Du Kang

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Du Kang

Du Kang, sometimes identified with Shao Kang, is one of the figures credited with the invention of alcoholic beverages in Chinese legend. He became the deified patron of winemakers in China and Japan (Tōji). Grain wines were an important part of ancient Chinese rites and court culture, but their invention cannot be reliably attributed to a single person.

It is unknown where, when, or if Du Kang actually lived. The dates in ancient sources range over thousands of years and miles. He is sometimes made a minister of the Yellow Emperor or the Xia ruler Shao Kang. In the 2nd-century Shuowen Jiezi, he is identified with Shao Kang himself. Du Kang's story is referenced in Cao Cao's 3rd-century poems. Since Cao, Du Kang has also been used as a metonym for any good alcohol. Ruan Ji references Du Kang in his attributed guqin piece Jiukuang.[1] A modern Chinese wine brand carries the name.

Du Kang's son Heita is sometimes said to have accidentally invented Chinkiang vinegar when his forgetfulness allowed a vat to spoil.[2]

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  1. ^ World Wide Web resource at silkqin.com accessed 24 FEB 2014 Archived 2014-10-28 at the Wayback Machine and WebCite: AUTHORNAME. TITLE. . 2014-02-24. URL:. Accessed: 2014-02-24. (Archived by WebCite® at )
  2. ^ Chen Fusheng; et al. (2009), "Cereal Vinegars Made by Solid-State Fermentation in China", Vinegars of the World, Springer, pp. 243 ff.

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