Lu Ji Hiding Tangerines for His Mother


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According to the Account of Wu (吴志) in The Records of the Three Kingdoms (三国志), Lu Ji (陆绩), was a native of Wu. At the age of six, he had an opportunity to meet Yuan Shu (袁术), who at the time controlled the region of Jiujiang. Yuan Shu put out some tangerines for him to eat. Lu Ji surreptitiously stuffed three of them into the breast of his robe, but when he was making his parting bows, they rolled out to the ground. ‘Master Lu,’ said Yuan Shu, ‘is it proper for a guest to be hiding tangerines in the breast of his robe?’ Lu Ji knelt down and said, ‘I only wanted to take them home to give to my mother!’ Yuan Shu was much struck by his action. This anecdote was later included in The Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety (二十四孝), compiled during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) by Guo Jujing (郭居敬).

image identification and literature research by Dr Yibin Ni 


Fig 1-2: porcelain vase with underglaze blue decoration, Chongzhen period (1628-44), Ming dynasty, courtesy of Rijksmusem, Holland

Fig 3: porcelain brush holder with enamelled decoration (detailed), Kangxi period (1662-1722), Qing dynasty, courtesy of Shanghai Museum

Fig 4: porcelain square vase with underglaze blue and overglaze enamelled decoration, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), courtesy of Shanghai Antique Store

Fig 5: blue-and-white vase, Chongzhen period (1628-44), courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, Accession no. EA1978.2032

Fig 6: Chinese painting, unknown artist in Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

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