The forms in this painting—a swimming carp paired with a scuttling crab—are executed in the so-called “boneless” manner with washes of ink rather than outlines. The carp and crab imagery introduces metaphors current in Neo-Confucian scholarly circles, as well as lore popular in late Joseon society. The carp leaping a waterfall to transform into a dragon, for example, symbolizes official achievement by passing civil service examinations and earning promotion to a government post. As it scurries sideways from danger, the crab recalls the deftness of a government official to avoid corruption and misconduct. The inscription on the painting reads: Using the brush is similar to manipulating troops, / It is like setting up camp and facing enemy troops / First one must prepare one’s heart, then use the brush. / A learned person considers tasks sincerely and strives diligently. This text adds another dimension to the work’s meaning—military strategy and activity. Calligraphy and the movement of the arm and body are linked rhetorically to martial arts. Yet it is interesting that the inscription does not relate the sweep of the hand-held brush to the movement of swordplay but to military strategy: the maneuvering of troops and encampment tactics.