Culture

Emperor Wu of Han: Deemed Greatest Emperor of the Han Dynasty

Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (漢朝) (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), also known as Han Wudi, (漢武帝), ruled from 141–87 B.C. as a brave and energetic campaigner. Of all Han Dynasty notables, he earned the highest regard from traditional Chinese historians due to his role in vastly expanding China’s territory and creating a prosperous, centralized state

Liu Xiu: Decisive Emperor of Great Mercy

Liu Xiu was not only known for his exceptional talent in military strategy. He was also known for being an open and honest man who bestowed rewards and punishments in a fair and transparent way. Because of a civil war brought on by Wang Mang (王莽), a court official who usurped the throne from the

Emperor Wen: Western Han Rule With Ethics and Courtesy

The Qin Dynasty (秦朝) (221–206 B.C.), China’s first imperial dynasty, lasted for only 15 years before it was replaced by the Han Dynasty (漢朝), which lasted more than 400 years (206 B.C.–A.D. 220). The greatest lesson that Han emperors learned from Qin Dynasty rule was that martial forces could be used to conquer other countries

Daoist Liu An Accidentally Invented Tofu

Liu An, the King of Huainan (in today’s Anhui provinces) lived in the Western Han Dynasty. He was keen on practicing Daoism through which he accidentally invented Tofu more than 2,100 years ago. Liu An spent a fortune to host many talented people to discuss how to attain sainthood and the Dao, to write books

Yang Zhen: ‘Heaven Knows, Earth Knows, You Know, and I Know’

Yang Zhen was from Huayin County (now in Shanxi Province) in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). He was well-known for his knowledge and wisdom, but what made him stand out as a respectable figure in history was his honesty and uprightness. Yang’s quote “Heaven knows, earth knows, you know, and I know” has become

Politician Fan Zhongyan Put Others’ Needs First

Fan Zhongyan was a prominent politician and a famed poet and writer during the Northern Song Dynasty (A.D. 970-1127). A saying of his, “Be the first to feel concern for others and the last to enjoy yourself,” has become immortal in history and serves as a true reflection of his life. During the second year

The Real Treasures of Wei State

A marquis named Jing Hou once paid a visit to the prince of Wei State during the Warring States period of Chinese history (475–221 B.C.). Jing Hou specially dressed up for the occasion, holding a sword with precious stone inlays on the left and a precious jade tablet pendant on the right, both sparkling brightly.

Emperor Ming of Han Honored His Teacher and Listened to Advisers

Liu Zhuang (28-75 AD), the second emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty, became known after his demise as Emperor Ming of Han. “Ming” means “understanding” and “bright” in Chinese. It was during his reign (57-75 AD) that Buddhism began to spread into China. The following stories reveal his respectfulness and willingness to listen to advisers.

King Wen of Chu Receives Caning Punishment

King Wen succeeded his father King Wu of the state of Chu in 689 BC during the Spring and Autumn period of China. King Wu had been reigning for 51 years, so when King Wen succeeded to the throne, he was already in his middle age. From his youth, King Wen received a very strict

The Magnanimous Character of Cao Cao and His Great-Grandfather

Cao Jie is an obscure character in Chinese history compared to his illustrious great-grandson, the ruler Cao Cao, but he was well-known for his kindness and generosity among his neighbours. According to the “Continuation of the Book of Han,” Cao Jie’s neighbour once lost a pig, and the neighbor noticed that one of Cao Jie’s

Cao Cao: A Ruler with Great Tolerance and Acceptance

The Three Kingdoms period (A.D. 220-280) was a turbulent era in China’s history, with colourful historical figures who jointly personified the notions of fidelity and righteousness in Chinese culture. Among the most prominent characters were Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, and Guan Yu from the state of Shu; Zhou Yu from the state of Wu; and

How to Wear Hanfu | Qixiong Ruqun (齊胸襦裙) from the Tang Dynasty

Qixiong Ruqun or Chest-High Ruqun (齊胸襦裙) is a typical Tang Dynasty women’s hanfu. This video will show you a step-by-step tutorial on how to wear Qixiong Ruqun. I will also talk about each individual pieces as well as the history behind them. Hanfu, meaning Han Chinese Clothing, or as I’d like to call it Han

Father Shao: China’s First Parental Officer 2000 Years Ago

Shao Xinchen lived in the Western Han dynasty of China, he got the top grade in the civil service examinations and was appointed as a local officer. In the reign of Emperor Yuan, between the years of 49 to 33 B.C., Shao became the county governor in Nan Yang (in today’s Henan province) because of

Taking a Step Back Turned an Antagonist into a Friend

There is an old saying in China: In a conflict, when you hold your temper, you will avoid a tempest; when you take a step back, you will find the sea and the sky boundless. This saying was illustrated by Zhai Fangjin, who lived during the end of the Western Han Dynasty more than 2,000

Education in Ancient China From the ‘Three Character Classic’

The Three Character Classic, or San Zi Jing, is the best known classic Chinese text for children. Written by Wang Yinlian (1223–1296) during the Song Dynasty, it has been memorized by generations of Chinese, both young and old. Until the 1800s, the Three Character Classic was the very first text that every child would study. 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

The Virtue of Respecting Elders as Told in the ‘Three Character Classic’

The Three Character Classic, or San Zi Jing, is the best known classic Chinese text for children. Written by Wang Yinlian (1223–1296) during the Song Dynasty, it has been memorized by generations of Chinese, both young and old. Until the 1800s, the Three Character Classic was the very first text that every child would study. The

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