Take jokes away from life and you take a good part of life away from man. Throughout China's history the industrious and ingenious Chinese people, while creating a brilliant ancient civilization, have left succeeding generations a rich cultural heritage of tens of thousands of jokes, spanning many different dynasties. The jokes are humorous, sarcastic, witty, and pointed. They unmask corrupt and evil practices, ridicule the ugly and ignorant, and are generally relieving as well as enlightening. Rooted in society at large, they flourish and will always be with us. We have selected several hundred well-known jokes and added footnotes, illustrations and English translations. Each of the several volumes contains around a hundred jokes. The book is dedicated to international readers fond of China and interested in understanding the country better. We hope these jokes from past Chinese dynasties will offer many amusing insights into the character of the Chinese people.