Friday, August 10, 2007


Temple of Heaven Wu was the first to declare Beijing the capital city in 1057 BC. Subsequently, the city has gone by the names of Ji, Zhongdu, Dadu, and finally Beijing when the Ming Dynasty Emperor ChengZu chose the name in 1421. Before 1949, Beijing was known as Peking by the Western world. After 1949, the city's name returned to Beijing, as it is known today

Beijing City is an independently administered municipal district. She is situated in the northeastern part of China at an elevation of 43.5m above sea level. The climate in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry winters and hot summers. January is the coldest month (-4 Celsius), while July the warmest (26 Celsius).

Beijing has a whole area of 16808 sq km (about 6500 sq mi), stretching 160 kilometres from east to west and over 180 kilometres north to south. She has 18 districts and counties with Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu, Chongwen, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in the surburbs and Fangshan, Mengtougou, Changping, Tongxian, Shunyi, Daxing, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu and Yianqing in the outer suburbs. Population in Beijing is about 12 million.Beijing's long and illustrious history started some 500,000 years ago.

It is here that the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens,
Peking men, lived in caves.
Records show that Beijing has been an inhabited city for more than three thousand years and has endured invasions by warlords and foreign powers, devastating fires, the rise and fall of powerful imperial dynasties and has emerged each time as a strong and vibrant city. For more than 800 years, Beijing was a capital city - from the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) to the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. Thirty-four emperors have lived and ruled the nation in Beijing and it has been an important trading city from its earliest days.

King Wu of Zhou (Chinese: 周武王; Pinyin: zhōu wŭ wáng) or King Wu of Chou was the first sovereign of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty. Various sources quoted that he died at the age of 93, 54 or 43. Zhou Gong Dan was one of his brothers.
King Wu was the second son of King Wen of Zhou. After ascending to the throne, King Wu tried to accomplish his father's dying wish, the defeat of the Shang Dynasty. King Wu used many wise government officials, and the Zhou government began to grow stronger.
In 1048 BC, King Wu called for a meeting of the surrounding dukes at Meng Jin. More than 800 dukes came to the meeting. In 1046 BC, seeing that the Shang government was in a shambles, King Wu launched an attack along with many neighboring dukes. In the Battle of Muye, Shang forces were destroyed, and King Di Xin of Shang set his palace on fire and burned himself to death.
Following the victory, King Wu established many smaller feudal states under the rule of his brothers and generals. He died three years later in 1043 BC.

source Wikipedia

The large bamboo sculpture depicts an old man sitting in his fishing boat, with fish and egrets that catch the fish for this old man.
This bamboo carving actually has a story to it.
It talks about Jiang Tiao Gong, a famous strategist, lived in the 11th century B.C., became advisor to King Wen and his son King Wu, founders of the Zhou dynasty (1122-771 BC). He was supposedly instrumental in aiding the fall of the Shang Dynasty (approximately 1700 BCE - 1045 BCE) and in establishing the Zhou (1045 BCE – 221 BCE). He was the prime minister for the first Zhou emperor and his loyalty and farsightedness in governing spread his fame throughout China.
The legend of Jiang Taigong captured popular imagination.
Jiang Taigong is honored throughout Chinese history as the first great military advisor and the father of strategic studies.
After his wife left him, Jing Tai Gong, went to Wei-shui River (near today’s Xi'an) to fish, knowing that the future Zhou ruler Wenwang (located in central Shaanxi) would come along one day and meet him. The opportunity occurred one day, when King Wen decided to go hunting in the area near the river, where he saw Lu Shang sitting on the grass, fishing with a bamboo pole that had a barbless hook attached to it. (Some claimed that there was no hook on the line.)
The hook was then positioned a few feet above the surface of the water. This unique act of fishing is based on Jiang’s theory that the fish would come to him of their own volition when they were ready.

This action requires the fisherman to be patient and devise the philosophy of "if one waits long enough, things will come their way." (from Jade Dragon Online).

For additional information on Jiang Tiao Gong, see the articles at and

The bamboo carving captured the essence of the story vividly and is quite clever. IT measures 9” h x 18” w x 5” d.

No comments: