Yang Guifei

The Tang Emperor Xuanzong was dominated by his concubine known as Yang Guifei (A.D. 719-756), a name that means “Imperial Concubine Yang” (Yang Guifei), with “Guifei” being the highest rank for imperial consorts during her time. She was born in an old, well-known official family. She was gifted in music, singing, dancing and playing lute. These talents, it is said, together with her education, made her stand out among the imperial concubines and win the emperor's favor. Jade ("yu") was considered so precious that it was often used in women's names. Yang's other common name — Yang Yuhuan — means "jade ring."

Yang was known for having a full and fleshy figure, which was a much sought-after quality at the time. She was often compared and contrasted with Empress Zhao Feiyan, the wife of Emperor Cheng of Han, because Yang was known for her full build while Empress Zhao was slender. This led to the Four-character idiom “yanshou huanfei," describing the range of the types of beauties. Yang started out as concubine of Xuanzong's son before the emperor decided he wanted her for himself—along with her two sisters. Later she took the general An Lu-shan (703–757) under her wing as her student, adopted son, and (according to palace rumors) lover. [Source: Middle Ages Reference Library, Gale Group, Inc., 2001]

Wolfram Eberhard wrote in “A History of China”: "Concubine Yang" became the heroine of countless stage-plays and stories and even films; all the misfortunes that marked the end of Xuanzong's reign were attributed solely to her. This is incorrect, as she was but a link in the chain of influences that played upon the emperor. Naturally she found important official posts for her brothers and all her relatives; but more important than these was a military governor named An Lu-shan (703-757). [Source: “A History of China” by Wolfram Eberhard, 1951, University of California, Berkeley]

Yang Guifei was the beloved consort of Xuanzong during his later years. Pink jade is associated with beauty, and it is said that Emperor Xuanzong would only allow Yang Guifei to wear it. There are many operas and shows based on their tragic love story. In A.D. 755, during the An Lushan Rebellion, as Emperor Xuanzong and his cortege were fleeing from the capital Chang'an to Chengdu, the emperor's guards demanded that he put Yang to death because they blamed the rebellion on her cousin Yang Guozhong and the rest of her family. The emperor capitulated and reluctantly ordered his attendant Gao Lishi to strangle Yang to death. According to one version of the story when Emperor Xuanzong and Yang arrived at the Mawei Slope, the army refused to march, for the army thought that the reason of this rebellion by An Lushan was that Imperial Concubine Yang's behavior of attracting emperor ruined the state and that her cousin Yang Guozong colluded with the enemy. To appease the army, Emperor Tang Xuanzong had no choice but to order Yang to commit suicide at the Mawei Slope.

Early Life of Yang Guifei

Yang was born in 719 early in the reign of Emperor Xuanzong. Her great-great-grandfather Yang Wang was a key official during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui, and, after the fall of the Sui Dynasty, served one of the contenders to succeed Sui, Wang Shichong; Yang Wang was then killed when Wang Shichong was defeated by Tang forces in 621. Yang Wang was from Huayin (in modern Weinan, Shaanxi), but his clan subsequently relocated to Yongle (in modern Yuncheng, Shanxi). [Source: Wikipedia +]

Yang's father Yang Xuanyan served as a census official at Shu Prefecture (in modern Chengdu, Sichuan), and his family went there with him. He appeared to have had no sons, but had four daughters who were known to history — Yang Yuhuan and three older sisters. Yang Xuanyan died when Yang Yuhuan was still young, so the latter was raised by her uncle Yang Xuanjiao, who was a low-ranking official at Henan Municipality (modern Luoyang). For a time is said she was a Taoist nun.

In 733, sixteen year-old Yang Yuhuan married the son of Emperor Xuanzong and Consort Wu, Li Mao the Prince of Shou. She thus carried the title of Princess of Shou. After Consort Wu died in 737, Emperor Xuanzong was greatly saddened by the death of his then-favorite concubine. Some time after that however Princess Yang somehow came into Xuanzong's favor and the emperor decided to take her as his consort. However, since Princess Yang was already the wife of his son, Emperor Xuanzong stealthily arranged her to become a Taoist nun with the tonsured name Taizhen in order to prevent criticisms that would affect his plan of making her his concubine. Yang then stayed, for a brief moment, as a Taoist nun in the palace itself, before Emperor Xuanzong made her an imperial consort after bestowing his son Li Mao a new wife. Yang hence became the favorite consort of the emperor like Consort Wu was before. Imperial consort

Xuanzong and the Women That Served During His Rule


Xuanzong (ruled 712–56) ruled the Tang dynasty at the height of its power. Tristan Shaw wrote on Listverse: “Xuanzong’s 43-year reign is considered the high point of the Tang dynasty (618–907), a time in Chinese history renowned for its beautiful poetry and cosmopolitan culture. Not all of Xuanzong’s time on the throne was great, however, and the later half of his reign also marked the beginning of the Tang’s decline. [Source: Tristan Shaw, Listverse, May 16, 2016 +]

“For most of his time on the throne, Xuanzong was a very competent ruler. After becoming emperor in 712, Xuanzong embarked on a number of successful reforms, cleaning up the bloated imperial bureaucracy and keeping the frontiers of the empire well-protected with military governors who commanded professional armies. In his later years, Xuanzong’s interest in governing declined. He used much of his time to dote on Yang Guifei, a concubine who was initially his son’s wife. Yang used her powerful influence over the emperor to advance her friends and family, helping her cousin Yang Guozhong to become prime minister. Her adopted son, An Lushan, was also made a military governor. +\

“By 755, An Lushan had a falling out with Yang Guozhong and launched a rebellion to topple the Tang government. As the rebels began to close in on the capital city of Chang’an, Xuanzong and Yang Guifei had to flee the city for safety. After stopping at a remote village, the Imperial Army came to a halt and demanded that the emperor execute Yang Guifei and her cousin for their role in instigating An Lushan’s rebellion. Faced with a revolt from his own troops, Xuanzong realized that there was no way out but to have Yang Guifei killed. The historical record varies about what happened next, but Yang either voluntarily hanged herself or was strangled to death by an imperial official. Xuanzong, devastated by his lover’s death, then gave up his throne and left the job of putting down An Lushan’s rebellion to his son.” +\

There were many prominent women at court during and after Wu's reign, including Shangguan Wan'er (664–710), a poetess, writer, and trusted official in charge of Wu's private office. In 706 the wife of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang, Empress Wei (d. 710), persuaded her husband to staff government offices with his sister and her daughters, and in 709 requested that he grant women the right to bequeath hereditary privileges to their sons (which before was a male right only). Empress Wei eventually poisoned Zhongzong, whereupon she placed his fifteen-year-old son upon the throne in 710. Two weeks later, Li Longji (the later Emperor Xuanzong) entered the palace with a few followers and slew Empress Wei and her faction. He then installed his father Emperor Ruizong (r. 710–712) on the throne. Just as Emperor Zhongzong was dominated by Empress Wei, so too was Ruizong dominated by Princess Taiping. This was finally ended when Princess Taiping's coup failed in 712 (she later hanged herself in 713) and Emperor Ruizong abdicated to Emperor Xuanzong. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Shangguan Wan’er (664-710)

Foreman wrote, “Shangguan began her life under unfortunate circumstances. She was born the year that her grandfather, the chancellor to Emperor Gaozong, was implicated in a political conspiracy against the emperor’s powerful wife, Empress Wu Zetian. After the plot was exposed, the irate empress had the male members of the Shangguan family executed and all the female members enslaved. Nevertheless, after being informed of the 14-year-old Shangguan Wan’er’s exceptional brilliance as a poet and scribe, the empress promptly employed the girl as her personal secretary. Thus began an extraordinary 27-year relationship between China’s only female emperor and the woman whose family she had destroyed.” [Source: Amanda Foreman, Smithsonian Magazine, February 2015 \~]

“Wu eventually promoted Shangguan from cultural minister to chief minister, giving her charge of drafting the imperial edicts and decrees. The position was as dangerous as it had been during her grandfather’s time. On one occasion the empress signed her death warrant only to have the punishment commuted at the last minute to facial disfigurement. Shangguan survived the empress’s downfall in 705, but not the political turmoil that followed. She could not help becoming embroiled in the surviving progeny’s plots and counterplots for the throne. In 710 she was persuaded or forced to draft a fake document that acceded power to the Dowager Empress Wei. During the bloody clashes that erupted between the factions, Shangguan was dragged from her house and beheaded.” \~\

“A later emperor had her poetry collected and recorded for posterity. Many of her poems had been written at imperial command to commemorate a particular state occasion. But she also contributed to the development of the “estate poem,” a form of poetry that celebrates the courtier who willingly chooses the simple, pastoral life. Shangguan is considered by some scholars to be one of the forebears of the High Tang, a golden age in Chinese poetry. \~\

Yang Guifei and Emperor Xuanzong

Yang Guifei movie poster

In 745, after Emperor Xuanzong gave the daughter of the general Wei Zhaoxun to Li Mao as his new wife and princess, he officially made Taizhen an imperial consort — with the newly created rank of Guifei, which was even greater than the previously highest rank of Huifei, carried by Consort Wu. He bestowed posthumous honors on her father Yang Xuanyan and granted her mother the title of Lady of Liang. He also gave high offices to her uncle Yang Xuangui and cousins Yang Xian and Yang Qi. Her three older sisters were conferred the ranks of Ladies of Han, Guo, and Qin, and it was said that whenever the noble women were summoned to imperial gatherings, even Emperor Xuanzong's highly honored sister Li Chiying the Princess Yuzhen did not dare to take a seat more honorable than theirs. Emperor Xuanzong also gave his favorite daughter Princess Taihua (born of Consort Wu) to Yang Qi in marriage. The five Yang households — those of Yang Xian, Yang Qi, and the Ladies of Han, Guo, and Qin — were said to be exceedingly honored and rich, and all of the officials fought to flatter them. Also around the same time, her second cousin Yang Zhao (whose name was later changed to Yang Guozhong) was also introduced to Emperor Xuanzong by Consort Yang, and Yang Zhao began to be promoted due to his flattery of the emperor. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Consort Yang became so favored that whenever she rode a horse, the eunuch Gao Lishi would attend her. 700 laborers were conscripted to sew fabrics for her. The officials and generals flattered her by offering her exquisite tributes. In 746, there was an occasion when she angered Emperor Xuanzong by being jealous and rude to him, and he had her sent to her cousin Yang Xian's mansion. Later that day, however, his mood was such that he could not eat, and the servants were battered by him for minor offenses. Gao knew that he missed Consort Yang, and Gao requested that the treasures in Consort Yang's palace be sent to her. Emperor Xuanzong agreed, and further sent imperial meals to her as well. That night, Gao requested that Emperor Xuanzong welcome Consort Yang back to the palace, a request that Emperor Xuanzong easily agreed to. Thereafter, she was even more favored, and no other imperial consort drew the favor of Emperor Xuanzong. +

In 747, when the military governor (jiedushi) An Lushan arrived at the capital Chang'an to meet Emperor Xuanzong, Emperor Xuanzong showed him much favor and allowed him into the palace. He had An honor Consort Yang as mother and Consort Yang's cousins and sisters as his brothers and sisters. In 750, there was another occasion at which Consort Yang offended Emperor Xuanzong with her words, and he sent her back to her clan. The official Ji Wen told Emperor Xuanzong that he overreacted, and Emperor Xuanzong regretted his actions. He again sent imperial meals to her, and she wept to the eunuchs delivering the meal, stating: “My offense deserves death, and it is fortunate that His Imperial Majesty did not kill me, but instead returned me to my household. I will forever leave the palace. My gold, jade, and treasures were all given me by His Imperial Majesty, and it would be inappropriate for me to offer them back to him. Only what my parents gave me I would dare to offer." She cut off some of her hair and had the hair taken back to Emperor Xuanzong. Emperor Xuanzong had Gao escort her back to the palace, and thereafter loved her even greater. +

In 751, An again visited Chang'an. On An's birthday on 20 February, 751, Emperor Xuanzong and Consort Yang rewarded him with clothing, treasures, and food. On 23 February, when An was summoned to the palace, Consort Yang, in order to please Emperor Xuanzong, had an extra-large infant wrapping made, and wrapped An in it, causing much explosion of laughter among the ladies in waiting and eunuchs. When Emperor Xuanzong asked what was going on, Consort Yang's attendants joked that Consort Yang gave birth three days ago and was washing her baby Lushan. Emperor Xuanzong was pleased by the comical situation and rewarded both Consort Yang and An greatly. Thereafter, whenever An visited the capital, he was allowed free admittance to the palace, and there were rumors that he and Consort Yang had an affair, but Emperor Xuanzong discounted the rumors. +

In 752, when the chancellor Li Linfu, in light of Nanzhao incursions against Jiannan Circuit (headquartered in modern Chengdu, Sichuan), of which Yang Guozhen served as commander remotely, wanted to send Yang Guozhong to Jiannan to defend against the Nanzhao attacks, Consort Yang interceded on Yang Guozhong's behalf, and Yang Guozhong did not actually report to Jiannan. Li Linfu soon died, and Yang Guozhong became chancellor. +

An Lushan's Rebellion and Yang Guifei's Death

Yang Guozhong and An Lushan soon were in conflict with each other, and Yang Guozhong repeatedly tried to provoke An into rebelling, by actions including arresting and executing staff members at An's mansion in Chang'an. In 755, An finally reciprocated. In order to try to placate the populace, which believed that Yang Guozhong had provoked the rebellion, Emperor Xuanzong considered passing the throne to his crown prince Li Heng. Yang Guozhong, who was not on good terms with Li Heng, feared this development, and persuaded Consort Yang and the Ladies of Han, Guo, and Qin to speak against it. Emperor Xuanzong, for the time being, did not abdicate the throne. [Source: Wikipedia +]

In 756, General Geshu Han was defeated by An's forces, after being forced by Yang Guozhong to engage An out of fear that Geshu Han himself might usurp the throne, and Tong Pass, the last major defense, fell to An's forces. Yang Guozhong suggested fleeing to Chengdu, the capital of Jiannan Circuit. On 14 July, Emperor Xuanzong, keeping the news secret from the people of Chang'an, took the imperial guards to escort him, Consort Yang, her family, and his immediate clan members, and exited Chang'an, heading toward Chengdu. Attending him were Yang Guozhong, his fellow chancellor Wei Jiansu, the official Wei Fangjin, the general Chen Xuanli, and some eunuchs and ladies in waiting close to him. +

On 15 July, Emperor Xuanzong's cortege reached Mawei Courier Station in modern Xianyang, Shaanxi). The imperial guards were not fed and became angry at Yang Guozhong. Chen also believed that Yang Guozhong had provoked this disaster and planned to accuse him; he reported his plans to Li Heng through Li Heng's eunuch Li Fuguo, but Li Heng was hesitant and gave no approval. Meanwhile, Tufan emissaries, who had followed Emperor Xuanzong south, were meeting with Yang Guozhong and complaining that they also had not been fed. The soldiers of the imperial guard took this opportunity to proclaim that Yang Guozhong was planning treason along with the Tufan emissaries, and they killed him, along with his son Yang Xuan, the Ladies of Han and Qin, and Wei Fangjin. Wei Jiansu was also nearly killed, but was spared at the last moment with severe injuries. The soldiers then surrounded Emperor Xuanzong's pavilion, and refused to scatter even after Emperor Xuanzong came out to comfort them and order them to disperse. Chen publicly urged him to put Consort Yang to death — which Emperor Xuanzong initially declined. After Wei Jiansu's son Wei E and Gao Lishi spoke further, Emperor Xuanzong finally resolved to do so. He therefore had Gao take Consort Yang to a Buddhist shrine and strangle her. After he showed the body to Chen and the other imperial guard generals, the guard soldiers finally dispersed and prepared for further travel. Meanwhile, Yang Guozhong's wife Pei Rou, son Yang Xi, the Lady of Guo, and the Lady of Guo's son Pei Hui tried to flee, but were killed in flight. Consort Yang was buried at Mawei, without a coffin, but with masses of fragrances, wrapped in purple blankets. +

Yang Guifei

In 757, Prince Li Heng, who had taken the throne as Emperor Suzong, recaptured Chang'an and welcomed ex-Emperor Xuanzong, then Taishang Huang (retired emperor) back to the capital. Emperor Xuanzong went through Mawei on his way back to Chang'an. He wanted to locate Consort Yang's body and rebury her with honor. The official Li Kui spoke against it, pointing out that the imperial guard soldiers would still be prone to reprisals if he did so. However, Emperor Xuanzong secretly sent eunuchs to rebury her with a coffin. When they found the body, it had decomposed, but the fragrance bag buried with her was still fresh. The eunuchs returned with the fragrance bag, and upon its presentation to Emperor Xuanzong, he wept bitterly. When he returned to Chang'an, he had a painter create a picture of Consort Yang in a secondary palace, and often went there to view the portrait. +

Yang Kwei-fei (Yang Guifei) in Japanese Literature

Yang is also well known in Japan, and Noh plays have been staged based on her story. A Japanese rumour states that Yang had been rescued, escaped to Japan and lived her remaining life there. In Japanese, she is known as Yo-kihi. "The Song of Unending Sorrow," by Po Chu-i (772-846), was the most popular Chinese poem in Heian Japan. With some embellishment, it recounted the true story of how Yang Guifei (Yokihi in Japanese) rose from obscurity to win the heart of an emperor, before causing his downfall and that of the entire Tang Dynasty. [Source: taleofgenji.org]

Emperor Xuanzong (Hsuan Tsung), a grandson of Empress Wu Zetian (Wu-chao, Wu-hou) who ruled from 713-756, was a wise and forward-looking ruler during the early years of his reign. Yang Guifei was originally married to one of his sons in 736, at the age of 18. The emperor, already in his 50s, quickly became infatuated with her and, in 741, she abandoned her husband and entered a Taoist nunnery. By 745, the emperor had arranged for his son to marry another woman and made Yang Guifei (Yang Kwei-fei, Yang Kuei-fei, Yang Gueifei) his "Precious Consort." Yokihi (Yang Guifei) From this time on, Xuanzong neglected affairs of state and allowed his court to lapse into decadence. Meanwhile, Yang Guifei caused something of a scandal with her close relationship with An Lu-Shan, a powerful general of Turkic origin. Eventually she adopted the corpulent, 48-year-old general.

A variety of natural disasters and two military defeats caused unrest in the empire, culminating in a rebellion led by An Lushan in 755. As the victorious rebel forces advanced on the capital, Xuanzong and his court fled towards Chengdu in Sichuan (Szechwan). On the way, the imperial guard mutinied and killed Yang Guifei's brother, the prime minister. Blaming the Yang family for the empire's troubles, the troops forced the emperor to have his beloved concubine strangled. An Lushan's power didn't last long, however. He was assassinated by his son and eventually the Tang dynasty regained control. When Xuanzong finally returned to the capital, Chang'an (Xian), he was seized by remorse and tried using a Taoist priest to contact Yang Guifei in the netherworld.

According to the poem, the priest manages to contact her, bringing back half a gold hair comb, which the emperor knew belonged to her, and a message:
And she sent him, by his messenger, a sentence reminding him of
vows which had been known only to their two hearts:
'On the seventh day of the seventh month, in the Palace of Long Life,
We told each other secretly in the quiet midnight world
That we wished to fly in heaven, two birds with the wings of one,
And to grow together on the earth, two branches of one tree.'
... Earth endures, heaven endures; sometime both shall end,
While this unending sorrow goes on and on forever.

This yearning to find a lost loved one is a theme that occurs twice in the Japanese classic The Tale of Genji. Both Genji and his father lose someone dear to them. The "seventh day of the seventh month" refers to the legend of the herdboy and the weaver girl, represented by the stars Altair and Vega. The two lovers are separated by the Milky Way, and only meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, crossing the heavens on a bridge of magpies. This legend is still celebrated in Japan by the Tanabata Festival.

Yang Guifei's story is well-known to fans of Kabuki and the dance Yokihi has been performed by Bando Tamasaburo. The events at court leading up to the An Lushan rebellion are described in A Floating Life: The Adventures of Li Po - a fictionalized biography of the extraordinary poet who was a witness to the events. A rather different version of the story is shown in Kenji Mizoguchi's movie, Princess Yang Kwei-fei (also on VHS). In Mizoguchi's version, Yang Guifei is a woman manipulated by family and politicians, an innocent victim of fate.

It is said that when Yang Guifei died, the emperor missed her so much that he had her sculpture made in the image of Avalokitesvara (Kannon), which was brought to Sennyu-ji Temple in Kyoto by the priest Tankai in 1255. It is located in a small Kannon-do in the temple grounds and known as the Yokihi Kannon or Empress Yang-Avalokitesvara. The Kannon-do at Sennyuji is one of the 33 places of worship on the Rakuyo ("Loyang") Pilgrimage.

Cultural Legacy of Yang Guifei

Lychee was a favorite fruit for Yang, and the emperor had the fruit, which was only grown in southern China, delivered by the imperial courier's fast horses, whose riders would take shifts day and night in a Pony Express-like manner, to the capital. (Most historians believe the fruits were delivered from modern Guangdong, but some believe they came from modern Sichuan.) A copy of the outline of her right hand still exists, having been carved on a large stone at the site of the Xi'an Palace. [Source: Wikipedia +]

Yang was also granted use of the Huaqing Pool which had been the exclusive private pool of previous Tang emperors. Emperor Xuanzong's palace at Huaqing Hot Springs remains a major tourist attraction only 40 kilometers from the ancient capital, Xian. There you can see Yang Guifei's bath, originally rimmed with pink jade, and various other buildings associated with her.

In the following generation, a long poem, "Song of Everlasting Sorrow" , was written by the poet Bai Juyi describing Emperor Xuanzong's love for her and perpetual grief at her loss. It became an instant classic, known to and memorized by Chinese schoolchildren far into posterity. The story of Yang and the poem also became highly popular in Japan and served as sources of inspiration for the classical novel The Tale of Genji which begins with the doomed love between an emperor and a consort, Kiritsubo, who is likened to Yang.

Literature: 1) Changhen ge - Song of Everlasting Regret or Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Bai Juyi; 2) The Unofficial Biography of Yang Taizhen (Yang Taizhen Waizhuan) by Yue Shi ; 3) The Biography - Song of the Everlasting Sorrow ( Changhen Kezhuan); 4) The Court of the Lion (modern English novelization) by Eleanor Cooney, Daniel Altieri; 5) The Favourite Monkey of the Tang House (modern Russian novelization) by Master Chen; 6 ) Under Heaven (Fictionalized as Wen Jian) by Guy Gavriel Kay; 7) Yang Yuhuan's death is featured in the wuxia novel Datang Youxia Zhuan by Liang Yusheng.

Operas: 1) Guifei Intoxicated (Guifei Zuijiu); 2) The Unofficial Biography of Taizhen (Taizhen Waizhuan); 3) The Slope of Mawei (Mawei Po) by Chen Hong ; 4) The Great Concubine of Tang (Da Tang Guifei), a contemporary Beijing opera with historical motif. Stage plays: 1) The Hall of Longevity (Changshen Dian); 2) The Mirror to Grind Dust (Mocheng Jian) by an anonymous playwright of the Ming Dynasty; 3) The Records of Shocking Grandeur (Jinghong Ji) by Wu Shimei of the Ming Dynasty; 4) The Records of Colourful Hair (Caihao Ji) by Tu Longlong of the Ming Dynasty; 5) Tang Minghuang on an Autumn Night with Wutong Tree and Rain (Tang Minghuang Qiuye Wutong Yu) by Bai Pu of the Yuan Dynasty.

Film; 1) Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (a.k.a. The Empress Yang Kuei-Fei), a 1955 Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi; 2) The Magnificent Concubine (Yang Kwei Fei), a 1962 Hong Kong film directed by Li Han-hsiang. Television: 1) Lady Yang , a 1976 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB, starring Lina Yan as Yang Yuhuan; 2) Yang Gui Fei , a 1985 Taiwanese television series aired on CTS; 3) Tang Ming Huang , a 1990 Chinese television series starring Liu Wei and Liu Fangbing as Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Yuhuan respectively; 4) The Legend of Lady Yang , a 2000 Hong Kong television series produced by TVB, starring Anne Heung and Kwong Wa as Yang Yuhuan and Emperor Xuanzong respectively; 5) Da Tang Fu Rong Yuan, a 2007 Chinese television series starring Fan Bingbing and Winston Chao as Yang Yuhuan and Emperor Xuanzong respectively; ) The Legend of Yang Guifei, a 2010 Chinese television series starring Yin Tao and Anthony Wong as Yang Yuhuan and Emperor Xuanzong respectively.

Image Sources: Empress Wu, AllPosters.com; Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Robert Eno, Indiana University ; Asia for Educators, Columbia University afe.easia.columbia.edu; University of Washington’s Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, depts.washington.edu/chinaciv /=\; National Palace Museum, Taipei \=/ Library of Congress; New York Times; Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; China National Tourist Office (CNTO); Xinhua; China.org; China Daily; Japan News; Times of London; National Geographic; The New Yorker; Time; Newsweek; Reuters; Associated Press; Lonely Planet Guides; Compton’s Encyclopedia; Smithsonian magazine; The Guardian; Yomiuri Shimbun; AFP; Wikipedia; BBC. Many sources are cited at the end of the facts for which they are used.

Last updated August 2021

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