Wei Yao (204?-273?), (1) a scholar-official in the Wu court during the Sanguo period, is said to have written "Boyi lun" or "A Disquisition on boyi" upon command of the heir-designate Sun He (224-253). At the time, he served the prince as a close advisor with the official title of palace cadet (shilang) and, according to Lu Kanru, wrote the piece in 242. (2)2 Cai Ying, another scholar-official also serving the heir-designate, had an obsessive passion for the game of boyi. The prince felt that the game was a useless pastime and asked Wei Yao to write a critical disquisition on it. This account of the circumstances surrounding Wei Yao's composition is documented by Chen Shou in the "Wu zhi". (3) The work itself is quoted in its entirety in the "Wu zhi." (4) It is also included in the great sixth-century anthology, Wen xuan. (5) Textual differences between the "Wu zhi" and two popular editions of the Wen xuan, namely the Li Shan and the Wuchen editions, are insignificant and do not alter the main theme of the disquisition. Here I shall follow the text in the Li Shan edition of the Wen xuan.