northern wei dynasty

anonymous asked:

apparently because of the era mulan was in she should've spoken cantonese (or at least not mandarin) so why is mandarin the default chinese now?

hoo boy, this is a major misconception that i’ve heard a lot, especially from Cantonese speakers, who somehow believe that all people in pre-1000 AD China would’ve been speaking Cantonese ahahaha. I think this is an urban myth from some pseudo-linguistics rumours making its rounds in Cantonese-speaking communities over the last couple generations, probably stemming from the fact that Cantonese phonology is more conservative than Mandarin in terms of our syllable-final consonants, and the preservation of the voiced/voiceless distinction in Middle Chinese by extending our tonal inventory. A lot of people think that that automatically makes Cantonese the “pure Chinese language”, which makes me cringe really hard tbh, bc that’s not how languages work LOL. 

The problem with the Sinitic languages is that we have no exact way of knowing when and how people spoke back in the day, and the characters give no 100% explicit phonetic clues, so the best we can use as reference are the rime tables that some smart Chinese linguists compiled way back in the day. The most famous one is the book of Qieyun rime tables, which helped modern linguists re-construct Middle Chinese forms. Middle Chinese is said to generally have been spoken around the 6th-11th century, or somewhere around that range, and the Qieyun tables were published sometime in the 6th century, so they would’ve reflected an early Middle Chinese variety that functioned as a standard language in that time period. The problem is that outside of this standard language, people in China were already speaking their own Sinitic languages like they are today, some of which were already mutually unintelligible from one another. Unfortunately, there’s no way to track exactly what languages were spoken because all we have are the rime tables.

The early forms of the modern varieties that we know today as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, etc all split off from Late Middle Chinese presumably sometime between the 12th and 13th century, some languages later than others ofc (except for Hokkien and the other Min varieties, who had a bit of a special development, but that’s a different story). Mulan (who btw was a legendary character; we’re not even 100% sure if she actually existed) apparently lived during the Southern and Northern Dynasty period, which lasted from 420–589, which would fall into the Middle Chinese period, more specifically in the Early-Mid Middle Chinese period, so she probably would not have spoken anything close to Cantonese OR Mandarin in her time. 

Another problem is that Mulan is said to have been from the Northern Wei Dynasty (北魏), which would’ve taken up the area north of the Yangtze River. Cantonese was historically spoken in southern China, particularly in the general regions of modern-day Guangdong and Guangxi. Guangzhou was always a very successful port city, even 1500 years ago, and became a very important cultural center even in the Southern Song Dynasty (particularly in the 12-13th century). In this time period, an early form of Cantonese had already developed, and it was also around this time that it gained a literary level to read the Chinese Classics. Therefore, it seems highly highly highly improbable that Mulan was a Cantonese speaker, considering that her time period and general geographical location did not even come close to matching the timeline of Cantonese or any other modern Sinitic variety. 

Also to answer your question about why Mandarin is the standard today: it comes from a place of political power. Nanjing and Beijing (lit. Southern Capital and Northern Capital) were always the place of political power, and in courts they would use a standard language so that there could be communication between officials from all over China, hence the formal name for Mandarin: 官話 (lit. ‘official speech’). And that continued throughout history, simply because Beijing was always the source of political power, and made decisions for the country. However, the implementation of Mandarin as the ‘national language’ in all parts of China was a relatively recent event (around the mid-1900′s), in comparison to the entire history of the Chinese languages. Before Mandarin was heavily implemented in almost all parts of China, most people were still speaking local varieties, which would have mainly consisted of developing forms of modern Sinitic varieties. 

TL;DR - Nope, contrary to popular belief, Mulan most likely did not speak Cantonese, and neither did a lot of early famous Chinese figures like Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, etc. 

9 Queer Mulan Moments That Defined Your Childhood

Mulan is definitely the queerest Disney movies out there. The titular character defies societal expectations, experiments with her gender expression, and develops a complex, queer relationship with her army captain — who proposes to her in the sequel. As a kid, Mulan movie gave me all the feels, so here are eight of my favorite queer moments.

1. Mulan & The Matchmaker Don’t Mesh

Mulan tries to fit into the gender standards for Chinese women who lived during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). Unfortunately, she doesn’t make the cut. This scene was definitely jarring, but it showed that sometimes feeling inadequate forces you to think outside of the box and find your true journey. That matchmaker was a hater anyway.


history meme: three of six women - hua mulan

Hua Mulan is a legendary figure from ancient China who was originally described in a Chinese poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. In the poem, Hua Mulan takes her aged father’s place in the army. She fought for twelve years and gained high merit, but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown instead.

The historical setting of Hua Mulan is uncertain. Xu Wei’s play version from the 16th century places her in the Northern Wei dynasty (386–536), whereas the later romance Sui Tang Yanyi has her active around the founding of the Tang, ca. 620. The novel is consistent insofar as it describes Mulan’s father as stemming from the people of the Northern Wei.


What a happy Buddha! This Buddha specifically depicts Buddha Maitreya, who is worshipped both as a Buddha and a Bodhisattva. Perhaps that is why he’s smiling. Dating from the Northern Wei Dynasty, the sculpture is among the largest early gilt bronze statues known from China, remains one of the best examples of the use of a distinctive style of drapery in Chinese art from about 460 to 490 CE.

Oh did I hear about a Mulan AU?? Let’s put Vivi in actual Northern Wei dynasty armour, where the actual folktale was set eyyyyyyy.

Did you know the original Mulan literally brought the fucking armour and marched up to her parents asking for the blessings and they said yes? And that she served for 12 years and became a general? Now imagine a general Vivi. Terrifying.

This camel was buried in a tomb during the Northern Wei–Northern Qi dynasty, during the mid- to late-500s. Camels had first started appearing in northern Chinese tombs around the 200s and became increasingly popular. dapted to their natural habitat in the steppes and mountainous deserts north of China, camels were used to transport military goods to and from the harsh frontier, and as a mount for traders and even members of the upper classes. The tomb’s owner presumably hoped that this ceramic camel would continue work for them in the afterlife.

A painted grey pottery figure of a musician
Northern Wei Dynasty

The female musician shown kneeling and playing a harp-like instrument (konghu), dressed in a tunic gathered by a studded belt and with long draped sleeves trailing on the floor, the hair drawn up in a double knot above the delicately featured face, traces of white, red and black pigment (small chip), 18.2 cm. high

The double-knotted hairstyle of the musician is unlike most other published examples of Northern Wei entertainers. It is possible that the style is an indication of the relative youth of the figures. christies

unkempte  asked:

Hey, I'm just wondering about your opinion about other Asian ethnicities playing a Chinese character? Personally I don't have any stigma against it but apparently a lot of people feel very against the face of a Korean-American playing a Taiwanese character (e.g. fresh off the boat). For me, I'm just happy to see someone Asian on TV rather than getting all nitty-gritty about how specific they are. Am I being problematic thinking this way?

I know y'all have some disdain for Disney’s Mulan but TFW people are fan casting Korean and Japanese actresses for the leads (Arden cho is the most popular followed by Jamie Chung). The most offensive one is Vanessa freaking Hudgens. I about lost my shit. I’d rather not be represented as a Chinese person in the media than misrepresented. Thoughts?

different asks, but i’m grouping them together because they’re on similar topics.

my opinion (which may differ from that of other mods and that of other chinese people) is that i don’t usually care if different asian ethnicities play as each other (unless it is in the case of like, an east asian playing a southeast asian character, like ki-hong lee did in that tina fey mess, or godfrey gao in that cassandra clare mess because southeast asians – characters and actors – are erased to an even greater extent than east asians from mainstream american media)

i don’t mind the fact that randall park is playing eddie huang’s father, and i don’t mind the fact that jamie chung is playing mulan on ouat (though i do mind ouat’s mulan), because i don’t think asian american actors should be pigeonholed into playing only characters who are of their own ethnicity – no one raised a public outcry that english eddie redmayne and german-american amada seyfried were playing the french marius pontmercy or cosette fauchelevant.

there are v legitimate concerns about conflation/homogenisation between the asian ethnicities & i get that, but imo if people conflate us that’s something that they [people who are doing the conflating], not we, should answer for. it is not jamie chung’s fault that people mistake her ethnicity (korean) for the ethnicity of her character (debated whether she is han or not, but she’s definitely chinese). it is not randall park’s fault that people confuse his culture (korean american) with the culture of his character (taiwanese), and i don’t blame them for taking jobs that are hard to come by.

i do get a lot of the complaints about people fancasting non-chinese people for mulan, because it still is a very important chinese story about chinese people in china, where chinese (or in this case, likely northern wei, not that that dynasty-conflating mess that is the animated mulan film cares) national identity is a major driving force behind mulan’s character (honestly this is why i prefer 花木兰传奇, largely bc it does explore the dynamics of 我国 versus 他国), and that’s something that like i understand if other people are offended by it, but it’s not one of my biggest personal concerns regarding the notion of a live-action mulan.

i don’t think there’s one conclusive, absolute answer to whether or not you Should Be Offended by cross-ethnic casting; i think that largely depends on your own experience & how you feel about the matter? imo it’s not invalid to be offended by cross-ethnic casting, nor is it invalid to be happy to see asian faces on television.

- a

Where and when do Disney movies take place. UPDATED

Disney Directors work hard to make their films locations and time period’s believable. Here are some of the time periods and locations of some of your favourite Disney films!  

Tangled: Germany, 1780’s.


The Princess and the Frog: New Orleans, 1920’s


Sleeping Beauty: England, 14th Century 


Alice in Wonderland: England, Victorian Era


Pocahontas: James Town, 1600’s


Cinderella: France, 1800’s


Mulan: China, Northern Wei Dynasty


Frozen: Norway, 1840’s


Peter Pan: England, Early 1900’s


Beauty and the Beast: France, 1700’s


Pinnocio: Italy, UNKNOWN 


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Germany, 1500’s


Robin Hood:England, 16th Century?


The Hunchback of Notredame: Paris, 1482


Hercules: Ancient Greece, B.C. Era


Moana: Polynesia, 18 A.D


The Little Mermaid: Denmark, 1830’s


Note: Possibly not cannon, as the castle has palm tree’s in the film.

I came across this post somehow and thought I’d update it! Some places and times are uncertain but for the most part they’ve been confirmed. Does anyone know when Big Hiro 6 takes place? 

anonymous asked:

If there is a Mulan live action I do hope it's an all Asian cast. I do prefer if it's an all Chinese cast though because I'm a little iffy about other POC playing Chinese characters. However, I'll be impressed to see an all Asian even if it's not all Chinese actors/actresses

honestly, given what disney has already done to mulan in the animated film as well as through once upon a time i’m absolutely NOT looking forward to any live action version, even if it has an all-asian cast (which…i honestly don’t see how they can do it any other way tbh like you’re not telling me there were white ppl in the northern wei dynasty that is not a thing).

it just seems really Extra. there are dozens upon dozens of really top-notch chinese/hk/tw/sg adaptations of hua mulan, the most recent film of which starred a-list chinese stars (chen kun, zhao wei, jaycee chan, hu jun). i don’t see what the point is of adapting hua mulan yet again (there were two mainland adaptations of mulan in the summer of 2013 alone there is no want of nuanced portrayals), except to milk her like a cash cow and to impose a western understanding of her story. are people incapable of reading subtitles or something?

if there is a need for a new live action mulan (which i can tell you with absolute certainty, having sat through all 48 episodes of 花木兰传奇, that there is not) i don’t see why it has to be a western adaptation, i really don’t. 

the animated hua mulan was important because it was released prior to the widespread use of the internet to transmit information, and during a time when we saw very little of ourselves in mainstream media. now? the 2008 version of 花木兰 is subbed and up on youtube, and the hou mengyao/dylan kuo version is up and subbed on viki, and you can find lady general hua mulan w/subs almost anywhere. what is the need for white people to tell our stories for us?

- a