Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people. These include oral traditions such as tales and jokes, they include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites; each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration; the academic study of folklore is called Folklore studies, it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph. D. levels. To understand folklore, it is helpful to clarify its component parts: the terms folk and lore.
It is well-documented. He fabricated it to replace the contemporary terminology of "popular antiquities" or "popular literature"; the second half of the compound word, proves easier to define as its meaning has stayed stable over the last two centuries. Coming from Old English lār'instruction,' and with German and Dutch cognates, it is the knowledge and traditions of a particular group passed along by word of mouth; the concept of folk proves somewhat more elusive. When Thoms first created this term, folk applied only to rural poor and illiterate peasants. A more modern definition of folk is a social group which includes two or more persons with common traits, who express their shared identity through distinctive traditions. "Folk is a flexible concept which can refer to a nation as in American folklore or to a single family." This expanded social definition of folk supports a broader view of the material, i.e. the lore, considered to be folklore artifacts. These now include all "things people make with words, things they make with their hands, things they make with their actions".
Folklore is no longer circumscribed as being chronologically obsolete. The folklorist studies the traditional artifacts of a social group. Transmission is a vital part of the folklore process. Without communicating these beliefs and customs within the group over space and time, they would become cultural shards relegated to cultural archaeologists. For folklore is a verb; these folk artifacts continue to be passed along informally, as a rule anonymously and always in multiple variants. The folk group is not individualistic, it nurtures its lore in community. "As new groups emerge, new folklore is created… surfers, computer programmers". In direct contrast to high culture, where any single work of a named artist is protected by copyright law, folklore is a function of shared identity within the social group. Having identified folk artifacts, the professional folklorist strives to understand the significance of these beliefs and objects for the group. For these cultural units would not be passed along unless they had some continued relevance within the group.
That meaning can however morph. So Halloween of the 21st century is not the All Hallows' Eve of the Middle Ages, gives rise to its own set of urban legends independent of the historical celebration; the cleansing rituals of Orthodox Judaism were good public health in a land with little water. Compare this to brushing your teeth transmitted within a group, which remains a practical hygiene and health issue and does not rise to the level of a group-defining tradition. For tradition is remembered behavior. Once it loses its practical purpose, there is no reason for further transmission unless it has been imbued with meaning beyond the initial practicality of the action; this meaning is at the core of the study of folklore. With an theoretical sophistication of the social sciences, it has become evident that folklore is a occurring and necessary component of any social group, it is indeed all around us, it does not have to be antiquated. It continues to be created, transmitted and in any group is used to differentiate between "us" and "them".
Folklore began to distinguish itself as an autonomous discipline during the period of romantic nationalism in Europe. A particular figure in this development was Johann Gottfried von Herder, whose writings in the 1770s presented oral traditions as organic processes grounded in locale. After the German states were invaded by Napoleonic France, Herder's approach was adopted by many of his fellow Germans who systematized the recorded folk traditions and used them in their process of nation building; this process was enthusiastically embraced by smaller nations like Finland and Hungary, which were seeking political independence from their dominant neighbours. Folklore as a field of study further developed among 19th century European scholars who were contrasting tradition with the newly developing modernity, its focus was the oral folklore of the rural peasant populations, which were considered as residue and survivals of the past that continued to exist within the lower strata of society. The "Kinder- und Hausmärchen" of the Brothers Grimm is the best known but by no means only collection of verbal folklore of the European peasantry of th
Emperor of China
Emperor or Huangdi was the imperial title of the Chinese sovereign from 221 BCE to the early 20th century. It was established by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor, after the reunification of the lands of the Zhou dynasty, it replaced the Zhou's own title of wáng, appropriated by numerous warlords during the Warring States Era. The Chinese title is not grammatically gendered, but the only empress to bear it was Wu Zetian, who replaced the Tang dynasty with her own in the years 690–705 CE. Use of the title is considered to have ended with the abdication of Puyi in 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution and the establishment of the Republic of China, although there were two failed attempts to reestablish an imperial government in China in 1915 and 1917; the Chinese emperor was considered the autocrat of All under Heaven. Under the Han dynasty, Confucianism replaced Legalism as the official political theory and succession theoretically followed Salic primogeniture; the Chinese emperors who shared the same family were classified into historical periods known as dynasties.
The absolute authority of the emperor was notionally bound with various obligations. In practice and heirs sometimes avoided the strict rules of succession and dynasties' ostensible "failures" were detailed in official histories written by their successful replacements; the power of the emperor was often limited by the imperial bureaucracy staffed by scholar-officials and eunuchs and by filial obligations to surviving parents and to dynastic traditions, such as those detailed in the Ming dynasty's Ancestral Instructions. During the Zhou dynasty, Chinese feudal rulers with power over their particular fiefdoms were called gong but, as the power of the Shang and Zhou kings waned, the dukes began to usurp that title for themselves. In 221 BCE, after the then-king of Qin completed the conquest of the various kingdoms of the Warring States period, he adopted a new title to reflect his prestige as a ruler greater than the rulers before him, he called himself the First Emperor. Before this, Huang and Di were the nominal "titles" of eight rulers of Chinese mythology or prehistory: The three Huang were godly rulers credited with feats like ordering the sky and forming the first humans out of clay.
In the 3rd century BCE, the two titles had not been used together. Because of the god-like powers of the Huang, the folk worship of the Di, the latter's use in the name of the God of Heaven Shangdi, the First Emperor's title would have been understood as implying "The Holy" or "Divine Emperor". On that account, some modern scholars translate the title as "thearch". On occasion, the father of the ascended emperor was still alive; such an emperor was titled the Tai Shang Huang, the "Grand Imperial Sire". The practice was initiated by the First Emperor, who gave the title as a posthumous name to his own father. Liu Bang, who established the Han dynasty, was the first to become emperor while his father yet lived, it was said he granted the title during his father's life because he would not be bowed to by his own father, a commoner. Owing to political fragmentation, over the centuries, it has not been uncommon to have numerous claimants to the title of "Emperor of All China"; the Chinese political concept of the Mandate of Heaven legitimized those claimants who emerged victorious.
The proper list was considered those made by the official dynastic histories. As with the First Emperor, it was common to retroactively grant posthumous titles to the ancestors of the victors; the Yuan and Qing dynasties were founded by successful invaders. Thus, Kublai Khan was Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of China. On one count, from the Qin dynasty to the Qing dynasty, there were 557 emperors including the rulers of minor states. Some, such as Li Zicheng, Huang Chao, Yuan Shu, declared themselves the Emperors, Son of Heaven and founded their own empires as a rival government to challenge the legitimacy of and overthrow the existing Emperor. Among the most famous emperors were Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty, the Emperors Gaozu and Wu of the Han dynasty, Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty, Kublai Khan of the Yuan dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty, the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty; the Emperor's words were considered sacred edicts and his written proclamations "directives from above".
In theory, the Emperor's orders were to be obeyed immediately. He was elevated above all commoners and members of the Imperial family. Addresses to the Emperor were always to be formal and self-deprecatory by the closest of family members. In practice, the power of the emperor varied between different emperors and different dynasties. In the Chinese dynastic cycle, emperors founding a dynasty consolidated the empire through a
Ruan Ji was a poet and musician who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. He was one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove; the guqin melody, Jiukuang is believed to have been composed by him. Ruan Ji's father was Ruan Yu, one of the famed Seven Scholars of Jian'an who were promoted by the Cao clan in the Jian'an poetry era; the Ruan family were loyal to the Cao Wei, as opposed to the Sima family. It is fair to say that Ruan Ji was born into his time period being the Period of Disunity. Ruan Ji was poetically part of both the poetry of the Jian'an period and the beginning of the Six Dynasties poetry developments, he would embrace the poetic side of what the times offered him, managed to avoid many political dangers and snares of his time. The safety of Ruan Ji during his life seems to have been underwritten by his willingness to be labeled a drunk and an eccentric. Born just before the end of the Han Dynasty, the Ruan family fortune rose with the rise of Cao Cao and the rest of the Cao family.
However, while Ji was still quite young, the fortune of the Ruan family became imperiled with the rise of the Sima family: the Sima had served as officials under the Cao. Furthermore, during the time of Ruan Ji, there was ongoing peril from the ongoing military struggles with the kingdom of Shu Han, together with other impending military and political changes; the life and creative work of Ruan Ji took place within a crucial and dramatic period in China history, associated with large changes in various spheres of life. The Han dynasty had seen a period of virtuous rule in which the norm of ritual piety, philanthropic principles of legendary ancient rulers, aspiration to nurture officials – calm, serving for consciousness, not of fear – became governmental norm; however this was followed by the so-called Period of Disunity. Ruan Ji witnessed bloody wars, struggles for power in the court of Wei, the Sima family's rise. Despite the dim times, this was a period of great achievements in spiritual culture.
Bright peculiarity of that time was intellectual life: interests in metaphysics, which were discussed in the "pure talks" of open academic forums, profound interest in the problem of the highest purpose, the great popularity of Daoism and the spreading of foreign learning, such as Buddhism, a rapid expansion of lyrical poetry, a flourishing of all fine arts from painting to architecture. The invention of cheap paper in the 2nd century spread literacy among a large population, which brought a sense of chivalry to a large amount of educated people, with notions of good, truth and virtue. Heroes of the day became irreproachable virtuous men, who relinquished politics and preferred a quiet life in the countryside or the life of a hermit to the glamour and fame of court life; these so-called sublime men brought into being ideas of protest against an iniquitous reign, hidden by exterior unconcern, greatness in undemanding and pureness. The life of court officials was considered "the life of dust and dirt", while the real dirt of peasant labour was a symbol of purity.
As is traditionally depicted, a certain group of seven scholar/musician/poets wishing to escape the intrigues and stifling atmosphere of court life during the politically fraught Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history habitually gathered in the obscurity of a bamboo grove near the house of Xi Kang in Shanyang. Here they enjoyed practicing their works, enjoying the simple, rustic life, always with much Chinese alcoholic beverage. Livia Kohn describes Ruan Ji's artistic expression, His friends and fellow poets induced ecstatic experiences through music and drugs the notorious Cold Food Powder which created psychedelic states and made the body feel hot, causing people to take off their clothes and jump into pools; when back in their ordinary selves, they wrote poetry of freedom and escape, applying the Zhuangzi concept of free and easy wandering in the sense of getting away from it all and continuing the text's tradition in their desperate search for a better world within. This was contrasted with the theoretically and Confucian certified honorable and joyful duty of serving ones country.
Rather than attempt to stay loyal to Wei through the rise of Jin by their active, personal involvement, the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove instead stressed the enjoyment of ale, personal freedom, spontaneity and a celebration of nature—together with political avoidance. Ruan Ji is mentioned first among the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove; the other sages were Xi Kang Shan Tao, Liu Ling, Ruan Xian, Xiang Xiu, Wang Rong. They created an image of wise men enjoying life rather uninhibitedly, realizing the old dream of a Daoist concord of free men who are gifted with hidden wisdom “to be together, not being together” and “act jointly, not acting jointly”; the wine goblet, which became a symbol of being a
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were a group of Chinese scholars and musicians of the third century CE. Although the various individuals all existed, their interconnection is not certain. Several of the seven were linked with the Qingtan school of Daoism as it existed in the state of Cao Wei; the Seven Sages found their lives to be in danger when the avowedly "Confucian" Jin dynasty of the Sima clan came to power. Among other things, some of the seven wrote poems criticizing the court and the administration, wrote Daoist-influenced literature. Not all seven sages had similar views; some of the seven tried to negotiate their way through the difficult political positions by self-consciously adopting the roles of alcohol-fueled pranksters and eccentrics avoiding government control, yet some ended up joining the Jin dynasty. However much they may or may not engaged in qingtan, they became the subjects of it themselves in the A New Account of the Tales of the World; the Seven Sages are Liu Ling, Ruan Ji, Ruan Xian, Xiang Xiu, Wang Rong and Shan Tao.
Ji Kang was close to Ruan Ji. The wife of Shan Tao was said to be impressed by Ruan Ji and Ji Kang's prowess when she spied on them during sex; as it is traditionally depicted, the group wished to escape the intrigues and stifling atmosphere of court life during the politically fraught Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. They gathered in a bamboo grove near the house of Ji Kang in Shanyang where they enjoyed, praised in their works, the simple, rustic life; this was contrasted with the politics of court. The Seven Sages stressed the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, personal freedom, spontaneity and a celebration of nature, it would be Ji Kang's refusal to work for the new regime which would lead to his execution. The group's rural life became a common theme for art, they inspired other artists who wished to retreat during times of political upheavals. Another person associated with the Seven Sages is Rong Qiqi; this association is depicted in some apocryphal art from the fourth century CE, in a tomb near Nanjing.
The Seven Sages, or the symbol that they became, have been remarked to be influential in Chinese poetry, music and overall culture. The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove have inspired not only generations of poets, but painters and other artists. Seven Scholars of Jian'an Six Dynasties poetry Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy by Etienne Balazs A New Chinese Tomb Discovery: The Earliest Representation of a Famous Literary Theme in Artibus Asiae, 1961 - Alexander Coburn Soper Neo-Taoism and the'Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove' in Chinese Painting in Artibus Asiae, 1974 - Ellen Johnston Laing Documentary videos of the Seven Sages
Jī Kāng, sometimes referred to as Xi Kang, courtesy name Shūyè, was a Chinese writer, Daoist philosopher and alchemist of the Three Kingdoms period. He was one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove who engaged in separating themselves from the dangerous political situation of third-century China in favour of devoting themselves to a life of art and leisure. Ji Kang is noted as an author and famous for having been guqin-player, he was described as a tall man. As a thinker, Ji Kang wrote on longevity, music theory and ethics. Among his works were Yangsheng Lun, Shengwu Aile Lun, Qin Fu, Shisi Lun; as a musician, Ji Kang composed a number of solo pieces for the qin. Ji Kang was critical of Confucianism and challenged many social conventions of his time; as such, he was considered seditious. He married Cao Cao's granddaughter. Ji Kang assumed a post under the Cao Wei state, but was not interested in government work; when the regent Sima Zhao came to power, he intended to grant Ji Kang a position as a civil official.
However, Ji Kang was uncooperative and behaved insolently towards Zhong Hui, whom Sima Zhao sent to convey his offer. One of Ji Kang's friends was imprisoned after being framed. Ji Kang defended him and testified in his case, was sent to jail as a result. Following Zhong Hui's advice, Sima Zhao sentenced Ji Kang to death. 3,000 scholars signed a petition to release him. Before his execution, Ji Kang asked for his zither and played his swan song, the famous guqin masterpiece Guangling san, which music is presumed to be forever lost. List of Chinese authors Ji Kang in contemporary art Xi Kang Xi Kang and Qin music
Ulrich Holbein is a German writer. Holbein was winner of the 2012 Kassel Literary Prize. Holbein employs a number of pseudonyms, including Uriel Bohnlich, Heino Brichnull, Heinrich Bullo, Lili Chonhuber
Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", 不敢為天下先 "humility"; the roots of Taoism go back at least to the 4th century BCE. Early Taoism drew its cosmological notions from the School of Yinyang, was influenced by one of the oldest texts of Chinese culture, the I Ching, which expounds a philosophical system about how to keep human behavior in accordance with the alternating cycles of nature; the "Legalist" Shen Buhai may have been a major influence, expounding a realpolitik of wu wei.
The Tao Te Ching, a compact book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, is considered the keystone work of the Taoist tradition, together with the writings of Zhuangzi. By the Han dynasty, the various sources of Taoism had coalesced into a coherent tradition of religious organizations and orders of ritualists in the state of Shu. In earlier ancient China, Taoists were thought of as hermits or recluses who did not participate in political life. Zhuangzi was the best known of these, it is significant that he lived in the south, where he was part of local Chinese shamanic traditions. Female shamans played an important role in this tradition, strong in the southern state of Chu. Early Taoist movements developed their own institution in contrast to shamanism, but absorbed basic shamanic elements. Shamans revealed basic texts of Taoism from early times down to at least the 20th century. Institutional orders of Taoism evolved in various strains that in more recent times are conventionally grouped into two main branches: Quanzhen Taoism and Zhengyi Taoism.
After Laozi and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew and was compiled in form of a canon—the Daozang—which was published at the behest of the emperor. Throughout Chinese history, Taoism was nominated several times as a state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell from favor. Taoism has had a profound influence on Chinese culture in the course of the centuries, Taoists, a title traditionally attributed only to the clergy and not to their lay followers take care to note distinction between their ritual tradition and the practices of Chinese folk religion and non-Taoist vernacular ritual orders, which are mistakenly identified as pertaining to Taoism. Chinese alchemy, Chinese astrology, Chan Buddhism, several martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism had influence on surrounding societies in Asia. Today, the Taoist tradition is one of the five religious doctrines recognized in the People's Republic of China as well as the Republic of China, although it does not travel from its East Asian roots, it claims adherents in a number of societies, in particular in Hong Kong, in Southeast Asia.
Since the introduction of the Pinyin system for romanizing Mandarin Chinese, there have been those who have felt that "Taoism" would be more appropriately spelled as "Daoism". The Mandarin Chinese pronunciation for the word 道 is spelled as tao4 in the older Wade–Giles romanization system while it is spelled as dào in the newer Pinyin romanization system. Both the Wade–Giles tao4 and the Pinyin dào are intended to be pronounced identically in Mandarin Chinese, but despite this fact, "Taoism" and "Daoism" can be pronounced differently in English vernacular; the word "Taoism" is used to translate different Chinese terms which refer to different aspects of the same tradition and semantic field: "Taoist religion", or the "liturgical" aspect – A family of organized religious movements sharing concepts or terminology from "Taoist philosophy". "Taoist philosophy" or "Taology", or the "mystical" aspect – The philosophical doctrines based on the texts of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching and the Zhuangzi.
These texts were linked together as "Taoist philosophy" during the early Han Dynasty, but notably not before. It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Daodejing, Zhuangzi would not have identified himself as a Taoist as this classification did not arise until well after his death. However, the discussed distinction is rejected by the majority of Japanese scholars, it is contested by hermeneutic difficulties in the categorization of the different Taoist schools and movements. Taoism does not f