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Yu Hao (Chinese: 喻皓, fl. 970) was a Chinese structural engineer, architect, artist, and writer during the Song Dynasty.



Yu Hao was given the title of Master-Carpenter (Du Liao Jiang) for his architectural skill.[1] He wrote the Mu Jing (木經; Timberwork Manual) when he was active sometime between 965 to 995, considered an important piece of classical Chinese architectural literature, and although it no longer survives, Shen Kuo quoted from it.[2] In 989, his architectural design and structural engineering work culminated in the construction of the Kai-Bao Pagoda, a wooden Chinese pagoda of medieval Kaifeng (the Northern Song's capital city).[1][3] The pagoda was lost in a 1040 lightning conflagration, while the now famous Iron Pagoda of Kaifeng was rebuilt on the same spot in 1049, constructed out of brick and stone to resist arson and lightning fires.

Timberwork ManualEdit

Writing a century later (c. 1088), the polymath scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031–1095) praised the architectural writings of Yu Hao. Below are two passages from Shen's book Meng Xi Bi Tan (Dream Pool Essays), outlining the basics contained in Yu's 10th century work on early Song-era architecture.

In the first quote, Shen Kuo describes a scene in which Yu Hao gives advice to another artisan architect about slanting struts for diagonal wind bracing (Wade-Giles spelling):

In this next quote, Shen Kuo describes the dimensions and types of architecture outlined in Yu Hao's book (Wade-Giles spelling):

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 81.
  2. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 82.
  3. ^ a b Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 141.
  4. ^ Needham, Volume 4, 82-84.


  • Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 3. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.

External linksEdit