Tag Archives: history

Master Sun and His Art

Imagine an era, with little states battling other states to increase their land, power and prestige. Bear in mind, that all these states are inhabited by people of the same race – Chinese, in this case – who later form the most populous country in the world. But that was much, much later, in BC Read More…

Monkey King

If you were to turn on the TV in China at any point during the day, you’d be likely to encounter this image: a monk, a monkey, a pig and a bearded fella walking down a swamp. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but let’s go a step further by asking: who is Read More…

The world revolves around China

When buying a world map in China, you’ll instantly notice two things: 1. Everything is written with (tiny) Chinese characters 2. It’s Asia-centered with Asia placed in the middle of the map, Africa and Europe on the left and the Americas on the right side of the map. So, China is placed in the middle of Read More…

Chinese Astrology

Throughout Chinese history, astrology (占星学 ZhānXīngXué) has always been closely linked with science (科学 KēXué) and philosophy (哲学 ZhéXué). It was believed that there are three primary forces of nature: heaven above, earth at the bottom and the man in between. The role of the man was in connecting the two other elements to create Read More…

What you don’t know about Chinese rivers

The first Chinese was spoken to me while I was still attending primary school. Back then our geography teacher – if not with skill, at least with conviction – said: ‘Yangzi’ and ‘Huanghe’. These, of course, are the names of the two most important rivers in China. In total, China has more than 1500 rivers, which Read More…

Tsingtao and Qingdao

Tsingtao beer comes from the lovely city of Qingdao (青岛 QīngDǎo) situated in the Chinese northeast. This city is loved by many, local and foreigners alike, and is actually mistakenly considered to be the capital of  Shandong (山东 ShānDōng) province – when in fact, that is the city of Ji Nan (济南 JǐNán). Until the Read More…

The Charming Truth about Jade

Why is jade 玉 (Yù) so famous, so ubiquitous in China? Jade bracelets, sculptures, seals, bowls, ornaments and other trinkets are found just about everywhere and celebrated by everyone: the local Chinese, and the tourists. Let’s start with the character 玉 which is said to represent three beads of jade on a string. An extra Read More…

Qing Dynasty Saga, Part III, The New Beginning

The opium problem started in the late 18th century when the British merchants tried to counterbalance the unfavourable trade with the Chinese side. As we have written already in our previous posts, China at that time believed to be superior to any other country in the world and the same went for its people and Read More…

Qing Dynasty Saga, Part II

As is typical of virtually any dynasty in Chinese history, the dynastic cycle started with two strong emperors, during whose reign the country enjoyed cultural and economic prosperity. Particularly famous is the first Emperor, Kangxi (康熙 KāngXī – 1661–1772), who today is perhaps most known for his role in the creation of the most comprehensive Read More…

Qing Dynasty Saga, Part I

The Qing dynasty 清朝 (QīngCháo) was the last dynasty in Chinese history and it lasted between the years of 1616-1912 (the dynasty was actually overthrown in 1911, but it wasn’t until 1912 that the last emperor abdicated).  At its peak, the Chinese empire became the largest in the whole of Chinese history. This period is Read More…

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