Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Ji Kang -- Handsome & Rakish Artist with Solemn and Stirring Ending 

Ji Kang (224 -- 263) was one of the most representative figures of intelligent people in the unstable Three Kingdoms, Jin, North & South Dynasties period. 

 

Carefree, Handsome and Talented Ji Kang

He was born into an officer’s family, very tall and handsome.

 

Because he pursued absolute freedom, Ji Kang always left his hair untied (this was impolite in ancient Chinese culture), and loved walking in nature.

 

When people saw him in forests or mountains, they always thought Ji Kang was a celestial being.

 

He was contemptuous for hierarchy and complicated social etiquette, so his poems and articles were of a brand new style, which were pure, fresh, natural but full of proudness and integrity.

 

In addition, his calligraphy and painting were famous and popular as well. 

Gaining of A Mysterious Song and Excellent Musical Skills

Ji Kang's accomplishment in the field of music was quite outstanding in the history of China.

 

A very famous ancient song was given to him by a mysterious man, some people said a celestial; Ji Kang’s performance was extremely amazing afterwards.

 

He also wrote many books regarding ancient musical instruments and some of his own beautiful songs. His way of health cultivation was well-known and popular as well.

 

Consequently, his extraordinary appearance and talent made him quite famous and brought him lots of fans. 

Ji Kang's Happy Marriage and Comfortable Life

 

A noble-born girl of the current royal family, great granddaughter of overlord Cao Cao, married Ji when he was older, which gave him a noble title and a political position as well.

 

But Ji Kang resigned and never got into politics; he even stopped talking to one of his best friends who tried to recommend him for another political position.

 

Also, he always refused to talk to people whom he didn’t appreciate, no matter how noble or wealthy they were.

 

Ji Kang lived with his wife near nature, carefree and happily. He enjoyed music, poetry, art and the companionship of good friends. 

 

Being Framed Up and His Last Musical Performance 

However, his pride and straightforwardness had displeased some powerful people.

 

Once when a friend encountered something quite injustice, Ji Kang was furious and stood up for him. Then an officer whom Ji had displeased before framed him up; Ji then was sentenced to death by the current king. 

 

On his execution, about 3000 students from the royal college begged the king to cancel Ji Kang’s death penalty and let him teach at the college, but they failed. 

Ji Kang then performed the famous song which was taught by that mysterious man and enjoyed it with all the people nearby, for the last time.

 

Then he faced the execution, calmly. 

 

Ruan Ji -- A Talented Writer with Lachrymose Behavior and Great Whistle Skill

Ruan Ji (210 -- 263) was the best friend of Ji Kang; they shared many similarities, though Ruan was more discreet when it came to politics. 

 

From A Disappointed Politician to A Rakish Artist

Ruan Ji’s father died early and he was raised up by his mother.

 

Though his childhood was in poverty, he became very famous when he was only 8 years old for his extraordinary talent with regard to poetry, essay and musical instrument.

 

Ruan was quite ambitious when he was very young; so he accepted some political occupations where he did both administrative and military jobs.

 

However, after seeing indecent usurping over the throne twice and countless conspiracies, as well as endless wars and backwards of the society in the history of China, he resigned and lived in seclusion.

 

Rejecting of Honorable Princess

He then started his life reading, writing, hiking and drinking with his good friends in beautiful natural sceneries. 

 

A royal family wanted to ally with him by marriage because of admiration of his brilliant masterpieces and reputation. Ruan didn’t want this ally, so he started to drink everyday and act like an alcoholic.

 

Two months later, the royal family felt disappointed and finally gave up.

 

Whenever the current king sent people to ask Ruan for information, he would get drunk again. 

Ruan Ji's Planless Trips and Special Whistling

 

Ruan Ji always sat on a cart, and then let the horses run as they liked; he had no plans and didn’t care about time and direction.

 

Until they reached a dead end and he couldn’t continue going, he would cry out loud for a while, and then go back home.

 

This behavior was frequently considered ridiculous and rakish, but was also representative of his hopeless and dissatisfaction to the current society. 

His poems and essays were pure, fresh and natural, but full of proudness and integrity, joy and reverie of Taoism.

 

Ruan was quite famous for his way of whistling, a special music using mouth, that he used to express his complicated feelings.

 

When he whistled, people in one kilometer away could hear him clearly. Unfortunately, this skill had lost to the world now. 

Ruan Ji disdained hierarchy and conspiracy and hypocrite and the current royal family; but he was cautious and more flexible.

 

So, he never got framed up or displeased anyone from the ruling class.

 

He used more deviant ways to express his complicated feelings to the hopeless chaotic world, and had the chance to depart in peace when he was old.