddhism, Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright, eds., 2000, Oxford University Press, p21-22. Assertions that the literal meaning of kung-an is the table, desk, or bench of a magistrate appear on page 18 of the article by Foulk, and also in Seeing Through Zen, (subtitle) Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism, John R. MacRae, 2003, University of California Press, p172-173 note 16.
- See 辨黄庆基弹劾剳印子, by:宋· 苏轼. And "京本通俗小说·错斩崔宁"