How is Hangzhou ‘remembered’ in 13,837 historical Chinese language poems

Within the early summer time of 837, Bai Juyi, a famend poet of the Tang Dynasty(618–907), wrote a poem reminiscing about the fantastic thing about Jiangnan, the area of the Southern Yangtze River, whereas residing in Luoyang, north of the river. What left indelible recollections on him was the attraction of Hangzhou – with its Qiantang tidal bore, Lingyin Temple, and mid-Autumn osmanthus petals.

Bai by no means forgot his dream of revisiting Hangzhou. Numerous others like him have since been entranced by their recollections of this metropolis over the previous 1,180 years.

At the moment marks a major milestone for Hangzhou’s growth because it hosts the nineteenth Asian Video games. The Asian Video games Mascots, with the group identify Jiangnan Yi (Reminiscences of Jiangnan), draw inspiration from Bai’s well-known strains “Yi Jiangnan (Remembering Jiangnan),” and show the cultural custom and aesthetic essence of this historical metropolis.

How did literati commemorate the legacy of Hangzhou over time? We gathered 13,837 poems depicting this metropolis composed by 2,486 poets all through the years from the early Tang Dynasty till the tip of the Qing Dynasty(1644–1911). We analyzed and revealed the themes, temporal-spatial patterns, and sentiments of all poems with a view to piece collectively a complete cultural portrait of Hangzhou all through historical past.

Figures 1: A panorama of theWest Lake

Town of Hangzhou, named and based throughout the Sui Dynasty(581–618), was described as “a riverine state that’s accessible by boat.” It located amid mountains, plains, and rivers, providing a various topography. The sunny and reasonably humid local weather produces picturesque surroundings all 12 months lengthy. Since Sui, it has developed into a serious hub for water transportation alongside the south of the Yangtze River.

Figures 2: 100 mostly-used phrases in 13,837 poems on the Hangzhou matter (Tang – Qing dynasties)

The abundance of fabric and pure landscapes fostered the wealthy tradition of Hangzhou. Because the Tang Dynasty, a wealth of poetry has been written and sung to showcase the fantastic thing about the West Lake, the encircling mountains, and the broader Hangzhou space (discuss with Figures 2 & 3).

Determine 3: Variety of Hangzhou poems in every dynasty with featured literati highlighted (Tang – Qing dynasties)

The composition of Hangzhou poetry largely originated from the Tang Dynasty (discuss with Determine 3). Of the 300 poems, Bai Juyi wrote essentially the most to explain Hangzhou. Upon assuming the put up of prefectural governor of Hangzhou, the poet labored tirelessly on governmental affairs whereas embarking on explorations of various landscapes. He composed virtually 60 poems centered round his journeys in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou poetry flourished throughout the Tune Dynasty (Determine 3). Within the Northern Tune interval, notable poets included literatus Su Shi and his poetic companions Guo Xiangzheng and Mei Yaochen. When Su Shi was in Hangzhou working because the controller basic, he earned Hangzhou the repute as “the foremost state in Southeast China.” Su discovered solace and luxury in Hangzhou, composing round 200 poems that depict his serene, cozy, and picturesque life there.

In the course of the Southern Tune interval (1127-1279), Hangzhou poetry noticed a major contribution from poets Yang Wanli and Lu You, two of the “4 Masters” of Southern Tune dynasty poetry,” in addition to Wu Wenying, who mourned his beloved’s passing in Hangzhou’s West Backyard Village.

The Qing Dynasty, particularly, was the interval when most Hangzhou poems had been written (discuss with Determine 3). Round 800 poets visited Hangzhou and produced roughly 3,800 poems. Emperor Qianlong (Hongli) alone composed virtually 400 items throughout his journeys to the south of China. Poets from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, similar to Yuan Mei, Zha Shenxing, and Shi Runzhang, had been all prolific and yielded poems on West Lake sightseeing, Qiantang River Tidal watching, and temple meditations.

Determine 4: Spatial Distribution of Poems on the Hangzhou Subject and Quantity of Every Place (Tang – Qing dynasties)

The 13,837 poems doc virtually 100 areas together with Gushan Mountain, Su Causeway, and Fenghuang Mountainand others(discuss with Determine 4). Notably, the West Lake and its surrounding mountains, the Qiantang River basin, and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal are the three most continuously talked about places.Three distinctive landscapes showcase distinct recollections that signify three elements of Hangzhou tradition.

Determine 5: Quantity and Sentiments of Poems Depicting the West Lake, Qiantang River Basin, and Grand Canal (Tang – Qing dynasties)

West Lake’s poetic class, serenity and softness

It’s believed that throughout the Qin Dynasty, the West Lake was merely a shallow bay. Till then, the shallow bay and the interior lake had been recognized as ‘Qiantang Lake.’ Within the

Tang Dynasty, Bai Juyi wrote a poem and renamed it the “West Lake” after main dredging and cleansing operations throughout his tenure as governor. Following Bai’s initiative, poet Yao He, whereas serving as Hangzhou’s prefectural governor, organized literati to compose poems aroundthe lake.

Yao’s poetry gatherings have since turn out to be a convention amongst literati. Round 2,200 literati traveled to the West Lake and its surrounding mountains the place they composed almost 7,000 poems, firmly establishing the lake as a major cornerstone of Hangzhou tradition.

Greater than half of the poems evoke a sublime, serene, and comfortable ambiance (discuss with Determine 5), presumably impressed by Chinese language panorama pastoral tradition and the charming resonance of temple bells within the mountains.

Because the poetry urged, poets sailed throughout the mirror-like lake and delved deep into the encircling mountains. The surroundings unfolded earlier than them included vibrant peach blossoms and singing warblers within the spring, breeze-ruffled lotuses and weeping willows in the summertime, frosty leaves and lone egrets within the fall, and plum blossoms within the snow and crisp winter waters. Moreover, the reflections of pagodas within the lake throughout sundown supplied a wide ranging view, and an evening of poetry and music would even be a pleasant expertise. However it will be a pity if one missed out on the osmanthus blossoms, the ring of temple bells, and sumptuous greens within the early morning mountains because of a hangover.

Qiantang River’s Poetic Grandeur and Majesty

Greater than half of the poems associated to Hangzhou depict the West Lake and its surrounding landscapes, utilizing them as analogies of poets’ emotion and ideas. The recognition of West Lake poetry has made the spot a outstanding cultural ingredient of Hangzhou, exuding grace and tranquility. Nevertheless, Hangzhou’s cultural essence can be outlined by the towering surge of the Qiantang River, which resounds like thunder and stretches out to the horizon.

Not like the serene and stylish West Lake poetry, the Qiantang River Poetry is rugged and highly effective (discuss with Determine 5). It captures yet one more aspect of Hangzhou tradition. It is devoted and unwavering simply as King Goujian,ruler of the Kingdom of Yue close to the tip of the Spring and Autumn interval, vowed to serve the nation on the river. It is also passionate and brave simply as folks collect to watch the outstanding Qiantang tidal bore. It is pragmatic, truth-seeking, and pioneering, very similar to the generations of laborers who’ve managed, utilized, and improved the river and its environment by way of their fingers and minds.

The Grand Canal’s Poetic Nostalgia and Compassion

Not removed from the north of West Lake lies the three-hole stone arch Gongchen Bridge, flanked by scattered bushes and homes on all sides. The Gongchen Bridge serves as each the beginning and ending level of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, a waterway that flows northward by way of Suzhou and Yangzhou, crosses the Yellow River, and ends in Beijing. Initially constructed throughout the Spring and Autumn intervals, it underwent extensions throughout the Sui and Tang dynasties earlier than lastly being accomplished within the Tune and Yuan dynasties.

The canal tells quite a few tales from the north to the south of the nation all through generations. And maybe as a result of it absorbs quite a few narratives, or the Gongchen Bridge throughout the sundown brings tears to vacationers’ eyes, greater than half of the poems in regards to the Grand Canal evoke feelings tinged with melancholy (discuss with Determine 5).

As described within the poetry, alongside the canal, the Tune court docket fled south to Hangzhou after their defeat throughout the Jin–Tune wars. Within the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong’s magnificent fleet crossed the Gongchen Bridge throughout his southern tour. Candidates traveled north to the capital to take the imperial examinations, whereas service provider ships returned from the north, carrying leather-based and tales exchanged for silk and tea. These poems uncovera new layer of Hangzhou culture- one which encompasses empathy, nostalgia, and companionship.

Hangzhou at a look

To recollect Hangzhou is to recall its surroundings of lakes and mountains, ebbing and flowing tides, and hustling and bustling life. It additionally encompasses the cultural deposits, traditions, and ethos of town and its folks throughout generations.

Hangzhou is a metropolis of perpetual move, the place recollections by no means fade.

Knowledge Supply

Chronological Maps of historical Chinese language poems (Chinese language Academy of Social Sciences), China Biographical Database Challenge (CBDB), Nationwide Platform for Widespread Geospatial Info Service, Digital Museum of Historical China Maps

Reference, Zhejiang On-line (, Official Web site of Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Tradition, Radio, TV and Tourism, Historical past and Origins of Placenames in Hangzhou, Guangming Day by day, Xinhua Information, Official Web site of nineteenth Asian Video games,

Introduced by: Yu Lan

Producer: Wu Qingcai

Govt Producer: Peng Dawei

Director: Ma Qian, Xu Yang

Coordinator: Ma Qian

Knowledge storytelling & Design: Ma Qian

Movement Graphics: Tune Xiaoyu

Translator: Ma Qian

Proofreader: Wu Xinru

Author: ZeroToHero