Description : Throughout the history of China, many rulers had come and gone. Who are the ones still standing tall in the annals of history as a result of their outstanding contributions and awe-inspiring character? There were the Three Sage Kings and the Five Legendary Rulers who painstakingly laid the foundation for Chinese civilisation. They were followed by luminaries like Emperor Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty who first unified China, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty who brought unprecedented prosperity to the land, and Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty who contributed to the progress of the sciences. All these eminent emperors had one thing in common: their love for their people. Who are the other great sovereigns who took personal responsibility for the people's happiness? Read on and find out!
Description : In ancient China, an emperor is regarded as tianzi or "Heaven's son", one who is sent from Heaven to rule the nation and its people. Little wonder that he held sway over the masses and is deemed sacred and inviolate. Literally, a dynasty's rise and fall, and the people's weal and woe, are intimately linked to his calibre and character. Much has been written about the great emperors of China. But what about those rulers who, through their whims and fancies, had the commoners gnash their teeth in grief and hate? Here are 12 stories on China's most notorious emperors—a motley crew of squanderers, murderers, thugs, lechers and idiots swaggering under the holy cloak of a tianzi! Read on and see how they got their just deserts!
Description : Origins of Chinese Culture guides you through the perplexing maze of all things Chinese. Pick up interesting facts about the "Four Treasures of the Study"--the brush, ink, paper and inkstone--which form the cornerstone of Chinese culture. Be enthralled by the charming stories of Chinese icons: * Cao Cao, who hinted that he wanted a door widened just by writing a character on the door. * Shi Kuang, whose music was said to resurrect the dead. * Wu Daozi, who never completed his paintings for fear that they would come alive. You will be amazed by the wisdom and exquisite allure of Chinese culture, and be treated to insights into Chinese music, weiqi, xiangqi, calligraphy and painting!
Description : One of the earliest literary works of mankind is in the form of fables. Bedside stories told to children by mothers or grannies contained a great deal of fables. Fables are made up of amusing anecdotes which are interesting, educational, thought-provoking, delightful and enjoyable to people of all ages. Ancient these fables may seem, but when they are summarised into their pithy titles, they become idioms of common usage among the people even to these modern days. This book contains more than 70 Chinese fables that have been handed down from ancient times, told with lively comic illustrations by Chinese cartoonist Tian Hengyu who is renowned for his expressive illustrations with crisp and clear-cut lines. You are sure to be amused as you go through all these ancient stories and you will also be amazed by the subtlety and succinctness of meaning conveyed by them.
Description : For 5,000 years, kings and emperors had ruled China with the palace as their power hub. Yet the common people knew little of the goings-on there, even though court affairs greatly affected their lives. In this book, we unveil the secrets of the Chinese palace. You will learn about the physical palaces of the various dynasties of China although most of them no longer exist. Meet the occupants of the palace: the emperors, empresses, imperial concubines and siblings, eunuchs and many others, and find out how the notable ones altered the course of history. You will be surprised to know that although authority was vested in the emperor, there were numerous occasions when others, such as the empress, concubines, eunuchs and even imperial siblings around him, supplanted his power. Renowned cartoonist Tian Hengyu now relives these stirring tales with the deft strokes of his pen to shed new insights into Chinese history.
Description : The word 'harem' often conjures up images of beautiful, half-dressed oriental women lounging in some stately pleasure dome, waiting for the opportunity to satisfy their masters. And in some ways this was not far from the truth. Tang Dynasty Emperor Xuanzong had 40,000 women in his harem, while the Qing emperors would fill their harem with the most eligible girls in the country for both pleasure and procreation. Some emperors were blessed with empresses who led their dynasties to prosperity and stability. Many emperors, however, found out that they had taken on more than they expected with the arrival of talented, ruthless and ambitious beauties. Wu Zetian was one such woman. Arriving in the harem of Tang Emperor Taizong as a sweet-faced 14-year-old, she went on, through treachery and murder, to become empress. This book tells the stories of the outstanding, the outrageous, the glorious as well as the tragic empresses and concubines of the Chinese palace.
Description : Did you know that if your surname is Ji and Jiang, it would mean that you are actually a descendant of the legendary emperors? And interestingly, the predecessors who fled from the despotic King Zhou of the Shang Dynasty named themselves after the things that saved them: Li, which stood for the wild fruit muzi, and Lin, the forest which was a hide-out from the king! Find out more fascinating details about 100 Chinese family names: * Difference between surnames and clan names. * Stories related to the most common surnames: Li, Wang, Zhang, Liu, Chen, Yang, Huang, and more. * Naming traditions; names and fortune; manner of addressing. As the book covers the entire span of recorded Chinese history from the past to the present, you will find it an eye-opener as a reference manual and a delightful source of little-known facts.
Description : Tea and wine have a long history in China. In fact, both have become firmly entrenched in the culture and customs of the Chinese people, featuring prominently in the traditional rites of ancestral worship and in social situations. Discover the origins and varieties of tea and wine, and learn about: * Famous Chinese teas and wines * The etiquette and methods for preparing and serving tea and wine * The health-giving properties of tea and wine * Unique customs practised among the minority peoples in China * Interesting facts and ancient stories relating to tea and wine Not only will this book entertain and inspire, it will enrich your understanding of the Chinese culture!
Description : Chinese opera is one of the world's oldest dramatic forms and a well-loved treasure of Chinese culture. It is a wonderful combination of dance, music, literature, poetry, singing and dialogue, acrobatics and martial arts to create a unique form of acting that includes "singing, speaking, acting and acrobatic fighting". Find out more fascinating details about Chinese opera: * Why is the clown mask so colourful? * Who is the "big painted face"? * What does it signify when an opera performer stands on the table? Origins of Chinese Opera is definitely an eye-catching book complete with pictures and comics vividly portraying various opera genres popular in China. You will be fascinated by how the art form is able to transform and adapt itself to appeal to the sophisticated audience of our digital era.
Description : The many proverbs and idioms in the Chinese language give it much of its colour and richness. Drawn from a wealth of sources, from historical anecdotes and legends to moral stories, these ancient sayings offer a fascinating insight into the Chinese culture. Popular Chinese Proverbs collects several old favourites and some of the most widely used expressions. Using vibrant illustrations and clear explanations of the metaphors and history behind them, their origins and meanings are presented in an easy-to-understand format. It is an entertaining read for anyone interested in the delightful idiosyncrasies of the Chinese language and an indispensable aid for students wishing to enrich their vocabulary. The core Chinese values and lessons they teach have passed the test of time, and remain as relevant to our daily life and social interactions today as in the past.