Stories from History: Cao Cong Rescued Officials

Cao Cong, son of Cao Cao, who was the emperor of the Wei during the Three Kingdoms Period, was a kind and caring person. At that time, there were many events going on in Wei that Cao Cao had to utilize very severe punishments to deal with. One day, officials found out that mice had

Stories from History: How Zhang Qixian Divided the Assets

During the time of Emperor Zhenzong (968-1022 A.D.) of the Song Dynasty, two of the Emperor’s relatives did not agree with the amount of each other’s endowment, argued about it, and had complained about each other at the Censorate’s office. Emperor Zhenzong had the case reviewed more than ten times and couldn’t get it settled.

Stories from History: The Honorable Tang Wenzheng was an Honest and Upright Official

Tang Bin (1627-1687 A.D.) was from Sui County of Henan Province in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.). He passed the Imperial Civil Service Examination in the ninth year of the reign of Emperor Shunzhi and became a Jinshi (metropolitan graduate). He assumed many official posts including Shanxi Tongguan Dao (district magistrate), Jiangxi Lingbei Dao, the

Stories from History: Jiang Balang Paid His Debt

In the Song Dynasty (960-1279A.D), there was a wealthy man named Jiang Balang (the eighth son) in Pingjiang. Later on, the Jiang family went into decline and crowds of creditors would wait outside his house everyday. Balang had no choice but to divorce his wife. He told her, “Please go back to your parents. I

Stories from History – A Blue Phoenix Paid a Debt of Gratitude

Yang Bangyi was from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). One day, when he was reading in Tianwang Temple after he passed the candidacy examination in the provincial imperial examinations, he saw the wings of a blue phoenix, which sat straddling on the body of a Buddha statue, fall off from the rain dripping on them over

270-Million-Year-Old Stone Bears Words: ‘Chinese Communist Party Perishes’

In June 2002, a 270 million-year-old “hidden words stone” was discovered in Guizhou, China. A crack that formed 500 years ago in a large stone revealed six clearly discernible Chinese characters; the characters clearly spell “The Chinese Communist Party perishes [Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng wáng 中國共產党亡].” The character “perish” [wáng 亡] is especially large. The official media in Mainland

Stories from History: Kindness Is Rewarded

In the Song Dynasty, some criminals were released from prison and sent into exile on Shanmen Island. A regulation of that dynasty set an upper limit of people on the island to 300 people. The government provided enough food for 300 criminals only. In addition, the island was very small and couldn’t hold more people

Stories from History: Fu Shuo’s Conversation with Wu Ding

In the Shang Dynasty in ancient China, there was a king called Wu Ding. After Wu Ding’s father died, he stayed out of government affairs for three whole years to mourn his father. After the three years of mourning were over, Wu Ding still did not attend government affairs. As the government officials were all

Eight Treasures Tea: An Elixir from Ancient China

Herbal remedies have been used in China for millennia with each dynasty classifying and documenting new treatments as they were discovered. Shennong meaning “Divine Farmer,” lived some 5,000 years ago and taught the ancient Chinese agriculture and how to use herbs to treat their ailments. He is credited with inventing the hoe, axe, and plow,

Stories from History: Dealing with People by Being Trustworthy

Confucianism teaches that people should deal with each other with good faith, respect, understanding and trust instead of suspicion. Only then can people get along with each other harmoniously. In ancient times, Confucius and his disciples were once trapped in the wilderness bordering the state of Chen and the state of Cai. They had to

The Triumph of Death

How China’s Northern Song Dynasty Contained Plague Outbreaks

Plagues have often wrecked havoc since ancient times. While some nations perished during these calamities, others survived. Here are some historic accounts from China’s Northern Song Dynasty detailing how people back then dealt with the outbreaks. According to the History of Song, one of the official Chinese historical works, a major plague occurred during the

Dragon Boat Festival: Interesting Facts and Fun Games that the Ancient Chinese Played

The Dragon Boat Festival is just around the corner. While you might be craving for your favourite glutinous rice dumplings—be it the simple yet delicious Kee Chang (alkaline rice dumplings) or the ones with savoury salted egg and pork fillings—have you ever wondered why rice dumplings are associated with the Dragon Boat Festival? We’ve all

Will You Clash With Tai Sui (犯太岁) in Year 2020 (庚子年)?

Do you know that every year in Chinese cosmo-astrology, a Tai Sui is in charge of the fortunes and setbacks of people for the entire year?  Tai Sui actually refers to some stars, but has been personified as a deity or god. Do you also know that every year, four Chinese zodiac animals and the

Does Your Zodiac Animal Clash With the Rat in 2020?

Those born in the year of the Rat are now in the spotlight as we stride into the year 2020, which in the Chinese Zodiac system is the year of the Rat. How does your zodiac animal level up with those born in the year of the Rat (i.e. 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984,

Abbot’s Refusal to Expel Thief Angers Monks, It’s All for a Greater Good

Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable. Sometimes, life lessons are hard to learn, and we require a few attempts before finally getting it. A monastery of young monks couldn’t understand their master’s reasoning in his refusal to punish

Sage Lord of Japan

Lessons From the Sage Lord of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu

The father of Japan’s capitalist economy is Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931), a highly respected Japanese industrialist. Guided by his study of Confucius’ Analects, Shibusawa brought Western capitalism to Japan, but with a core emphasis on morality and business ethics. In this series, we look at Shibusawa’s philosophy and understanding of Confucius’ teachings, which guided the creation

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