The China History Podcast
CHP-145-The History of Tea Part 6

The China History Podcast's ten part History of Tea continues with this sixth episode.  The time is now the late Ming and Qing dynasty.  Now Western people are getting a nice close look at tea and imagining the possibilities.  


Shen Nong神农 One of the all time greats in legendary Chinese history. Discovered tea’s pleasures and passed it on to Chinese civilization

Ba Shu  巴蜀  The Ancient state located in Sichuan and based near Chengdu

Jiajing Emperor嘉靖帝 Ming dynasty emperor during whose watch, the foreigners began showing up.

Wuyi Shan  武夷山Wu Yi Mountains in northern Fujian

Bai Hao  白毫“White hair”, a name given some teas due to the young delivate nature of the buds

Hongwu  洪武The Ming founder Zhu Yuanzhang, Ming Taizu, The Hongwu Emperor

Song Luo Shan  Mountain located just south of Huang Shan, famous for its great teas and tea history

Huangshan黄山 Yellow Mountain in southern Anhui, one of the most sacred mountains in China

Jingdezhen  景德  The porcelain capital of China and at one time, the whole world.

Xiuning County   休宁  Song Luo Mountain was located here, in Anhui province

Bohea  武夷茶One of the early and historic teas of the age of the China Clippers

Congou  工夫One of the early and historic teas of the age of the China Clippers

Pekoe白毫 One of the early and historic teas of the age of the China Clippers. (See Bai Hao above). The Dutch would brand tghis tea "Orange Pekoe".

Hyson  熙春茶One of the early and historic teas of the age of the China Clippers, also known as Lucky Dragon Tea

Chanong    Tea farmer

Qimen cha    Keemun Tea from Anhui, a world class China black tea.

Zhangjiakou  家口The ancient town of Kalgan in Hebei.

Huizong  宋徽宗  The last emperor of the Northern Song.  He knew a lot about tea.

Kangxi  康熙帝Long reigning Qing dynasty emperor who acted as a model patron of tea culture

Qianlong  乾隆帝  Even longer reigning Qing dynasty emperor who acted even more as a model patron of tea culture

Chonghua Palace  华宫

Longjing cha  井茶  Dragon Well Tea from Longjing Village outside Hangzhou

Hugong Temple  胡公  Temple located in Longjing Village

Mt. Shifeng  峰山Mountain located near Longjing Village

Gaiwan  盖碗  A covered tea bowl.

Li Chunsheng  One of the two father’s of Taiwan’s tea export industry.

Lugu, Nantou County鹿谷, 南投縣  The heartland of Taiwan’s Oolong tea growing area


THE SPIRIT OF TEA, a book and traveling exhibition by tea lover and photographer Matthew London. 


This here’s the link: signup for your chance to win a signed print. 



Direct download: CHP-145-The_History_of_Tea_Part_6R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

CHP-144-The History of Tea Part 5

The History of Tea continues with Part 5.  In this episode Laszlo looks at tea in the Ming dynasty.  This is when loose leaf tea, Jingdezhen and Yixing tea pots hit the big time.



Mocha  抹茶 Ground tea in powder form (also written 末茶)

Cai Xiang  蔡襄  Great calligrapher and tea expert from the Northern Song

Huizong  徽宗  Last emperor of the Northern Song

Myoan Eisai  明菴荣西  Japanese Monk

Zhao Kuangyin  匡胤  Founder of the Northern Song

Jin  金朝  The Jurchen Jin Dynasty

Yuan dynasty  元朝  The Mongol Yuan Dynasty

Doucha  斗茶  To have a tea battle

Chaoqing  炒青  The pan frying method of stopping enzymatic oxidation

Zheng He    Famous eunuch admiral who made seven voyages

Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋  Ming Dynasty founder

Liu Bang  刘邦  Han Dynasty founder

Ming Taizu  明太祖 Temple name of Zhu Yuanzhang

Hongwu  洪武  Era name of Zhu Yuanzhang

Zisha  紫砂  Purple clay

Jingdezhen  景德  Jingde Town in Jiangxi Province, named after Zhenzong’s Jingde Era

Zhongguo  中国  China

Qin Shihuang  秦始皇  The First Qin Emperor

Qin Dynasty 秦朝  The Qin Dynasty

Xinping    新平 Ancient name of Jingdezhenm

Changnan  昌南  Former name of Jingdezhen

Zhen    A town or township

Shi   A city or municipality

Cun    A village

Nanchang  南昌  Capital of Jiangxi Province

Lake Poyang鄱阳湖 Lake Poyang

Zhenzong  真宗 The Zhenzong Emperor

Zhushan   珠山 Pearl Hill near Jingdezhen

Liu Yiqian 刘益谦Shanghai billionaire pharmaceutical magnate and antiques collector

Chenghua Emperor成化帝Ming emperor who reigned 1464-1487

Gaiwan  盖碗 A lidded tea bowl

Huacha  花茶 scented flower tea

Huizong 惠宗  Final Yuan Dynasty emperor

Da Ming Yongle Zhi   大明永乐制  Made in the Ming Yongle Era

Cha Lu茶录 Tea treatise written by Cai Xiang

Zhu Quan 朱权 Son of the Hongwu emperor, younger brother to Zhu Di.

Cha Puof 1440  茶谱 The Tea Treatise by Zhu Quan

Gu Yuanqing顾元庆 Wrote the other main tea treatise of the Ming dynasty

Cha Puof 1541  茶谱 The Tea Treatise by Gu Yuanqing

Zhu Di 朱棣 Son of the Hongwu emperor, later reigning as the Yongle Emperor.

Xing ware  邢窑  Xing ware from Hebei

Yue ware  越器  Yue ware from Yuezhou near Shaoxing

He cha喝茶  To drink tea

pin cha品茶  To sip tea

Zhu cha  煮茶  To boil tea

Pao cha 泡茶brew tea by steeping

Shanxi 山西  Province in China, capital at Taiyuan

Shaanxi  陕西  Province in China, capital at Xian

Jin  A “Chinese pound”, about 500 grams or 1.1 lbs.

xi cha  洗茶  To wash or clean tea leaves

Yixing    City in Jiangsu formerly known as Yangxian

Lu Tong卢仝  writer of the poem “Seven Cups of Tea.”

Dehua   德化   City in central Fujian

Yang hu养壶to raise the teapot

gongfu tea  功夫茶 / 工夫茶  Gongfu Tea

pinmingbei  品茗杯   A small teacup for sipping tea

chahe  茶荷   a scoop used to transfer tea to a pot

chapan    A Tea tray

Princess Wénchéng文成公主  brought nutritional benefits of tea to the Himalaya’s 

Wanli emperor  万里帝  The long reigning Wanli Emperor 1563-1620


THE SPIRIT OF TEA, a book and traveling exhibition by tea lover and photographer Matthew London. 


This here’s the link: signup for your chance to win a signed print. 



Direct download: CHP-144-The_History_of_Tea_Part_5R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:07am PDT

CHP-143-The History of Tea Part 4

This time in History of Tea Part 4 we continue along the timeline and look at tea in the Song Dynasty.  Tea may have been brought to great heights during the Tang but during the Song.


Lu Yu    Lu Yu, writer of the Classic of Tea

Kukai  空海 Japanese Monk, among other things introduced tea to Japan

Saicho  最澄  Japanese monk also helped introduce tea to Japan

Emperor Saga  嵯峨天皇  Emperor of Japan 806-809

Chama Gudao  古道  The Ancient Tea Horse Route

Zhao Kuangyin  匡胤  Founder of the Northern Song

Kaifeng  开封Capital city during the Northern Song

Mocha  抹茶  Ground tea in powder form (also 末茶)

Diancha  点茶  To whisk tea

Cai Xiang  蔡襄  Great calligrapher and tea expert from the Northern Song

Hūizōng  徽宗  Last emperor of the Northern Song

Limao  礼貌  etiquette, politeness

Wang Xizhi  王羲之  303-361, Jin Dynasty calligrapher, considered China’s greatest calligrapher

Cai Jing  蔡京  Hūizōng’s right hand man for many years  Also a great literary talent

Lantingji Xu  亭集序 Wang Xizhi’s great work. Preface to the poems composed at the Orchid Pavilian

Su Shi  苏轼  Also known as Su Dongpo, famous official, man of letters and Hangzhou hero

Huang Tingjian  黄庭坚  Great literary figure from the Song

Mi Fu  米芾  Great literary figure from the Song

Su, Huang, Mi, Cai  黄米蔡  The four great Song calligraphers

Quanzhou  泉州  Historic port city in Fujian

Fuzhou  福州  City in Fujian

Renzong  仁宗  Song Emperor 1022-1063

Ouyang Xiu  欧阳修 Song Statesman and all around literary powerhouse

Cha Jing    The Classic of Tea by Lu Yu

Cha Lu    Tea treatise by Cai Xiang

Doucha  斗茶  To have a tea battle

Mingzhan   Tea Wars or tea battle

Jian ware  建窑  Jian ware

Tuhao zhan 兔豪  Rabbit fur

Daimao zhan  Tortoise shell design

Zhegu ban   Partridge feathers design

You di  油滴  Oil drops design in Jian ware

Yue qi  越器  Yue ware from Yuezhou near Shaoxing

Xing ware  邢窑  Xing ware from Hebei

Qingbai  清白 White porcelain of the Song

Wulong  乌龙  Oolong tea

Zhenzong  真宗 Song Emperor 997-1022

Shenzong  神宗  Song emperor 1067-1085

Ya’an  雅安  City west of Chengdu with a rich tea history

Han Wudi  武帝  Grest Han Dynasty conquering emperor

Tang Taizong  唐太宗  Tang emperor Taizong (Li Shimin)

Wang Anshi  王安石  The great Song era reformer

Kaimen qījiàn shi  七件事  The Seven Necessities of Living

Chan Buddhism  禅宗  Better known as Zen Buddhism

Master Xiangmo  降魔藏  Chan Master Xiamngmo of Lingyan Temple on Mount Tai

Lingyan Monastery  灵岩寺Chan Buddhist Monastery on Mount Tai

Taishan  泰山 Mount Tai near Jinan

Daguan Chalun    Song Hūizōng’s Treatise on Tea

Silver Needle 银针 Silver Needle White Tea

Long Life Eyebrow  寿眉茶Long Life Eyebrow White Tea

Tribute Eyebrow  眉茶Tribute Eyebrow White Tea

White Peony  白牡丹  White Peony Tea

Zhenghe County  政和  County in northern Fujian

Fuding   福鼎  City in northern Fujian near the Zhejiang border

Guihuacha  桂花茶 Osmanthus Tea

Myoan Eisai  明菴栄西  Japanese Monk


Longfeng Tuancha 龙凤团  Dragon Phoenix Tea Cake

Wuyi Shan  武夷山The Wuyi Mountains in Fujian

Tieguanyin 铁观 Iron Buddha Oolong tea

Yan cha  岩茶  Rock Tea of Wuyi Shan

Shaqing    To “kill the green”

Chanong  Tea Farmer

Da Hong Pao 袍茶  Big Red Robe Tea

Tie Luohan  铁罗汉  Tie Luohan tea

Bai Ji Guan  冠茶  Bei Jiguan Tea

Shui Xian  水仙茶 Shui Xian Tea

Ba Xian 八仙茶  Ba Xian Tea

Rou Gui 肉桂茶Rou Gui Tea

Zheng Yan Tea  Wuyi Rock tea from the mountain summit

Ban Yan Tea  Wuyi Rock tea from midway up the mountain

Zhou Tea  Wuyi Rock tea from the river banks

Nantou  City in Taiwan

Jiayi   City in Taiwan

Hualian  City in Taiwan

Zhu Yuanzhang   朱元璋 Founder of the Ming Dynasty, a.k.a. The Hongwu Emperor.

Direct download: CHP-143-The_History_of_Tea_Part_4.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm PDT

CHP-142-The History of Tea Part 3

In Part 3 of the CHP ten-part history of tea series we look at the life of the Tea Saint, Lu Yu and his great work The Classic of Tea. 



Lu Yu    Lu Yu

Cha Jing茶经 The Classic of Tea

Shen Nong    Shen Nong, the Divine Farmer

Tianmen   Birthplace of Lu Yu

Hubei ren  湖北人  someone from Hubei

Longgai Temple  龙盖寺  Dragon Cloud Monastery

Chan Buddhist  禅宗  Better known as Zen Buddhism

Li Qiwu    Tang royal who served as governor in Tianmen

Zou Fuzi  邹老夫子  One of Lu Yu's earliest teachers and tea masters

Cui Guofu  崔国 Tang official who replaced Li Qiwu and served as another mentor of Lu Yu

Jiangsu    Province in the east of China

Zhejiang  浙江  Province just south of Jiangsu

Jiangxi  江西  Province south of Zhejiang

Miaoxi Monastery  妙喜寺Buddhist monastery located in Huzhou.

Huzhou  湖州  City in Jiangsu

Jiao Ran  皎然  Chan monk

Wang Bao  王褒  Western Han individual involved in a contract for a servant

Yan Zhenqing  真卿  Tang scholar, calligrapher and official

Lu Tong  卢仝  The great poet and bon vivant

Daizong Emperor  唐代宗  Tang emperor from 762-779

Dezong Emperor  德宗帝  Tang emperor from 779-805

Yongzheng Emperor 雍正帝 Qing emperor from 1722-1735

Lu Tingcan    A Tea Immortal, known for his Sequel to the Cha Jing

Cha Xian   茶仙  Tea Immortal

Xu Cha Jing    The Sequel to the Classic of Tea

Xia Dynasty  夏朝  The mythical Xia Dynasty

Zhongguo Cha wenhua  中国茶文化 Chinese Tea Culture

Ba Shu  巴蜀  The Ba Shu State in Sichuan

Zhou Gong  周公 The Duke of Zhou

Sima Xiangru  相如  The poetess from Qionglai in Sichuan

Jin Dynasty  晉朝  The Jin Dynasty

Hongzhi Era  弘治 The Ming dynasty Hongzhi emperor’s era 1487-1505

Abbot Zhiji   Stepfather to Lu Yu and Abbot of the Longgai Monastery

Nanling River  南凌 River north of Yangzhou famous for its water

Tang Taizong  唐太宗  Tang emperor Taizong (Li Shimin)

Yue qi  越器  Yue ware from Yuezhou near Shaoxing

Xing ware  邢窑  Xing ware from Hebei

Nanbei Chao  南北朝  The Southern and Northern Dynasty Period

Longmen  龙门 City in Shaanxi where Sima Qian was born


Direct download: CHP-142-The_History_of_Tea_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

Laszlo continues his 10-part series introducing the history of tea in China from ancient times to the modern age.  This time the focus is on the 7th to 9th centuries during the Tang Dynasty.  Tea by now has been transformed from a medicine to an enjoyable and inspirational beverage. 


Charen 茶人  Tea Person

Shen Nong    Shen Nong, the Divine Farmer

Sui Wendi  隋文帝  Founding emperor of the Sui Dynasty

Sui Yangdi 帝  Wendi's son, a man of many excesses

Fuchai  夫差  King of the Wu State

Han Gou  汗垢  The Han Canal

Jin Dynasty  晉朝  The Jin Dynasty

Tang Taizong  唐太宗  Tang emperor Taizong

Cha Ma Gudao  茶馬古道  The Ancient Tea Horse Road

Cha    Tea

Tu    Former name of tea before the Tang Dynasty

Gong Cha  貢茶  Tribute tea

Qingming 清明節  The Qingming Festival

Biancha    Border Tea

Qiang    The Qiang people 羌族

Baojianpin 保健品  health products

Zhang Qian  张骞 Western Han adventurer and diplomat

Shu yu niao zhi lu  鼠与之旅  The road of mice and birds

Wencheng Gongzhu  文成公主  Princess Wencheng

Songzan Ganbu  干布  Songstan Gampo

Suyoucha  酥油茶  Tibetan buttered tea

Qionglai    Tea town outside of Chengdu

Ya’an  雅安  Tea town outside of Chengdu

Wenchuan  汶川  Tea town outside of Chengdu

Leshan    Tea town outside of Chengdu

Saicho 最澄  Japanese Monk

Emperor Saga  嵯峨天皇  Emperor Saga of Japan

Mt. Hiei  比叡山  Mountain near Kyoto where the Enryakuji is located

Tiantai Buddhism 天台宗  The Tiantai sect of Buddhism

Eisai  西 Song era Japanese monk

Cha Jing茶经 The Classic of Tea

Dezong Emperor  德宗帝  The Dezong Emperor

Lu Tong  卢仝  The great poet and bon vivant

Qi Wan Shi 七碗诗 Seven Bowls of Tea

An Lushan  安禄山  Rebel Leader who launched a rebellion from 755-763

Yangxian Zisun Cha  阳羡紫笋茶  Yangxian Purple Bamboo Tea

Yue qi  越器  Yue ware from Yuezhou near Shaoxing

Xing ware  邢窑  Xing ware from Hebei


Direct download: CHP-141-The_History_of_Tea_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:28am PDT

CHP-140-The History of Tea Part 1

Laszlo is back with a new ten-part CHP series covering the history of tea from its mythical discovery clear through to the 20th century.  


Sanhuang Wudi 三皇五帝 The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

Wang Xufeng  王旭烽  One of China’s great writers and Tea Ambassadors

Mao Dun Prize  茅盾  China’s answer to the Booker or Pulitzer Prizer

Charen Sanbu Qu  茶人三部曲 Trilogies of the Teamen, written by Wang Xufeng

Wang Laoshi  王老  Respectful salutation, “Teacher Wang”

Yipian Shuye de Gushi  一片叶的故事   The Story of a Leaf

Yuantou  fountainhead, source

Li Yuan  李渊 Tang founder Tang Gaozu

Li Shimin  李世民 Son of Li Yuan and co-founder of the dynasty

Emperor Xuan  宣帝 Han Emperor Xuan

Wang Bao   王褒 Western Han individual involved in a contract for a servant

Wuyang  武阳  City on the Jiangxi-Fujian border, home of an ancient tea market

Jiangxi   江西 Province in eastern China

Nanchang  南昌 Capital of Jiangxi Province

Cha    Tea

Jia   a former character for tea

Tu     ancient name for tea

Chuan     a former character for tea

She     a former character for tea                

Ming    a former character for tea

Lu Yu    The tea saint, writer of the Cha Jing

Cha Jing     The Classic of Tea

Cha Sheng  茶圣  The Tea Saint, Lu Yu

Shen Nong    The Divine Farmer, Shennong

Wugu Xiandi  五谷先帝The Emperor of the Five Grains, another nickname of Shen Nong

Shen Nong Bencao Jing  本草  Shen Nong’s Materia Medica or Herbal

Baicha   白茶  White tea or plain boiled water

Cha Lin  茶林  Village in Hunan where Shen Nong died

Zhangjiajie   家界  Beautiful scenic area in northwest Hunan

Ren     person

Liang Shiqiu   秋   One of China's greatest lexicograpers of the 20th century. His 新實用漢英辭典 was my first and favorite dictionary going back to 1979.

Kucai   苦菜  Bitter vegetable

Shijing   诗经  The Book of Songs

Liji    The Book of Rites

Fujian  福建  Fujian province

Guangdong    广  Guangdong province

Guangzhou   广州  Guangzhou, a.k.a Canton

Xiamen     Xiamen in Fujian

Fuzhou   福州  Fuzhou or Foochow as it was once called

Quanzhou  泉州  Coastal port city in Fujian

Shuowen Jiezi  文解字  Han Dynasty Dictionary 

Cun  Village

Chan Buddhism    Zen Buddhism

Zhou Xin 紂辛  Di Xin, 帝辛, Infamous last king of the Shang Dynasty                 

Jiuchi Roulin   酒池肉林  The Wine Pool and Meat Forest.

Chengdu   成都  Capital of Sichuan

Gan Lu Cha  甘露茶  Sweet Dew Tea, the famous tea of Mengding Shan.

Wu Lizhen  吴里真 Buddhist Monk credited with the cultivation of tea on Mengding Shan.

Mengding Shan  Mountain in Sichuan where tea cultivation began in China

Xian Cha   仙茶  The Tea of the Immortals, a.k.a. Gan Lu Tea from the seven original trees

Ya’an  雅安  City outside Chengdu famous for tea

Qionglai     City outside Chengdu famous for tea

Sanguo Zhi  三国志  Record of the Three Kingdoms

Sun Hao    Eastern Wu king known for his drunkeness

Wei Yao   Loyal official to Sun Hao

Sima Yan     (also known as 晋武帝) Jin Dynasty founder

Jin  晋朝  The Jin Dynasty

Shang-Zhou-Han   商周  The three dynasties of Shang-Zhou Han

Luoyang  洛阳   One of China’s ancient capitals

Chang’an    One of China’s ancient capitals  (present day Xian)

Qin Shihuang  秦始皇  Qin dynasty founder

Er Ya    The first dictionary in China

Guangya   广雅  An updated version of the Er Ya

Longjing    Village outside Hangzhou famous for Longjing, Dragon Well tea

Shu Guo  蜀国  The kingdom of Shu, present day Sichuan

Sanxingdui  三星堆  Neolithic ruins discovered outside Chengdu

Ba Shu   巴蜀  Ancient state from the Shu Kingdom

Zhou King Wu    周武王  Brother of the Duke of Zhou, conquering king.

Haojing      Western Zhou Capital

Ying Zheng  嬴政  The future Qin Shihuang

Han Wudi  武帝  The great martial emperor of the Western Han

Liu Song   刘宋  1st dynasty in the south during the Nanbei Chao, 420-479

Wucheng  婺城 District of Jinhua in Zhejiang, Province.

Nanbei Chao  南北朝  The Northern and Southern Dynasties

Zhuge Liang  葛亮  Great strategist and statesman of the 3 Kingdoms period

Yang Jian  杨暕 Second Sui emperor and grandson of founder Wendi.

Sui Wendi  隋文帝  Founder of the Sui Dynasty

Taishan   台山  City in southern Guangdong, southwest of Jiangmen.




Link to CCTV Documentary THE STORY OF A LEAF


Direct download: CHP-140-The_History_of_Tea_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 9:56pm PDT

CHP-139-Sir Edmund Backhouse Part 3

In this episode we will conclude our CHP overview of the life of Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Baronet.  In this 3rd part of the series we'll look at the last couple decades of Backhouse's life.  Backhouse remains in Beijing amidst all the turmoil going on during the Japanese invasion and the leadup to WWII.  In his final years Backhouse will write a memoir that will engrave his name forever in the footnotes of Chinese history.

Recommended Books:

Hermit of Peking by Hugh Trevor-Roper Amazon Link

Décadence Mandchoue edited by Derek Sandhaus Amazon Link

also: The Incarnations, by Susan Barker Amazon Link

Great new podcast:Tom Tacken's The First World War in 261 Weeks. The Podcast Link



Cixi 慈禧 The Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi

Li Lianying 李蓮英 Grand Eunuch during the reign of the Dowager Empress


Rong Lu 荣禄 Also known as Jung-lu, Cixi's most trusted official, a major power in China.

Jing Shan 景善 a.k.a. Ching Shan, The court official whose diary Backhouse faked

Guangxu Emperor 光绪帝 The second to the last emperor of China

Jin Ping Mei 金瓶梅 Ming Dynasty novel written in the vernacular, known as The Plum in the Golden Vase or The Golden Lotus.  Considered by many to be slightly pornographic in its content.

Shangdiao 上吊 To hang oneself

Mingshi 明史 The Ming History

Direct download: CHP-139-Sir_Edmund_Backhouse_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:54am PDT

CHP-138-Sir Edmund Backhouse Part 2

Fast on the heels of Part 1 of this CHP overview of the life of the Sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse, we present Part 2 in this episode. We'll look at the years 1911 to 1924, the years Backhouse committed a bunch of frauds and established himself in London and Beijing as a bit of a flake and someone not to be trusted.


Yongle Dadian 永乐大典 The Yong Le Encyclopedia

Jiajing Emperor 嘉靖帝 The Qing Jiajing Emperor

Wang Xizhi  王羲之 China's greatest calligrapher

Jin Dynasty  晋朝 The Jin Dynasty 265-420 AD

Tang Taizong 唐太宗 Co-founder of the Tang Dynasty, also known as Li Shimin 李世民

Lantingji Xu 兰亭集序 The Preface to the Poems Collected from the Orchid Pavilion

Zhi Baobuzhu huo  纸包不住火  Paper Can't wrap a fire (impossible to keep a secret)

Liang Shiyi 梁士诒 Yuan Shikai's finance minister, a high-up guy in the Beiyang Government

Li Yuanhong  黎元洪 three times president of the Rep. of China.

Duan Qirui  段祺瑞 Premier of China 1916-1918 and major military and political figure

Yongzheng Emperor 雍正帝 The Yongzheng Emperor, son of Kang Xi 康熙 and father to Qianlong 乾隆

Gansu 甘肃 Province in West China


Direct download: CHP-138-Sir_Edmund_Backhouse_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:36am PDT

CHP-137-Sir Edmund Backhouse Part 1

In this episode we will begin a 3-part series covering the life of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, 2nd Baronet. He lived from 1873 to 1944, spending more than half his life in Beijing.  Backhouse is best known for the various frauds he committed over the period of his life.  In his last year of life he was urged by Dr. Reinhard Hoeppli to commit his fantastic stories of his life to paper.  The result were two memoirs, "The Dead Past", about his days in Europe before 1898 and Décadence Mandchoue, Backhouse's racy and pornographic account of his years in China, mixing with all the Manchu royals and carrying on sexual relationships with the Empress Dowager Cixi and her eunuchs.  NOTE TO THIS EPISODE, THANKS TO MATT, A LOCAL TO COUNTY DURHAM I WISH TO CORRECT BACKHOUSE'S BIRTHPLACE TO DARLINGTON, COUNTY DURHAM (NOT RICHMOND,  IN NORTH YORKSHIRE).  SORRY!


baijiu 白酒 Chinese fiery clear alcoholic beverage, between 40-60% ABV

Jing Shan 景善 a.k.a. Ching Shan, The court official whose diary Backhouse faked

laowai 老外 foreigner

Cixi 慈禧 The Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi

Li Lianying 李蓮英 Grand Eunuch during the reign of the Dowager Empress

Rong Lu 荣禄 Also known as Jung-lu, Cixi's most trusted official, a major power in China.

Kang Youwei 康有为 Controversial figure in late 19th century China politics, closely associated with the Hundred Days of Reform under the Tongzhi Emperor.

Daoguang 道光 The Daoguang Emperor

Prince Chun 醇亲王 Father of the Guangxu Emperor, grandfather of Puyi, half brother of the Xianfeng emperor.

Puyi 溥仪 The Last Emperor

Liang Shiyi 梁士诒 Yuan Shikai's finance minister, a high-up guy in the Beiyang Government

Xu Shichang 徐世昌 President of the ROC from 1918-1922...YUan Shikai's closest advisor and ally.


Direct download: CHP-137-Sir_Edmund_Backhouse_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:10am PDT

CHP-136-Wong Chin Foo

Once again after an almost record-setting gap in the action, we look at a great but unknown Chinese American, Wong Chin Foo (王清福). Though not a well-known person from history, he nonetheless played a major role during the 1880's and 1890's fighting against the racist anti-Chinese immigration laws passed by the U.S. Congress. Author Scott Seligman's book, The First Chinese American tells the whole story of Wong Chin Foo and his times.  In this episode we examine the highlights of this remarkable life.

Amazon link for the book:



Wong Chin Foo 王清福

Wong Yen Ping 王彦平 Another name Wong Chin Foo went by

Judy Chu  赵美心 U.S. Representative from California’s 27th Congressional District

I.M. Pei Chinese American architect (born in Guangzhou)

An Wang王安 Co founder of Wang Laboratories and great engineer (born in Shanghai)

Nancy Kwan关家1960’s actress (born in  Hong Kong)

Yo-yo Ma友友 One of the greatest cellists of his age (born in France)

Anna Sui  志美  Fashion Designer (born in Detroit)

Vivienne Tam燕玉 Fashion designer (born in Guangzhou)

Vera Wang  王薇薇 Fashion designer (born in New York City)

Charles Wang  王嘉廉CA Associates International co-founder (born in Shanghai)

Amy Tan恩美 Writer (born in Oakland)

Charles K. Kao The “father of fiber optics”. Won the 2009 Nobel in physics (born in Shanghai)

T.D. Lee  李政道 Won Nobel in Physics in 1957 (born in Shanghai)

Samuel C.C. Ting丁肇中 Won Nobel Prize in 1976 in Physics (born in Ann Arbor)

Steven Chu  朱棣文 Won Nobel Price in Physics 1997. US Secretary of Energy 2009-13. (born in St. Louis)

Gary Locke Former Washington State governor and US ambassador to China

Yung Wing  First Chinese to graduate from a US university (1854) (from Guangdong, Xiangshan)

Norman Assing袁生 Community leader in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Ng Poon Chew伍盤照  Started the first Chinese language newspaper in the US. (born in Taishan)

Wang Surname (means “king”) pronounced Wong in Cantonese

Huang Surname (means “yellow”) pronounced Wong in Cantonese

Shandong Province in China

Wong Sa Kee Wong Chin Foo’s earliest name

Qingdao Beautiful coastal city in Shandong

Daoguang Emperor道光帝 Qing dynasty emperor during Opium Wars

Jimo即墨City of Wong Chin Foo’s birth, just north of Qingdao

Yantai  烟台 Coastal city in Shandong

Zhifu芝罘Early name for Yantai

Penglai蓬莱  City in north Shandong, formerly called Dengzhou

Dengzhou登州  Present day Penglai, where Wong Chin Foo lived

Zhenjiang  City on the Yangzi River in Jiangsu

Xianfeng Emperor咸丰帝  Qing Dynasty emperor

Hua Mei Xin Bao  美新 The Chinese American, Wong’s first paper.


Direct download: CHP-136-Wong_Chin_Foo.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:55am PDT