The China History Podcast
CHP-175-Su Dongpo

In this 175th episode Laszlo gives the great Northern Song jack-of-all-literary-trades Su Dongpo the once over. This isn't meant to be a deep dive into the reasons for all his renown in literature, calligraphy and painting. Instead, this is just a "popular Chinese historical" overview of who he was and the times he lived in.  And for those who never heard of him, this is a good intro. In America we have Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Hemingway and so on. In China....Su Shi would be mentioned when rattling off their best of the best. He was definitely a major guy not only in the Song, but in the overall world of Chinese culture as well.  The list of terms from this episode is particularly long this time.  You can see them below in the approximate order of their mention.  If you're interested to check out some of his poetry, here's an amazon link to a book of his poems translated by Burton Watson: Selected Poems of Su T'ung-P'o

 

TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE

 Ouyang Xiu 欧阳修 1007-1072 Northern Song statesman, historian, calligrapher, literatus extraordinaire

Wang Xizhi   王羲之 Called arguably the greatest Chinese calligrapher

Zhou   周 1046 BCE - 256 BCE Ancient dynasty of China

Han   汉   206 BCE - 220 CE Ancient dynasty of China

Jin   晋 265-420 Ancient dynasty of China

Sui   隋 581-618 Ancient dynasty of China

Tang 唐 618-907 Ancient dynasty of China

Song   宋 960-1279 Ancient dynasty of China

Kaifeng   开封 Capital of the Northern Song dynasty 960-1127

Northern Song 北宋 960-1127

Huizong   徽宗 The Northern Song emperor who "lost China" to the Jürchens

Su Dongpo   苏东坡 1037 - 1101 Our subject in this episode

Su Shi   苏轼 Su Dongpo's birth name

Tang Song Ba Da Jia   唐宋八大家 "Eight Great Men of Letters of the Tang and Song Dynasty

Han Yu   韩愈 768-824 - Tang essayist and poet. Major influence in development of Chinese literature

Liu Zongyuan 柳宗元 773-819 Tang waster of prose and poetry

Su Xun 苏洵 1009-1066 - Great man of letters and Father of Su Shi and Su Zhe

Su Zhe 苏辙   1039-1112 - Brother of Su Shi, also a great man of letters

Wang Anshi   王安石 1021-1086 - Song statesman and father of far reaching reforms. Also a great literary figure in his day.

Zeng Gong   曾鞏 1019-1083 - Great prose master of the Song

Hangzhou   杭州 Capital of Zhejiang and of dynasties past. Su Dongpo served there twice

Zhejiang   浙江 Province in east China

Meishan   眉山 City south of Chengdu, birthplace of the Three Su's, Su Xun, Su Dongpo and Su Zhe.

Min River 岷江 Yangzi tributary river in Sichuan, famous for the Duijangyan irrigation system

Leshan 乐山 City in Sichuan

Ya'an   雅安 Great tea city near Chengdu in Sichuan

Chengdu   成都 Ancient capital of Shu Kingdom, now capital of Sichuan

jinshi   进士   The highest degree that allowed you to fill the top positions in government

Wang Fu 王弗 1039-1065 - First wife of Su Dongpo

Henan  河南 Province in north China where it all began

doucha   斗茶 "Tea Battles" that were popular during the Song

Wang Runzhi   王闰之 1048-1093 2nd wife of Su Dongpo

Su Di   苏堤 the Su Causeway across West Lake in Hangzhou

Xin Fa   新法 The New Policies championed by the Shenzong Emperor and Wang Anshi

Shenzong    神宗 1048-1085 - Northern Song Emperor and Wang Anshi supporter

Sima Guang   司马光 1019-1086 Conservative Song scholar and official, writer of the Zizhi Tongijan

Luoyang   洛阳 City in Henan and former ancient capital of past dynasties.

Cheng Yi 程颐  One of the pride of Luoyang, Chinese philosopher

Zizhi Tongjian, the "Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance" A monumental historical work covering Chinese history from 403 BCE to 959 CE

Wutai Poem Incident 乌台诗案 In 1079, a poem by Su Shi got him in trouble and exiled fron the capital.

Huangzhou 黄州 Former name of Huanggang, now a district of that city

Hubei   湖北 Central province in China, capital is at Wuhan

Huanggang   黄冈 City just east of Wuhan in Hubei Province

Dongpo 东坡 Eastern slope

Dongpo Jushi 东坡居士 Dongpo, the retired scholar or Buddhist.

Chibi Fu   赤壁赋 Ode to Red Cliffs, famous poem by Su Shi

Hou Chibi Fu   后赤壁赋   The Later Ode to Red Cliffs, famous poem by Su Shi

Nian Nujiao Chibi Huaigu 念奴娇赤壁怀古 Remembering Chibi, Su Shi's third poem in this series about Red Cliffs

Zhuge Liang   诸葛亮 Great Shu-Han strategist during Three Kingdoms Period

Lu Su 鲁肃 Politician and general who worked for Sun Quan

Zhou Yu 周瑜 One of Sun Quan's main generals

Cheng Pu 程普 Another of Sun Quan's main generals

Sun Quan 孙权 Emperor of Eastern Wu, one of the Three Kingdoms

Liu Bei   刘备 Emperor of Shu Han, one of the Three Kingdoms

Cao Cao   曹操 King of Wei, one of the Three Kingdoms

Fu 赋 One of the three main types of Chinese Poetry, like rhymed prose

Ci 词 One of the three main types of Chinese Poetry, like lyric poetry

Han Shi Tie 寒食帖 Su Shi's most famous calligraphic work, now hanging in the National Palace Museum in Taipei

Huang Tingjian   黄庭坚 1045-1105 artist, scholar, official, a great Northern Song Master

Mi Fu 米芾 1051-1107 Great Song painter and calligrapher

Cai Xiang   蔡襄 1012-1067 One of the great calligraphers of the Northern Song

Song Si Jia 宋四家 the Four Great Calligraphers of the Song

Han Shi 寒食 is the holiday that occurs right before Qingming in April

Yan Zhenqing 颜真卿 708-785 Great calligrapher of the Tang and one of the greatest of all time

Zhezong 哲宗 Northern Song emperor, Reigned 1085-1100

Empress Dowager Gao 高太皇后 1032-1093 Empress of Northern Song emperor Yingzong, regent for Zhezong during his minority.

Dongpo Rou 东坡肉 Dongpo Pork

Zuo Zongtang 左宗棠   Hunan-born general from the Qing, the man who brought us General Tso's Chicken

Lou Wai Lou 楼外楼 Not the best restaurant in Hangzhou but one of the most famous. Been around over one hundred fifty years

Ni Zan, the late Yuan-early Ming painter.

Xu Wei, the Ming painter

Yuan Mei, the Qing dynasty scholar and artist.

Yuanyou era 元祐 Conservative era in Emperor Zhezong's reign that lasted 1086 to 1093

Huizhou 惠州 City in Guangdong where Su Dongpo served a stint

Hainan   海南 Island province off the coast of Guangdong

Danzhou   儋州 Coastal city in Hainan just west of Haikou

Haikou   海口 Capital city of Hainan

Dongpo Shuyuan   东坡书院

Wang Zhaoyun   王朝云 1062-1095 - 3rd wife of Su Dongpo

Changzhou   常州 City in Jiangsu

Jiangsu   江苏 Coastal province just north of Zhejiang

Cai Jing   蔡京 Long serving chancellor to Emperor Huizong

Cai Tao 蔡绦 Son of Cai Jing who had the audacity to say something nice about Su Dongpo

Shi 诗 The word meaning all Chinese poetry but also a specific kind as well.

Su Men Si Xueshi 苏门四学士 The Four Scholars at Su Shi's Gate

Zhang Lei   张耒 1054-1114 One of the four scholars famous for being part of Su Shi's gang

Chao Buzhi 晁补之 One of the four scholars famous for being part of Su Shi's gang

Qin Guan   秦观 1049-1100 - Northern Song writer and poet. Also one of the four scholars famous for being part of Su Shi's gang

Jin 金朝 The Jin Dynasty of the Jürchens 1115-1234

 

Direct download: CHP-175-Su_Dongpo.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT

CHP-174-The Pirate Queen Zheng Yi Sao

In this latest episode Laszlo finally gets around to the oft requested subject of piracy in early 19th century China.  Pirates had been a fact of life going back to the most olden days. Mid to late Qing Dynasty the amount of trade being plied on the China coast attracted pirates like never before.  Zheng Yi Sao ("Zheng Yi's Wife") was a tough woman from the Pearl River Delta who married the most notorious pirate of his day Zheng Yi.  Upon Zheng Yi's death, his widow took control of his massive pirate fleet.  With her adopted son, and later husband Cheung Po Tsai, she controlled what as, at the time, the largest pirate fleet that preyed on coastal dwellers and vessels engaged in trade. She later became an inspiration for many characters that appeared in books, movies, video games and other media.

TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE

Zheng Shi 郑氏 Madame Zheng, Widow Zheng

Zheng Yi Sao 郑一嫂 Zheng Yi Sao, wife of Zheng Yi

haidao   海盗 pirate

Zhejiang   浙江 East coast province of China

Guangdong   广东  Southernmost province of continental China

Tây Sơn Rebellion   Major uprising in Vietnam from 1770 to 1802

Binh Dinh Province   South central coastal province in Vietnam

Da Nang   Vietnam's 3rd largest city

Nha Trang   Coastal city in Vietnam

Xishan   西山 West Mountain (Tây Sơn in Vietnamese)

Guangxi   广西 One province over from Guangdong

Shi   石 Common Chinese surname, means stone

Ma 马Another common Chinese surname, means horse

Xu   徐 Common Chinese surname. I always get it mixed up with 许.

Shi Xianggu   石香姑 Zheng Yi Sao's real name

Xinhui   新会 City near Jiangmen

Tanka or Danjia   疍家 The boat dwelling people of south China and Fujian

shuishang ren 水上人 people who live on the water

Zheng Yi   郑一 South Seas pirate who ran the Red Flag Fleet. Married Shi Xianggu

Red Flag Fleet  红旗帮 Hóngqí Bāng.

Cheung Po Tsai  张保仔 Zhang Bâozâi

Jing Hai fen ji  靖海氛记 Charles F. Neumann's "The Pirates who Infested the China Sea from 1807 to 1810.

Jiaqing emperor   嘉庆帝 Qing emperor 1796 - 1820

Daoguang emperor   道光帝 Qing emperor 1820 - 1850

Ming Jiajing Emperor   明嘉靖帝 Ming emperor 1521 - 1567

Lantau 大屿山 Island that is part of the Hong Kong SAR

Cheung Chau  - Changzhou 长洲 Island off the coast of Lantau

Humen  虎门 Located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta

Chow Yun-fat  周润发 Great Actor who played Sau Feng, one of the Pirate Lords from Disney's P of the C movie Part 3.

Qiongzhou Strait 琼州海峡 Body of water that separates Hainan from Guangdong

 

 

Direct download: CHP-174-The_Pirate_Queen_Zheng_Yi_Sao.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm EDT

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