DAY 3 SHANDONG TRAVEL: HOMAGE TO CONFUCIUS

DAY 3 SHANDONG TRAVEL: CONFUCIAN HOME, TEMPLE AND TOMB

 

 

talented teacher

homage to an empty tomb

a sage after death

 

When the Red guards extombed Confucius grave, they saw no corpse or skeletons buried inside. The sage has not risen to heaven; there was no need to invent a story. (The historical Kuan Kong grave was also without his corpse.)  The descendants were smart enough not to shift his remains to the new tomb. We must be aware that Confucius was well versed in Fong Shui (geomancy);  he edited Yi Jing, the first premier to all Chinese Classics.  Apparently in a Yin premise,  it was not necessary for the dead body to be buried there. It means cremation was quite acceptable. It is the regular homage by his descendants, disciples and other visitors, over many generations,  that begets the endless energy for his teaching to survive, against all odds. Similarly with Buddhism (not in India) and Daoism in China. Ancestor worship would enhance family harmony, and many would disagree, so let it be.

Confucius was a multi talented teacher, but lived a very poor and disappointed life. In modern day China, he was torn down as symbols of backward feudalism. People search for meaning of life, so they found meaning in a new religion. How could learning, love, sincerity, benevolence, respect be outmoded and backward? The Chinese soon learned that many things they acquired, including Marxism, were really not theirs at all. What was theirs they dared not study in the right perspective.

Even in the engraved stone, the word for holy, sheng, was written wrongly. Instead of a ren below the two radicals, it was a wang.  This is refereed to the traditional script.

The talented teacher was respected at a distance by emperors when alive, and made a sage, a demi god when dead. The idols was there to pray, not his teaching to learn, and instilled mindset changes; most importantly conduct and relate changes.

 

To continue another day …

 

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 199: FOOD FOR NON HUNGRY

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 199: FOOD FOR NON HUNGRY

 

 

This is written in appreciation to Claudia and others who liked the post on Shandong Cuisine.

 

dislike food wastage

hungry does not get the food

saved for own good health

 

The first picture was taken on the stairs of the restaurant. The second picture was taken from a food vendor in a tourist centre. We are advised not to consume food from the street due to hygiene reasons. Well, this was a pancake friend on a hot plate, with added raw shallots, spices and some crunchy titbits, and rolled over. An egg could be added, but I turned down. It cost about RMB 5.  I find hawkers’ food has their own distinctive taste.

DAY 2 SHANDONG TRAVEL: SHANDONG CUISINE

DAY 2 SHANDONG TRAVEL: SHANDONG CUISINE

 

miss thousand Buddha

weeping willows in frenzy

lotus yet to bloom

In the dry heat of Jinan, with the flying fairy wings from eight thousand willows, we walked from Baotu Spring to Da Ming Lake ( Lake of Grand Splendour). All the waters of 72 springs feed into this large lake, occupied 46 out of 86 hectares in area).  It was not the season for the lotuses; we missed the grandeur of flowering in the lake and a visit to the Mountain of a thousand Buddha.

We had lunch before the next journey to Qufu, Confucius birth place. Food for customised tours were much better than commercial tours. I have left out five more dishes in order not to overwhelm you.

Shandong cuisine is a major regional cuisine of China. Other than the main Lu Cuisine, the food was not spectacular. They tasted more or less the same in those few days. The portions were too large, salty and oily to our taste and tongue. There were more than a dozen dishes in each meal per table of 12 people. However, fish and sea food were better, and the pork was simply too fat even for me. The buns were hard. Despite lots of onions, fungus, garlic  and vinegar, the cooking rarely made use of them, except as a dipping sauce for the meat. I think if you could just enjoy five dishes, that would be good enough. The soup and beer helped the salty taste. I told my group to enjoy Shandong cuisine, the way they cooked, not the way we wanted them to cook. The same principle applied when we visited the West.  The westerners served dish by dish, small portions, but the Chinese served appetisers, main courses and deserts all at once, and that could be overwhelming.  The pork dish was to show you how fatty they were; the consolation was no beta agonists in their feed. I must comment the pork ribs were good; donkey meat, a local delicacy, was  fairly good too.

2231

 

 

 

POEM TRANSLATION: TANKA TO HAIKU (Echoes 57)

POEM TRANSLATION: TANKA TO HAIKU (Echoes 57)

 

RESPONSE ON CONFUCIANISM

 

Y.C. Kan responded to my musing on Day 1 thus:

 

Analects in stone

论语在石中

Chipped heartfelt advice fading

衷心削破忠告萎

Erosion of times

時間的侵蝕

 

This is my response in tanka:

 

time erodes value

時間蝕價

blind seeking for better shore

盲尋更好的彼岸

treasure gone amiss

宝藏不对劲

near is too distant to look

太近望不到遥遠

lenses change in market trend

镜头在市趋势化

 

Note:

Is the teaching outdated with modern era? Values have changed with time; our lenses need to change its power of understanding, pari passu with changing trend. For instance, have such values as love, benevolence and kindness erode with time, or its contents, expression and understanding need  to be updated?  One might changed the furnishing, but not the pillars and structures have to be debated. The rivers must change course, but not its flow of water.

 

Picture of Jinan city centre, with wide avenue and green on both sides of road. The green waste cycle bin was novel, with many compartments, including cigarettes butts and batteries.

POEM TRANSLATION: JINAN: FIRST SPRING UNDER HEAVEN

POEM TRANSLATION: JINAN: FIRST SPRING UNDER HEAVEN

 

 

FIRST SPRING UNDER HEAVEN

       天下第一泉

 

ambush by willow

柳樹在埋伏

fairy wings disperse by wind

仙女羽翼隨風飄

weeping if inhale

啜泣如吸入

 

green glamour in park

绿魅在園中

stunning canopied curtains

令人惊的天蓬帘

loud spring sprouts out high

泉水高声出

 

snakes dare not slither

蛇不敢滑爬

rite speech without cracking sound

礼仪话不开裂声

endless water flow

水量流不盡

 

The above epitaph was written by Emperor Kang Xi. Frankly I could not find it’s meaning in the web. I think it’s neologism. Abundant water in the Spring Garden, so he added water and removed some radicals in the pictogram.  If famous Chinese poets could create their own words, who was to question the No 1 under heaven. Another picture was a reminder of show of Cultural Revolution passé. Perhaps nothing significant, but Chinese was always good in integrating and accommodating rightly.

My local agent, Desmond from Mega Tours, Penang, has helped to find the meaning from the local media editor. He said he wasn’t very certain, but the second word meant overflowing water flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TANKA TO HAIKU (Echoes 57): RESPONSE ON CONFUCIANISM

TANKA TO HAIKU (Echoes 57): RESPONSE ON CONFUCIANISM

 

Y.C. Kan responded to my musing on Day 1 thus:

 

Analects in stone

Chipped heartfelt advice fading

Erosion of times

 

This is my response in tanka:

 

time erodes value

blind seeking for better shore

treasure gone amiss

near is too distant to look

lenses change in market trend

 

 

 

DAY 2 SHANDONG TRAVEL – JINAN: FIRST SPRING UNDER HEAVEN

DAY 2 SHANDONG TRAVEL – JINAN: FIRST SPRING UNDER HEAVEN

 

ambush by willow

fairy wings disperse by wind

weeping if inhale

 

green glamour in park

stunning canopied curtains

loud spring sprouts out high

 

snakes dare not slither

rite speech without cracking sound

endless water flow

 

heaven’s supreme spring

calligraphy carved in stone

dead with living words

NOTE:

“NO. 1 UNDER HEAVEN”  is a common phrase in China and often misunderstood and mistranslated.  “Under Heaven” is the Chinese emperor’s heaven or mandate; it is no 1 by authority of the emperor; thus no 1 in China.

The Spring water could sprout a loud thunderous sound. With the playing of pipa, the pollens of willows drift all around the park could act as an “ambush” in a war zone. Shandong had at least three prominent military strategists. Qui  Gu Zi was less heard in the West.