Category Archives: Chinese

Xin QiJi 5.28.13 Thought of the Day

Precious hairpin, broken, halved
At the Peach-Leaf Ferry where
We parted; darkening mist and willow shroud the place.
I dread to climb the tower-top stair;
Nine days out of ten wind raves, rain torrents race:
It breaks my heart to see the scarlet petals scatter one by one.
All this with nobody to care
Above it – who is there
Will bid the oriole’s singing cease?
Xin QiJi

[Image courtesy:]

[Image courtesy:]

Xin QiJi was born on this day in Licheng (now Jinan) in the Shandong Province  of China in  1140. Today is the 873rd anniversary of his birth.

He was born to an age of conflict. Northern China was occupied by a nomadic “horde” from north-east China called the Jin or Jurchen.

In his childhood his grandfather told him about the time when the Han Chinese ruled the north and told him to be an honorable man and seek revenge against the barbarian for the nation. It was then when he developed his patriotic feelings. [Cultural]

At 22 he began his military career with a group of fifty men under his command. He fought along side Geng Jing with his 10,000 strong army. After some success in 1161 Xin QiJi convinced Geng Jing to …

 …Join forces with the Southern Song army in order to fight the Jurchen more effectively. … but just as Xin finished a meeting with the Southern Song Emperor… Xin learned that Geng Jing had been assassinated by their former friend-turned-traitor, Zhang Anguo (张安国). With merely fifty men, Xin fought his way through the Jurchen camp and captured Zhang Anguo. Xin then led his men safely back across the border and had Zhang Anguo decapitated by the emperor. [Ibid]

His bravery, military prowless, and loyality to Geng Jing, his men and the Emperor “gained him a place in the Southern Song court.” [Ibid]

He was frustrated by the courts appeasement policy toward the invaders, and kept from a position of influence by being given “a series of minor posts” [Ibid] in the court.

[Image courtesy: ibid]

[Image courtesy: Cultural]

Although he was an effective ruler on the district level (where he improved the irrigation system, helped poverty-struck peasants and maintained  well trained troops) it is through the  poetry that he began to write when he moved to the South that is known for today.

Xin Qiji’s Song poems are “powerful and sonorous , embracing the world and history”. As a patriotic lyricist , he sang of the sorrows and joys of the time , and the indignation and hope of the nation , pushing the Song poems up a new peak . [Ibid]

When young, I knew not the taste of sorrow,
But loved to mount the high towers;
I loved to mount the hight towers
To compose a new song,urging myself to talk about sorrow.
Now that I have known all the taste of sorrow,
I would like to talk about it, but refrain;
I would like to talk about it, but refrain,

And say merely: “It is chilly; what a fine autumn!” [Ibid]

-Xin QiJi

[Image courtesy: Cultural]

[Image courtesy: Cultural]


Bruce Lee 11.27.12 Thought of the Day

Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon

Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.

The key to immortality is first living a life worth living.

I fear not the man who has practiced a thousands kicks once; but I fear the man who has practiced one kick a thousand times.

A goal is not always something to be reached, it often serves simply to as something to aim at.

If you want to swim jump into the water.

–Bruce Lee

Lee Jun-fan (Bruce Lee)  was born on this day in San Francisco, CA, USA in 1940. Today is the 2nd anniversary of his birth.

Although he was born in San Francisco he was raised in Hong Kong. He began to train in the martial arts at 13. He studied philosophy at the University of Seattle. Upon graduation he opened a martial arts studio in Oakland and Los Angeles and developed his own art called Jeet Kun Do.

Bruce Lee trained several celebrities before entering the film industry himself. He was born under the sign of  the Dragon and the word dragon appears in several of his movie titles.

Lee  died at the age of 32  from a cerebral edema from an allergic reaction to medicine in July of 1973.


Bruce Lee (Madame Tussauds Hong Kong).

Bruce Lee (Madame Tussauds Hong Kong). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ba Jin 11.25.12 Thought of the Day

Sichuanese people

“You have your thoughts and I have mine. This is the fact and you can’t change it even if you kill me.
Ba Jin

Li Yaotang was born on this day in in Chengdu, Sichuan, China in 1908. Today is the 104th anniversary of his birth.

  He began his career in 1927, and has a collected work of 14 volumes of novels and proses. The first volume contains his novel The Family, completed in 1931, and his novellette Autumn in Spring in 1932. The second volume contains his two novelettes Garden of Repose, completed in 1944, and Bitter Cold Nights in 1946. The third volume contains the novelette The Grit Men, and 22 short stories. The fourth volume contains 43 articles on literary creation and other subjects by Ba Jin.[Selected Works of Ba Jin]
He was an anarchist who was often at odds with the Communist Party.But after the Communist Revolution he renounced his anarchist ideas and was considered a politically reliable person.

He was nominated for the Nobel prize in Literature in 1975.

Only Ba Jin statue I've ever seen in China

Only Ba Jin statue I’ve ever seen in China (Photo credit: Foto Jenny)

[today’s blog is a little light because I am traveling.]

%d bloggers like this: