The word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can usually be translated as tube, cane, or reed. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by guns or artillery, if not a more specific term such as howitzer or mortar, except for high-caliber automatic weapons firing bigger rounds than machine guns, called autocannons. (Full article...)
After the Communists took control of China, they sought to memorialize their achievements through artworks. Dong was commissioned to create a visual representation of the October 1 ceremony, which he had attended. He viewed it as essential that the painting show both the people and their leaders. After working for three months, he completed an oil painting in a folk art style, drawing upon Chinese art history for the contemporary subject. The success of the painting was assured when Mao viewed it and liked it, and it was reproduced in large numbers for display in the home. (Full article...)
St. Michael's Cathedral is the product of a strong German presence in Shandong Province in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the mid-19th century the European powers forcibly opened China to foreign trade. The Divine Word Missionaries built a church in the Jiaozhou Bay concession in Shandong in 1902, and in 1934 erected the cathedral, which remained nominally under their administration until 1964. In 1942 it came under the control of the Japanese Army, returning to Chinese control when the Japanese left Qingdao in 1945. In the early 1950s, all foreign missionaries, including the Bishop of Qingdao, were either imprisoned or expelled from China, and during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) the cathedral was defaced and abandoned. In 1981, it was repaired by the government and reopened for services, and in 1992 it was listed as a Provincial Historic Building by the government of Shandong Province. (Full article...)
Zhou Tong stroking his beard
Zhou Tong (Chinese: 周同 and 周侗; pinyin: Zhōu Tóng) (died late 1121 CE) was the archery teacher and second military arts tutor of famous Song dynasty general Yue Fei. Originally a local hero from Henan, he was hired to continue Yue Fei's military training in archery after the boy had rapidly mastered spearplay under his first teacher. In addition to the future general, Zhou accepted other children as archery pupils. During his tutelage, Zhou taught the children all of his skills and even rewarded Yue with his two favorite bows because he was his best pupil. After Zhou's death, Yue would regularly visit his tomb twice a month and perform unorthodox sacrifices that far surpassed that done for even beloved tutors. Yue later taught what he had learned from Zhou to his soldiers and they were successful in battle.
The modern Chinese varieties make frequent use of what are called classifiers or measure words. One use of classifiers is when a noun is qualified by a numeral known as a noun phrase. When a phrase such as "one person" or "three books" is translated into Chinese, it is normally necessary to insert an appropriate classifier between the numeral and the noun. For example, in Standard Mandarin, the first of these phrases would be 一个人yí gè rén, where yī means "one", rén means "person", and gè is the required classifier. There are also other grammatical contexts in which classifiers are used, including after the demonstratives 这 (這) zhè ("this") and 那 nà ("that"); however, when a noun stands alone without any such qualifier, no classifier is needed. There are also various other uses of classifiers: for example, when placed after a noun rather than before it, or when repeated, a classifier signifies a plural or indefinite quantity.
The terms "classifier" and "measure word" are frequently used interchangeably (as equivalent to the Chinese term 量词 (量詞) liàngcí, which literally means "measure word"). Sometimes, however, the two are distinguished, with classifier denoting a particle without any particular meaning of its own, as in the example above, and measure word denoting a word for a particular quantity or measurement of something, such as "drop", "cupful", or "liter". The latter type also includes certain words denoting lengths of time, units of currency, etc. These two types are alternatively called count-classifier and mass-classifier, since the first type can only meaningfully be used with count nouns, while the second is used particularly with mass nouns. However, the grammatical behavior of words of the two types is largely identical. (Full article...)
According to Chinese state media, a group of seven people had travelled to Beijing from Henan province, and five set themselves on fire on Tiananmen Square. One of them, Liu Chunling, died at Tiananmen under disputed circumstances, and another, 12-year-old Liu Siying, reportedly died in a hospital several weeks later; three survived. The incident received international news coverage, and video footage was broadcast a week later in China by China Central Television (CCTV). In the Chinese press, the event was used as proof of the "dangers" of Falun Gong, and was used to legitimise the government's campaign against the group. (Full article...)
Peking opera, or Beijing opera (Chinese: 京劇; pinyin: Jīngjù), is the most dominant form of Chinese opera, which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in Beijing in the mid-Qing dynasty (1644–1912) and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China. Major performance troupes are based in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. The art form is also preserved in Taiwan, where it is also known as Guójù (Chinese: 國劇; lit. 'National opera'). It has also spread to other regions such as the United States and Japan.
Peking opera features four main role types, sheng (gentlemen), dan (women), jing (rough men), and chou (clowns). Performing troupes often have several of each variety, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary performers. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers are the only focal points on Peking opera's characteristically sparse stage. They use the skills of speech, song, dance and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. The music of Peking opera can be divided into the xīpí (西皮) and èrhuáng (二黄) styles. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies and percussion patterns. The repertoire of Peking opera includes over 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history, folklore and, increasingly, contemporary life. (Full article...)
Wong Liu-tsong (January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961), known professionally as Anna May Wong, was an American actress, considered the first Chinese AmericanHollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese-American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio. As one of the first women depicted on the reverse of the quarter in the 2022-2025 American Women quarters series, she is also the first Asian American to appear on US currency.
Born in Los Angeles to second-generation Taishanese Chinese-American parents, Wong became infatuated with films and began acting in films at an early age. During the silent film era, she acted in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first films made in color, and in Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924). Wong became a fashion icon and had achieved international stardom in 1924. Wong had been one of the first to embrace the flapper look. In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York voted her the "world's best dressed woman." In the 1920s and 1930s, Wong was acclaimed as one of the top fashion icons. (Full article...)
Phallus indusiatus, commonly called the bamboo mushrooms, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady, is a fungus in the family Phallaceae, or stinkhorns. It has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical areas, and is found in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, where it grows in woodlands and gardens in rich soil and well-rotted woody material. The fruit body of the fungus is characterised by a conical to bell-shaped cap on a stalk and a delicate lacy "skirt", or indusium, that hangs from beneath the cap and reaches nearly to the ground. First described scientifically in 1798 by French botanist Étienne Pierre Ventenat, the species has often been referred to a separate genus Dictyophora along with other Phallus species featuring an indusium. P. indusiatus can be distinguished from other similar species by differences in distribution, size, color, and indusium length.
In his Dream Pool Essays or Dream Torrent Essays (夢溪筆談; Mengxi Bitan) of 1088, Shen was the first to describe the magnetic needle compass, which would be used for navigation (first described in Europe by Alexander Neckam in 1187). Shen discovered the concept of true north in terms of magnetic declination towards the north pole, with experimentation of suspended magnetic needles and "the improved meridian determined by Shen's [astronomical] measurement of the distance between the pole star and true north". This was the decisive step in human history to make compasses more useful for navigation, and may have been a concept unknown in Europe for another four hundred years (evidence of German sundials made circa 1450 show markings similar to Chinese geomancers' compasses in regard to declination). (Full article...)
Both in its lyrics and instruments, the song mixes traditional Chinese styles with modern rock elements. In the lyrics, the speaker addresses a girl who is scorning him because he has nothing. However, the song has also been interpreted as being about the dispossessed youth of the time, because it evokes a sense of disillusionment and lack of individual freedom that was common among the young generation during the 1980s. (Full article...)
Edible bird's nests are bird nests created by edible-nest swiftlets, Indian swiftlets, and other swiftlets using solidified saliva, which are harvested for human consumption. They are particularly prized in Chinese culture due to their rarity, high protein content and rich flavor. Edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans, with nests being sold at prices up to about $3,000 per pound ($6,600/kg), depending on grading. The type or grading of a bird's nest depends on the type of bird as well as the shape and color of the bird's nest. It is usually white in color, but there also exists a red version that is sometimes called "blood" nest. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it promotes good health, especially for the skin. The nests have been used in Chinese cuisine for over 400 years, most often as bird's nest soup. (Full article...)
Hoping to repeat the success of the earlier First Phase Campaign, the PVA 13th Army first launched a series of surprise attacks along the Ch'ongch'on River Valley on the night of November 25, 1950 at the western half of the Second Phase Campaign (Chinese: 第二次战役西线; pinyin: Dì'èrcì Zhànyì Xīxiàn), effectively destroying the Eighth United States Army's right flank while allowing PVA forces to move rapidly into UN rear areas. In the subsequent battles and withdrawals during the period of November 26 to December 2, 1950, although the US Eighth Army managed to avoid being surrounded by PVA forces, the PVA 13th Army were still able to inflict heavy losses onto the retreating UN forces which had lost all cohesion. In the aftermath of the battle, the US Eighth Army's heavy losses forced all UN forces to retreat from North Korea to the 38th Parallel. (Full article...)
Ink wash painting (simplified Chinese: 水墨画; traditional Chinese: 水墨畫; pinyin: shuǐmòhuà; Japanese: 水墨画, romanized: suiboku-ga or Japanese: 墨絵, romanized: sumi-e; Korean: 수묵화, romanized: sumukhwa) is a type of Asian ink brush painting which uses black ink, such as that used in Asian calligraphy, in different concentrations. Emerging during the Tang dynasty of China (618–907), it overturned earlier, more realistic techniques. It is typically monochrome, using only shades of black, with a great emphasis on virtuoso brushwork and conveying the perceived "spirit" or "essence" of a subject over direct imitation. It flourished from the Song dynasty in China (960–1279) onwards, as well as in Japan after it was introduced by Zen Buddhist monks in the 14th century. Some Western scholars divide Chinese painting (including ink wash painting) into three periods: times of representation, times of expression, and historical Oriental art. Chinese scholars have their own views different from this, and they believe that contemporary Chinese ink wash paintings are the pluralistic continuation of multiple historical traditions.
In China and Japan, but much less so in Korea, ink wash painting formed a distinct stylistic tradition, with a different set of artists working in it from those doing other types of painting. Especially in China, it was a gentlemanly occupation associated with poetry and calligraphy, and often produced by the scholar-official or literati class, ideally illustrating their own poetry, and producing the paintings as gifts for friends or patrons, rather than painting for payment. In practice a talented painter often had a very useful advantage in climbing the bureaucratic ladder. In Korea, painters were less segregated, and more willing to paint in two techniques, such as mixing areas of colour with monochrome ink, for example in painting the faces of figures. (Full article...)
Buddha image with scenes of stories in which he repaid his parents. Baodingshan, Dazu, China
Filial piety has been an important aspect of Buddhist ethics since early Buddhism, and was essential in the apologetics and texts of Chinese Buddhism. In the Early Buddhist Texts such as the Nikāyas and Āgamas, filial piety is prescribed and practiced in three ways: to repay the gratitude toward one's parents; as a good karma or merit; and as a way to contribute to and sustain the social order. In Buddhist scriptures, narratives are given of the Buddha and his disciples practicing filial piety toward their parents, based on the qualities of gratitude and reciprocity. Initially, scholars of Buddhism like Kenneth Ch'en saw Buddhist teachings on filial piety as a distinct feature of Chinese Buddhism. Later scholarship, led by people such as John Strong and Gregory Schopen, has come to believe that filial piety was part of Buddhist doctrine since early times. Strong and Schopen have provided epigraphical and textual evidence to show that early Buddhist laypeople, monks and nuns often displayed strong devotion to their parents, concluding that filial piety was already an important part of the devotional life of early Buddhists.
When Buddhism was introduced in China, it had no organized celibacy. Confucianism emphasized filial piety to parents and loyalty to the emperor, and Buddhist monastic life was seen to go against its tenets. In the 3rd–5th century, as criticism of Buddhism increased, Buddhist monastics and lay authors responded by writing about and translating Buddhist doctrines and narratives that supported filiality, comparing them to Confucianism and thereby defending Buddhism and its value in society. The Mouzi Lihuolun referred to Confucian and Daoist classics, as well as historical precedents to respond to critics of Buddhism. The Mouzi stated that while on the surface the Buddhist monk seems to reject and abandon his parents, he is actually aiding his parents as well as himself on the path towards enlightenment. Sun Chuo (c.300–380) further argued that monks were working to ensure the salvation of all people and making their family proud by doing so, and Liu Xie stated that Buddhists practiced filial piety by sharing merit with their departed relatives. Buddhist monks were also criticized for not expressing their respect to the Chinese emperor by prostrating and other devotion, which in Confucianism was associated with the virtue of filial piety. Huiyuan (334–416) responded that although monks did not express such piety, they did pay homage in heart and mind; moreover, their teaching of morality and virtue to the public helped support imperial rule. (Full article...)
Rome's Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith sided with the Dominicans in 1645 by condemning the Chinese rites based on their brief. However, the same congregation sided with the Jesuits in 1656, thereby lifting the ban. It was one of the many disputes between the Jesuits and the Dominicans in China and elsewhere in Asia, including Japan and India. The conflict between the Jesuits and their opponents took on a historical dimension, with the former insisting that Europeans and the Chinese had a shared history, which was taken to legitimise the Jesuit "accommodation" of Chinese rites and names for the Christian God. (Full article...)
Illustration from Xiangzhu liaozhai zhiyi tuyong (Liaozhai Zhiyi with commentary and illustrations; 1886)
Andrade was referred to as a "Folangji" (佛郎機) in Ming dynastic archives. Folangji comes from Franques or Franks, which was a generic name the Muslims called Europeans since the Crusades, and which spawned the Indian-Southeast Asian term ferengi. The Chinese adopted the convention when they first thought the Portuguese were related to those Muslim guides and interpreters during Fernão's first encounter and before Europeans directly convened with Chinese. (Full article...)
Li He, as depicted in the 1743 book Wanxiaotang Zhuzhuang Huazhuan (晩笑堂竹荘畫傳).
Chun Afong (Chinese: 陳芳; pinyin: Chén Fāng; 1825 – September 25, 1906) was a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who settled in the Hawaiian Kingdom during the 19th century and built a business empire in Hawaii, Macau and Hong Kong. He immigrated to Hawaii from Guangdong in 1849 and adopted the surname Afong after the diminutive form of his Cantonese given name, Ah Fong.
Afong started off working for his uncle's retail store in Honolulu and later became the co-owner of a chain of stores selling Oriental novelties. In due time, he made a fortune investing in retail, shipping, opium, sugar and coffeeplantations, eventually becoming the first Chinese millionaire on Hawaii. In 1856, Afong helped organize a ball in honor of the wedding of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma that helped to solidify the Chinese community's position in Honolulu. He briefly served as the commercial agent and diplomatic consul to the Hawaiian Kingdom and was a member of King Kalākaua's Privy Council. (Full article...)
Ye Qianyu (or Yeh Ch'ien-yü; 31 March 1907 – 5 May 1995) was a Chinese painter and pioneering manhua artist. In 1928, he cofounded Shanghai Manhua, one of the earliest and most influential manhua magazines, and created Mr. Wang, one of China's most famous comic strips.
In the 1930s, Haynes, a rated command pilot, led experimental long-range over-water interception flights that were key to the development of U.S. air defense doctrine. Haynes demonstrated by piloting one of the bombers that intercepted the Italian liner SS Rex that enemy ships could be located and sunk by American aircraft. As well, Haynes helped promote air power by flying long range missions to various countries in South America. (Full article...)
Image 21Photo showing serving chopsticks (gongkuai) on the far right, personal chopsticks (putongkuai) in the middle, and a spoon. Serving chopsticks are usually more ornate than the personal ones. (from Chinese culture)
Image 22Tea caddy, Chinese - Indianapolis Museum of Art (from Chinese culture)
Image 23The flag of the Republic of China from 1928 to now. (from History of China)
Image 33Gilin with the head and scaly body of a dragon, tail of a lion and cloven hoofs like a deer. Its body enveloped in sacred flames. Detail from Entrance of General Zu Dashou Tomb (Ming Tomb). (from Chinese culture)
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).
The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.