Why Li Bai and Du Fu Are Still China’s Most Popular Poets

If you ever thought the popular worship of long-gone bards was a uniquely British phenomenon, you may be in for a surprise. The Mandarin poets Li Bai and Du Fu, who lived during the...

Huo Qubing: Young General of Military Might

Under the reign of Emperor Wu (武) of Han, the Han Dynasty (漢朝) (206 B.C.–A.D. 220) saw a vast territorial expansion as well as a strong and centralized government. Although the nomadic Xiongnu were a...

Qiu Chuji: the Taoist monk who pacified Genghis Khan

Qiu Chuji (丘处机; 1148 – 23 July 1227), also known Changchun zi (長春子) was one of the Seven Daoist Disciples of Wang Chongyang, founder of the Quanzhen School of Taoism in the 12th century during the...

A Historical Note of Chinese lyric poetry

Although the oldest surviving textual examples of surviving ci (词) or lyric poetry are from 8th century CE Dunhuang manuscripts, beginning in the poetry of the Liang Dynasty, the ci followed the tradition of the Shi...

How to remember Koxinga: Contested legacy

EARLIER this month China’s first aircraft-carrier set out from the port city of Dalian to begin her longest sea trial to date, one that is likely to include J-15 fighters performing take-off and landing...

Lin Zexu and the destruction of opium

Lin Zexu (30 August 1785 – 22 November 1850), was a Chinese scholar-official of the Qing dynasty best known for his role in the First Opium War of 1839–42. Lin became Governor-General of Hunan and...

Li Shizhen and his Compendium

Li Shizhen (李時珍, July 3, 1518  – 1593),  was a Han Chinese polymath, medical doctor, scientist, pharmacologist, herbalist and acupuncturist of the Ming dynasty. His major contribution to clinical medicine was his 27-year work,...

The technical encyclopedia of the Tiangong Kaiwu

The Tiangong Kaiwu (天工開物), or The Exploitation of the Works of Nature was a Chinese encyclopedia compiled by Song Yingxing. It was published in May 1637 with funding provided by Song's patron Tu Shaokui. The...

Han Feizi and the legalist school

The grouping together of thinkers that would eventually be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to Han Fei (280–236 BC).  On rare occasion Han Fei lauds such qualities as benevolence and proper social...

Legalism in Chinese History

Qin unification of 221 BCE could have become the triumph of Legalism. The rise of the state of Qin started with Shang Yang; and it was by following his “agriculture cum warfare” course of...

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