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    ‘Yang Xiang trying to throttle the tiger to rescue her father’ is a well-known story passed down from generation to generation in ancient China. However, Yang Xiang has sometimes been portrayed as a male figure on traditional Chinese artworks. Let...

    Through analysing a famous theme that depicts Bo Yi and Shu Qi Stopping the Zhou Army, Dr Yibin Ni has compared a number of porcelain vessels from Ming and Qing dynasties, and demonstrated his unique insight which can facilitate the correct dating...

    Deer were reputed to live for a very long time and hence, like cranes a...

    Early in Jin dynasty (晋 265–420), Yang Feng 杨丰 and his teenage daughter, Yang Xiang 杨香, were harvesting the millet crops in the fields when he was attacked by a tiger. Though only fourteen-years-o...

    Wang Xiang (王祥 185-269) served as the Grand Protector (taibao 太保) in the Western Jin court (西晋 265-316 CE) and, as a significant politician, has his biography in the Book of Jin (jinshu 晋书), an official historical text covering the dynasty’s history. When Wang Xiang was a boy, his mother passed away. Hi...

    Bo Yi (or Boyi, 伯夷) and Shu Qi (or Shuqi, 叔齐) were sons of the ruler of Guzhu (孤竹), a vassal state of the Shang dynasty (商朝, 16th-11th cent. BCE). As the king was getting old, he wanted Shu Qi, his youngest son, to inherit his throne. However, when the father died, Shu Qi asked Bo Yi to take over th...

    The Chinese deeply respect the elderly and consider a long existence – ideally accompanied by health and happiness – to be one of the five most important blessings (wufu 五福) in a person’s life, which were believed by the ancients and recorded in the Book of Documents 书经 in the Zhou Dynasty (...

    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 in...

    Pun Design: Two + Quails

    Punning Details: The word ‘an 鹌’ in ‘an chun 鹌鹑’ for ‘quail’ makes a pun on ‘an 安’ for ‘peace’. ...

    ‘Dié 蝶’ from hú dié 蝴蝶, the Chinese character for ‘butterfly’, can be used to pun on ‘dié 耋’, meaning ‘octogenarian’ in the phrase ‘May mother live up to a ripe...

    Lily flowers and butterflies form a pun rebus picture known as ‘Xuān Dié Tú 萱耋图’, meaning ‘May mother live up to a ripe old age’. ‘Xuan 萱’ in the picture title comes from ‘xuan...