The Yellow Emperor and the Saint Teacher: Long long long time ago in ancient China, there was the Yellow Emperor. He invented the compass, and help develop farming in ancient ancient ancient central plain of China near the Yellow River. One day he decide to give up his throne. He heard of a nomad saint living up in the mountains and seek to learn from him.
Saint Teacher: Why have you come here?
Yellow Emperor: To learn how to make the world an even better place
Saint Teacher: Go away. What you seek will only eventually destroy even the sun.
The Yellow Emperor went away confused. Later he came back to the Saint teacher again.
Saint Teacher: Why have you come again?
Yellow Emperor: To learn how to cultivate myself.
Saint Teacher: This, I can teach you.
And so the first book of Chinese Medicine, the dialogue between Yellow Emperor and Saint Teacher named “The Inner Classic of Yellow Emperor” (Huangdi Neijin 黃帝內經）was born.
Incidentally, some confuse 黃帝 Yellow Emperor with 皇帝 a general emperor title. Both are pronounced huangdi but one is a specific person. The other is a general title and so not the same.
Duke Liu and the Tofu
Did you know that tofu, or soybean cake was invented by a southern Duke Liu of China? Instead of fussing about inheritance and fighting for power, he spent most of his time in agriculture and try to increase the yield of crops for the people in his fiefdom. The tofu was one of the first processed food of China that allows protein to be widely available for consumption on top of the rice which is mostly carbohydrate. Now everyone remembers tofu, who remembers the emperor?
The Value of Journey to the West as world literature.
Although Journey to the West is the first science fiction story written in China during the Ming dynasty circa 1700AD, its value to the world is only beginning to resurface. The recent shift in focus from the obsession with The Three Kingdom warriors to now the JTW story in Chinese marks an important progress and the new direction of cultural development in Asia and around the world.
The story is a retelling of an event during the Tang dynasty 1000 years prior circa 700AD (which was the Golden Era of China). Most people only see the clashes in the story but unlike the Three Kingdom (which is a lot of strategizing, land grabbing, back stabbing), JTW is a decidedly different kind of novel.
Here the Monkey King is introduced as the ultimate fearsome warrior. And Its a story how the overly conniving and incessant fighting in old China is tamed by Buddhism.
However, just as important also how a “manly” figure such as the Monkey King etch out his own persona in a world where emotions and riches abound finding his own balance of IQ and EQ.
This is not unlike the world we are seeing now. And I think this rare treasure of China is worth your while to watch. If you have never read it, it is unlike any story you have ever read. I guarantee it.
A bit of history:
Khan, Khan, Khan. So who is Khan? Everybody is afraid of him. But who is he? Historically, Khan is the title of the ruler of Mongolian tribes much like a Caesar is to the Romans or Czar to the Russians. Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan being the most famous . Like Attila the Hun, the Mongolians had a big run of empire expansion and briefly occupied China. It probably was one of the biggest historical humiliation for the Chinese (the others includes the late Qin Opium War and a bunch of unequal treaties where Hong Kong was given to England and Taiwan to Japan) . Later, the Han Chinese overturn the Mongolian rule setting stage for a more prosperous development.
In Star Trek, however, Khan is Khan Noonien Singh, a super human that (much like the mongolian Khans), ruled a huge empire on earth during the Eugenic War in 1990’s. He became an arch-rival to Federation Star Fleet Captain James T. Kirk culminating in Star Trek II:Wrath of Khan the movie when he escaped his exile planet. And then also in the recent remake Star Trek: Into the Darkness where he was pitted against Spock instead of Kirk.
Khan has been voted as the one of the top 10 villain in movies of all time….
Mongolia is now divided into Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, and Outer Mongolia which is an independent country. It borders between Russian and China. And has been a territory of contest between the two superpowers. It is largely a mysterious land to most folks knowing only Mongolian BBQ or reading the kungfu novel of Jin Yong. It is a land of camels and herders, of harsh living.
Modern Mongolia is vastly different from its historical past. To get rid of the anger of Asia, this has to be one of focus. China has spent decades developing ways to raise the standard of living in Mongolia so that history does not repeat again.
#TengGeErMyHeaven #騰格爾 ＃天堂