Culture

Mysterious Chinese Characters : De

The left half of the Chinese character for Virtue, Morality, and Ethics 德 (dé) is formed by the ideogram ㄔ, a character that was derived over thousands of years from the symbol for “leg and foot.” It signifies an upright style of walking or behavior. The right half is composed of the four individual symbols

Goujian: The Ancient Chinese Sword That Defied Time

Fifty years ago, a rare and unusual sword was found in a tomb in China. Despite being well over 2,000 years old, the sword, known as the Goujian, did not have a single trace of rust. The blade drew blood when an archaeologist tested its edge with his finger. It was seemingly unaffected by the

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Zhen

The Chinese character 真(zhēn) consists of the two ideograms 十 (shí) and 目 (mù).  十 is the character for the number 10 and symbolizes the 10-directional universe in Buddhist thought, and the perfection of gods, while 目 represents the eye. 十目 therefore corresponds to the heavenly eye, also called the “all-seeing eye.” This character is

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Yao

The character 藥(yào) in Chinese refers to a medicine or drug. According to mythology, Shénnóng the “divine farmer”, sampled hundreds of herbs  to test their medicinal value. After this, herbs 草(căo) were thought able to heal.藥 therefore contains the shortened version of this character, 艹, which means herbs. Shénnóng is said to have taught the

Mysteries of Chinese Characters (1): Introduction

Cang Jie invented the characters, thereby millet grains fell down from heaven and the evil spirits cried in the night. This is how Chinese have passed down the legendary tale of the invention of the Chinese characters by the ancient bureaucrat, Cang Jie, 4000 years ago. Author and painter Zhang Yanyuan explained during the Tang

The Story of Chinese Characters

Of all the cultural heritages and legacies that have evolved in the world, none is more significant than the human language. Of all the existing languages, none is equal, in terms of longevity, to the Chinese language, or, more specifically, to Chinese characters, which are logograms. The Chinese use of pictures as the building blocks

The Mysterious Origin of The Jade Discs

In ancient China, dating back to at least 5,000 BC, large stone discs were placed on the bodies of Chinese aristocrats. Their original function still eludes scientists, as does the way in which they were made, considering they were carved out of Jade, an extremely hard rock. Jade is a precious hard stone that is

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

Ancient Wonders: The Secret of Real-Life Magic Mirrors in the Far East

The Chinese and Japanese have long held as precious rare mirrors that seem to magically be at the same time solid bronze and to let light shine right through them. The Chinese called them by a name that signifies “mirrors which are permeable to the light.” In the West, they became known simply as “magic mirrors,” and

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