Sima Hui

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Sima Hui
Sima Hui Qing illustration.jpg
A Qing dynasty portrait of Sima Hui.
Born (Unknown)
Died (Unknown)
Traditional Chinese 司馬徽
Simplified Chinese 司马徽
Pinyin Sīmǎ Huī
Wade–Giles Szu-ma Hui
Courtesy name Decao (德操)
Other names Shuijing (水鏡)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Sima.

Sima Hui (birth and death dates unknown), courtesy name Decao (德操) and pseudonym Shuijing (水鏡; lit. "Water Mirror"), was a hermit who lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty. He was from Yingchuan (present-day Yuzhou City, Henan) and lived in northern Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan). He was popularly remembered as the one who recommended Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong to Liu Bei in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, while it was actually his friend Pang Degong who did it in history.

Haohao Xiansheng[edit]

Sima Hui was known to never mention others' shortcomings or flaws. His reply to both good and bad news would always be "hao" (好; lit. "good" or "yes"). When someone asked him, "How are you?", he replied, "Good." When somebody told him that their son had died, he said, "Very good." His wife chided him for that, saying, "Everyone sees you as a person of good moral conduct so they are willing to share their problems with you. Why do you say 'very good' when someone tells you that his son had died?" Sima Hui replied, "It's also good to hear what you've just said." This gave rise to the Chinese idiom haohao xiansheng (好好先生; lit. "Mr. Yes" or "Mr. Good").

In fiction[edit]

In chapter 37 of Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Sima is described to be a carefree, wandering man who is well-versed in many arts. He has a close relationship with Pang Tong, and refers to Pang as a younger brother.

Sima is also featured in Chan Mou's manhua The Ravages of Time as the teacher of the "Eight Enigmas", a group of elite strategists and advisors.

See also[edit]