five dynasties

Types of Chinese Dragon

Chinese literature and myths refer to many dragons besides the famous long. The linguist Michael Carr analyzed over 100 ancient dragon names attested in Chinese classic texts. Many such Chinese names derive from the suffix -long:

Fewer Chinese dragon names derive from the prefix long-:

Some additional Chinese dragons are not named with long 龍, for instance,

Chinese scholars have classified dragons in diverse systems. For instance, Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty canonized five colored dragons as “kings”.

  • The Azure Dragon [Qinglong 青龍] spirits, most compassionate kings.
  • The Vermillion Dragon [Zhulong 朱龍] spirits, kings that bestow blessings on lakes.
  • The Yellow Dragon [Huanglong 黃龍] spirits, kings that favorably hear all petitions.
  • The White Dragon [Bailong 白龍] spirits, virtuous and pure kings.
  • The Black Dragon [Xuanlong 玄龍] spirits, kings dwelling in the depths of the mystic waters.

The great half-god, half-human king born from the union between the King of Uruk, Lugalbanda, and goddess Rimat-Ninsun. He ruled the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, the capital city of ancient Mesopotamia in the B.C. era. He was an ultimate, transcendent being so divine as to be two-thirds god and one-third human, and no others in the world could match him. He was a despot possessing high divinity who believed he was invincible. He is not merely a legend, and is said to have actually existed and ruled during the Sumer Dynasty five thousand years ago. He was the King of Heroes. 


Hairstyles of Tang Dynasty Women

“In early Tang, hair ornaments were rather simple, but during the reign of Emperor Taizong the buns got higher and higher and the number of styles grew.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, 77)

“During the earlier years of Emperor Xuanzong’s rule, the Tartar hat was fashionable, but in the later years…many women opted for switch buns (also called ‘false buns’). In late Tang and the Five Dynasties, the high buns were often decorated with different kinds of flowers.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, 77)

“Ponytails were also quite popular among a small number of aristocratic ladies during the years of Tian Bao (Xuangzong’s reign). (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, pg. 84)

“Common women…preferred the 'tossing-up bun’, with the hair at the temples embracing the buns were made higher and higher, and were decorated with flowers, which heralded the popularity of the flowery hats of the early Song Dynasty.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, pg. 84 )



“Women of the Tang Dynasty paid particular attention to facial appearance, and the application of powder or even rouge was common practice. Some women’s foreheads were painted dark yellow and the dai (a kind of dark blue pigment) was used to paint their eyebrows into different shapes that were called dai mei(painted eyebrows) in general.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, 77)

“…between the brows there was a colourful decoration called hua dian, which was made of specks of gold, silver and emerald feather. Some women painted their cheeks with motifs such as a moon or a coin, and their lips were also rouged.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, 77)

“[The hua dian was] said to have originated in the Southern and Northern Dynasties. […] In the Tang Dynasty, hua dian was either painted or made of tiny metal pieces.” (5000 Years of Chinese Costume, pg. 86)

I’m 100% certified Fake Geek Girl. I live for the romantic subplot. I liked the movies better than the comics. (Soz, I don’t really get comic books.) A gamer? Sure, I’ve had five-generation dynasties in The Sims. No, I haven’t read the book and I’m NOT GOING TO. I don’t give a shit if the reboot contradicts an obscure part of the novelization canon from the mid-90s. Fantasy’s not my thing. The character customization screen is always my fave part of a game. I hate grind. I’ve never finished a series of Star Trek. I LIVE FOR THE ROMANTIC SUBPLOT. 

100% real about being 100% fake and you cannot even begin to fathom the lack of fucks I have about it bothering you. Do not even think about trying to tell me how to like what I like.


The Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) was a period in Imperial Chinese history that succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and preceded the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. It is divided into two equally long periods: The Northern Song (960 - 1127), in which they ruled most of central China and the capital was Bianjeng (now Kaifeng), and The Southern Song (1127 - 1279), in which the northern lands were lost to the Jin Dynasty and the capital was moved to Lin’an (now Hangzhou).

Under the Song Dynasty, Chinese culture flourished. The visual arts, philosophy, music, and literature reached great advancements, and due to the heightened amount of printing, there was an enhancement in literacy. Song officials underwent longer educations and stricter examinations than ever before, resulting in higher general education. Even during the Southern Song, in which much of the land had been lost and the Dynasty had been weakened, they managed to bolster their economy and protect themselves against the Jin Dynasty, fx by the establishment of the first permanent Chinese navy and the first use of gunpowder in history. 

During the Song Dynasty unity was preserved, and China rose to become the richest, most skilled and most populated country in the world. The growth in population (doubled from the 10th to the 11th century) was made possible by abundant food surplusses from the expanded rice cultivation. The social life, too, was vibrant with public festivals, private clubs and fine restaurants. Technology, science, philosophy, mathematics, and engineering saw new heights, and philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi revitalized Confucianism into the rising philosophical doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.

The end of the Dynasty came when Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan Dynasty and allegedly a descendant of Genghis Khan, finally crushed Song resistance at the Battle of Yamen on the Pearl River Delta in 1279. Emperor Huaizong, the last Song Emperor, then only eight years old, committed suicide along with 800 members of the royal clan. With the fall of the Song, the Yuan Dynasty became the first dynasty ever to control all of China. 

kingsandqueensnet’s weekly series, week IV: favorite dynasties

Zhang Daqien (Chang Dai-chien- 張大千) 1899-1983

Chang Dai-chien or or Zhang Daqian (May 10, 1899 – April 2, 1983) was one of the best-known and most prodigious Chinese artists of the twentieth century.

When Zhang died at age 84, he left behind more than 30,000 pieces of art, in the estimation of C.K. Cheung, the director of the Department of Calligraphy and Painting of Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Originally known as a guohua (traditionalist) painter, by the 1960s he was also renowned as a modern impressionist and expressionist painter. Chang is also regarded as one of the most gifted master forgers of the twentieth century.

Born in a family of artists in Neijiang, Sichuan, China, he studied textile dyeing techniques in Kyoto, Japan and returned to establish a successful career selling his paintings in Shanghai.

Due to the political climate of China in 1949, he left the country and resided in various places such as Mendoza, Argentina, São Paulo and Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, and then to Carmel, California, before finally in 1978 settling in Taipei, Taiwan.

A meeting between Chang and Picasso in Nice, France in 1956 was viewed as a summit between the preeminent masters of Eastern and Western art. The two men exchanged paintings at this meeting.

So prodigious was his virtuosity within the medium of Chinese ink and colour that it seemed he could paint anything. His output spanned a huge range, from archaising works based on the early masters of Chinese painting to the innovations of his late works which connect with the language of Western abstract art.

Zhang Daqian developed eye problems in the late 1950s. As his eyesight deteriorated, he developed his mature splashed color style.

Although he attributed this style in part to the splashed-ink technique of the ancient painter Wang Mo (died c.805) also known as Wang Qia, many believe it to be related to that of the Abstract Expressionist movement then popular in the United States and a departure from that of his traditional paintings. Zhang’s splashed-color paintings fetched the highest market prices for contemporary Chinese paintings at international auctions of the time.

Chang’s mastery as a painter owes much to his efforts copying the works of older masters. He became so skillful as a copyist that he soon discovered he could make a good deal of money passing off his copies as originals. Chang’s forgeries are difficult to detect for many reasons. First, his ability to mimic the great Chinese masters. Secondly, he paid scrupulous attention to the materials he used. “He studied paper, ink, brushes, pigments, seals, seal paste, and scroll mountings in exacting detail. Thirdly, he frequently forged paintings based on descriptions in catalogues of lost paintings; his forgeries came with ready-made provenance.

Chang’s forgeries have been purchased as original paintings by several major art museums in the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Of particular interest is a master forgery acquired by the Museum in 1957 as an authentic work of the tenth century. The painting, which was allegedly a landscape by the Five Dynasties period master Guan Tong, is one of Zhang’s most ambitious forgeries and serves to illustrate both his skill and his audacity.

One of China’s greatest modern artists, Zhang Daqian, has outsold Pablo Picasso – taking in more than $500 million in 2011. Picasso, the previous top-seller, had record earnings of $360 million in 2010.

In 2011, Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) Hong Kong hosted the first auction of Zhang’s work. All 25 pieces up for auction were sold within 90 minutes, bringing in a total of HK$680 million ($87.58 million). The most valuable of which, a piece depicting water lilies, was sold for HK$191 million.

Many of Zhang’s works were bought by Chinese buyers. China’s wealthy sector has been steadily growing, and with more money to spend, they’re investing in their own heritage, Al Jazeera reported. The Chinese have become major players in the global art scene as well – in 2011, China topped the U.S. and has a 39 percent share of the world revenue for fine art.

yú mĕi rén

The Beautiful Lady Yu

When will there be no more moon and spring flowers

For me who had so many memorable hours ?

My attic which last night in vernal wind did stand

Reminds cruelly of the lost moonlit land.

Carved balustrades and marble steps must still be there,

But rosy faces cannot be as fair.

If you ask me how much my sorrow has increased,

Just see the overbrimming river flowing east!  

Li Yu

(translation via: Confucius Institute)

From Wiki:  "Li Yu (李煜) (c. 937[3] – 15 August 978[5]), before 961 known as Li Congjia (李從嘉), also known as Li Houzhu (李後主; literally “Last Ruler Li” or “Last Lord Li”), was the third ruler of the Southern Tang state during imperial China’s Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. He reigned from 961 until 976, when he was captured by the invading Song Dynasty armies which annexed his kingdom. He died by poison on orders of Emperor Taizong of Song after 2 years essentially as an exiled prisoner.

Although an incompetent ruler, he was a representative lyric poet during his era, even to the extent of having been called the “first true master” of the ci form….

…Li Yu remained close to his musically gifted wife Zhou Ehuang — now Queen Zhou — so close that he sometimes canceled government meetings to enjoy her performances. The absences continued until a censor (監察御史) spoke out against it.

In around 964, the second of the couple’s 2 sons, a 3-year-old still called by his milk name Ruibao (瑞保), died unexpectedly. Li would mourn his son by himself so as not to sadden his wife more than necessary, but Queen Zhou was completely devastated and quickly deteriorated in health. During her illness, Li attended her so devotedly that he did not disrobe for days. When the queen finally succumbed to illness, Li mourned so bitterly until “his bones stuck out and he could stand up only with the aid of a staff.” In addition to several grieving poems, he chiseled the roughly 2000 characters of his “Dirge for the Zhaohui Queen Zhou” (昭惠周后誄) — “Zhaohui” being her posthumous name — to her headstone himself. Part of the dirge read (as translated by Daniel Bryant):

孰謂逝者 Who is it says, of those departed,

荏苒彌疏 they grow more remote as times goes by?

我思姝子 I long for her, that beautiful lady,

永念猶初 eternally remembering, just as at first.

愛而不見 “I love her but I cannot see her”;

我心毀如 my heart seems to blaze and burn.

寒暑斯疚 With chills and fever I am afflicted,

吾寧禦諸 can I ever overcome this?“