Chinese culture

Chinese Mermaid  -《 鲛人 》-  Jiaoren

The Chinese mermaid is called 鲛人/jiāorén. In addition to their beautiful appearance, they are also outstanding craftspeople. According to “In Search of the Supernatural/搜神记”, a 4th-century compilation of legends about ghosts and spirits, jiaoren lived in the South Sea, spent their days weaving cloth, and if they cried, their tears would turn into pearls. (x)

Photo by 老妖_Choco; Hanfu (han chinese clothing) from 司南阁/Sinange.

((*important addendum*: I couldn’t tell at first, but OP clarified on their blog that they are also Chinese- from what they said, they are basing it on what they were taught by their school/family. So while their post is still not accurate, they were not writing it intending to be orientalist or to fetishise Chinese culture. I see my post has been getting widely reblogged by some anti-racism blogs- so please do not send messages accusing OP of orientalism.))

i swear the Mulan post full of misinformation is annoying me so much because it’s all over my dash. I don’t really blame the people who reblogged it, I’m more annoyed at OP.

Mulan is kind of more like King Arthur: very possibly based on a real historical figure, but the story we know is more of a legend, been told in many different adaptations by different Chinese writers throughout history. Going around and saying she’s ‘real’ like the way we know the first emperor Qin Shi Huang is real is totally erasing the very interesting fact that this legend has been so popular over the centuries despite the patriarchal inclinations of Chinese culture. It’s something to think about why this story circulated throughout dynasties.

is it too much for people to do some research when talking about my culture? before they reblog these posts? That post says she’s a real historical figure, when all the info about how she’s a character from a 1400 year-old poem is all on wikipedia! OP literally cut and paste the 1964 Hong Kong film version’s plotline and this is being spread as ‘historical fact’! Did they even bother to check? We have our own legends and myths too. She doesn’t need to be real for her story to matter- it’s enough that this legend existed and was so popular across dynasties. It’s enough that in this culture where only one woman ever was empress regnant, for some reason, chinese poets and playwrights loved reinventing and portraying this character.

And then of course, all the people thinking this version is more ‘badass’ then the Disney version when the Disney version is in some ways closer to the poem. Like ok, it doesn’t matter if she didn’t actually duel her father to go fight in the Chinese army, there’s also a story about filial piety in Chinese culture and the Disney version certainly brought that across as well.


Monkey King : Hero is Back

“He’s never dead, he’s just fallen asleep.”

We all need a hero to look up to, to give us hope and courage when it is needed. We grew up listening to his tales, his great adventures and heroic deeds. What makes a true hero is not just helping people when one has the power, but having the courage to stand up against the evil even without power. 

And this is what the film is about. When the hero loses his power and armor, when he is nothing more than an ordinary monkey, what would he do to protect the one he loves?

This is also about a group of Chinese dream chasers trying to keep the beacon of hope lit even though being in the most unfavorable situations. 

This film is for now only available in Chinese Mainland, but let’s hope it’ll get all the support it needs and arrive in other countries. 

The English trailer available is unfortunately far from satisfying, I recommend in its place this fan-made video which is of much better quality :


Hanfu (han chinese clothing) in the style of the Wei and Jin Dynasties (220-420 AD). Wei/Jin Hanfu is generally large and loose. This outfit is made up of three layers: a white inner Danyi/单衣, a green Zhiju/直裾 (straight-hem robe), and a green outer Daxiushan/大袖衫 (large-sleeve robe). Photoset via 糖糖糖衣. Hanfu from 司南阁/Sinange.


The twelve Shēngxiào生肖, aka 12 Symbolic Animals, they’re visualized presents of the 12 Dizhi(地支): 子(zǐ)、丑(chǒu)、寅(yín)、卯(mǎo)、辰(chén)、巳(sì)、午(wǔ)、未(wèi)、申(shēn)、酉(yǒu)、戌(xū)、亥(hài). The 12 Dizhi are symbols of ancient Chinese way for counting the years. Each Dizhi has its own meaning of explaining how nature world loops. It can be used in Year, Month and 12 Hour in one day. It belongs to the system Tiangan-dizhi天干地支,briefly called Ganzhi干支, ancient Chinese calender, which is really complicated even some Chinese are confused themselves.  Therefore that English translation Chinese zodiac is actually wrong. Dizhi is irrelevant to the zodiac, and totally unrelated to western astrology. I feel it’s kind of inappropriate to call 12 Shengxiao the chinese zodiac for it sounds like shengxiao derives from zodiac(that’s what the idiot wiki said).  So next time when someone says Chinese zodiac, please correct them it’s called 12 Shengxiao. The lovely illustrations are by chinese artist 萨菲珥safeier.


Sika deer, Purple Jade Riverside Resort, Beijing by  小于

Sika deer is called 梅花鹿 (Meihua Lu;lit. Plum blossom deer) in China because of its floral spotted coat. It is a symbol of longevity (in Taoism it’s an immortal beast), scholarship (Confucianism), and fortune (official’s salary related). In Buddhism, a deer also represents mercy and kindness.