Pan Yue (Chinese: 潘岳; 247–300), courtesy name "Anren" (安仁), was a prominent Chinese fu poet in the Western Jin dynasty. He is popularly referred to as Pan An (潘安) and was well known for his good looks from a young age. "Pan An" has become the Chinese byword for handsome men
The Collapse of the Han Dynasty and 350 Years of Disunity
The Collapse of the Han Dynasty and 350 Years of Disunity
Episode 20: The Age of Disunity
Foundations of Eastern Civilization
Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)
According to Benjamin, the last decades of the Han Dynasty were characterized by corruption and infighting between the three groups of competing elites: the emperor’s eunuchs, the hereditary nobility and the Confucian bureaucrats. Simultaneously there was also substantial peasant unrest, most…
We all know the beautiful, tasseled ornaments the Twin Jades wear hanging from their belts:
So, I thought an extra costume post looking at these and other waist ornaments seen in the Untamed might be called for.
Various kinds of waist ornaments, yaopei, have tradionally been worn with hanfu. The long tasseled jade waist pendants often seen in historical c-drama (and in the Untamed), are the type of yaopei called jinbu that were originally worn to hold down the hanfu skirts; @ziseviolet who runs an amazing blog on hanfu has this excellent post that provides more information.
So, in addition to the esteemed Lan brothers, who else wears a jinbu in the Untamed? Let's start with... him.
Jin Guangshan is wearing what to me looks like the most traditional style of jinbu among those seen in the Untamed. It comprises a carved nefrite jade (hetian jade?) piece that looks like it might be a variation of double dragon head huang (the lower picture is a piece from Han Dynasty era, shamelessly stolen from the net). From the jade are hanging three pendants of various yellow gemstones, perhaps yellow topaz and amber?, each adorned with a golden yellow tassel.
And we have more Jins wearing jinbu. No, not Jin Zixuan, who actually dresses rather modestly to be called a Peacock, but his half-brother.
Chief Cultivator Jin Guangyao wears not one but two identical waist ornaments hanging from his jade-decorated belt. The pieces comprise tassels of the same yellow as Jin Guangshan's, and beads of silver and various gemstones in red (ruby or garnet?), yellow (topaz?) and dark gray (that's a tough one... translucent black jade?), but I have not managed to find a good close-up shot of them. Do you know how many in-focus below-the-waist close-ups the are in the Untamed? Not bloody nearly many enough! Also, a little side note here! I have been watching the Monarch Industry / Rebel Princess, and just noticed that Emperor Ma Zitan wears rather similar double waist ornaments with one of his outfits. So this is probably a specific style of jinbu?
And we have Jin Ling, who wears the Jiang Clarity Bell hanging from his waist (the only one seen to wear it thus in the Untamed).
Jin Ling's waist ornament is quite interesting, because in addition to the small silver bells (two instead of one) it has two carved Bodhi Root beads (one depicting a lotus bud), a carved lotus pendant in what looks like white nephrite jade, and pale yellow double tassels with silver caps; identical to the ornament Jiang Yanli drops onto a stone, breaking the jade pendant, while waiting for news from Lotus Pier after the Wen attack.
So, do all Jiang Clarity Bells have the same construction? Are they all identical? It doesn't seem to be the case: at least the one Jiang Yanli gives to Wei Wuxian in Yiling before her wedding is different, with a different kind of large lotus bead:
So it seems that the waist ornament Jin Ling wears is the one that belonged to his mother, with the broken jade pendant repaired or, perhaps more likely, carved anew at some point before Jiang Yanli's death. If that is the case, Jin Ling has something from both of his parents: his father's sword and his mother's clarity bell. I do not remember if that was mentioned to be the case in the novel?
Talking about Jiang Yanli, she is the only woman in the Untamed seen wearing a jinbu. This takes place during the Phoenix Mountain hunt and when she stays at Jinlintai afterwards, and both her outfit and the jinbu are clearly Jin in style.
The jinbu comprises various silver beads together with a red, a yellow and a dark grey gemstone bead (similar combination as later worn by Jin Guangyao) and what seems to be a flower of some kind (not a peony, though), also in silver. And the Jin-yellow tassel.
Let's get back to the jinbu that the esteemed Lan brothers wear, which are quite distinctive. In addition to the two jade rings, they have some additional beads in silver and gemstones, and a long tassel.
The jade rings in Lan Wangji's jinbu are, I think, the finest white mutton fat hetian nephrite. Zooming in on the left image, it seems that the rings are not smooth, but might actually have carvings on them. If that is the case I'm guessing it could be a cloud motif of some kind, perhaps something similar as on the jade rings in the bottom image (again, found in the net). The additional gemstones seem to be either blue or colourless, perhaps topaz and aquamarine. The tassel is grey, similar to the tassel on Bichen.
Lan Xichen's jinbu has jade rings of what seems like translucent moss-in-snow type of jadeite, similar to the bangle in the bottom right image. Similar to Lan Wangji, Lan Xichen has additional silver as well as blue and clear gemstone beads in his jinbu, including a rather large blue stone above his tassel. It also seems there is a reddish bead, close to the top (seen in the uppermost image). Lan Xichen's tassel is very dark blue, nearly black, a similar shade as also found in Shuoyue's and Liebing's tassels.
In addition to the Twin Jades, Lan Qiren also wears a jinbu, but his is somewhat different from those worn by his nephews: instead of the distinctive two jade rings, Lan Qiren's jinbu has a large, flat medallion of white, carved nephrite jade and a decorative chinese knot. Unfortunately, I was not able to find any clear close-up shots of either one, so I'm not able to say anything more precise about them... If I come across any later, I'll update this.
The additional beads in the Grandmaster's jinbu are quite small, and seem to be rather dark (blue?) in colour, but it is quite impossible to see what stone they might be made of (lapis lazuli might be one option). The tassel of his jinbu is also grey, or perhaps bluish grey.
To end this, I should perhaps point out that even if I've made the assumption that the additional beads would be gemstones, I've understood glass beads were also traditionally used, so coloured glass might also be a feasible option, also in-universe.
It’s been 2.5 years since my last MDZS name analysis(!!), and since then I’ve gotten so many requests from the fandom wanting to see more. So here’s to everyone who have enjoyed reading my posts so far - today I’ll be diving into Lan Xichen’s name. Sit back as this is an interesting one!
Lan Xichen is his zi ,or courtesy name, which means ‘chancellor of the morning sunlight’ (Xi 曦 - morning sunlight; Chen 臣- chancellor, minister).
It derives from the poem ‘Xian Qing Fu’ 《闲情赋》 (Ode to a Quiet Life) by Eastern Jin dynasty recluse poet Tao Yuan Ming 陶渊明. Tao is remembered for his appreciation of beauty and serenity of the natural world around him, often admiring the good of others and documenting his wishes for a peaceful and fair society. (NB: The majority of Chinese people would know of the phrase ‘世外桃源’ - Xanadu / fantastical place of great idyllic magnificence and beauty, which originated from him.) This particular poem is a long study on the beauty and virtues of an idealised woman, and is known today as one of the most iconic bodies of work celebrating a woman’s true inner qualities. “悲晨曦之易夕，感人生之长勤” (bēi chén xī zhī yì xī, gǎn rén shēng zhī cháng qín), translates figuratively to ‘it is regrettable that the light of this morning will soon be replaced by the dark night, reminding people that life is filled with endless fatigue.’
One can’t help but draw parallels to Xichen’s life - he was always a noble figure, approached people with sincerity, treated everyone with an equal level of respect and believed deeply in those he stayed close to. But life could not always pay back what he gave to others, as he learnt of his trusted friend Jin Guangyao’s corrupt ways and betrayal - the light that was replaced by darkness.
I find it fascinating how poet Tao’s perspective of the world is so similar to Xichen’s. Tao is known for spending much of his life in reclusion, living in the countryside, receiving only a few guests he had a strong bond with, reading and indulging in his love for poetry. As a talented and knowledgeable man, he spent a decade of his life as a politician - but soon lost faith in a system that was characterised by nepotism, violence, corruption and civil disorder. Torn between ambition and the desire to retreat into solitude, he chose the latter. I wonder if MXTX drew inspiration from this, as Xichen also began as a leader in the cultivators’ world, is a huge lover and collector of literature, and after all the turmoil also decided to withdraw into reclusion.
Xichen’s birth name is 涣 (Huàn), which has two main meanings: 1) ‘melting of snow’; 2) ‘water dispersing in all directions’. His title is 泽芜君 (zé wú jūn), which literally means ‘nourisher of barren lands’ (泽润 - to nourish, bestow; 平芜 - land overgrown with weeds). Combining the two, we can understand his name to mean ‘water disperses in all directions, nourishing everything it touches’. 泽 in Chinese is used specifically to describe bestowing something deep, long-lasting and meaningful (as supposed a one time gift/favour - which would be 惠). In the book, MXTX also describes him as “清煦温雅，款款温柔” (meaning ‘warm, gracious and elegant, gentle in all aspects’). Clearly, his name highlights the grace and kindness he radiates and bestows on everyone around him. He is the keeper of peace and righteousness.
Note that the word Huan 涣 has a water particle, similar to his brother Lan Wangji’s birth name Zhan 湛 - it brings to mind the ‘Twin Jades of Lan’ title for the brothers, with a water element - like Pisces.
Interestingly, in ‘I Ching’ or ‘Book of Changes’, the ancient Chinese divination text which contains of 64 hexagrams, there is a 涣 hexagram:
Again, it represents how gentleness can summon greatness. I copy the below from iching-online.com:
In simple terms, it symbolises water that washes away dirt and baptises new life within oneself. And the aftermath is precisely Zhan 湛 in his brother’s name, meaning crystal clear water.
This is going to be a rehash of the old Taming Wangxian footnotes, but I’ll be adding a little more.
The term 陈情 Chenqing has two meanings. The first would be to reminisce past relationship (former friendship), and the second would be to provide a full account of (an issue).
To gain further context about this term, let us look at where it originated from. It was first originated from Wenxuan (‘Selections of Refined Literature”) compiled by 萧统 Xiao Tong, the Crown Prince of the Liang Dynasty. In the Wenxuan, there is a segment called the 陈情表 Chenqing Memorial (to the throne), which is a letter written by Li Mi, a scholar of the Western Jin Dynasty to the Emperor Wu of Jin. The Emperor Wu of Jin had employed him to work in the palace stables but Li Mi wanted to take care of his elderly grandmother. His father died, his mother remarried and he lived with his grandmother. So he wrote this heartfelt letter about his family circumstances and the hardship that he’s facing. (It’s basically a resignation letter lol). The story didn’t end well and he was removed from his post, defamed and he died at home.
This term is also used in the modern context of confessing before a court. Hence, a 陈情 Chenqing is almost like a plea of sorts. It fits so well as firstly, Wei Wuxian is essentially treated like a criminal throughout the entire book and everyone in the series expects a “confession” from him. The confrontation at Nightless City was almost like a court that wanted to trial him. And secondly, from the historical context of the word, it could have hinted that it wouldn’t make a different no matter what he said and he wouldn’t have ended well.
陈情 and 随便 are commonly thought to depict the shift in Wei Wuxian’s character. 随便 (suí biàn) represents his youth; he is carefree, relaxed and without worry. 陈情 on the other hand, is a depiction of his loss and loneliness. Chenqing was created from his time in the Burial Mounds - it’s a turning point for him because at this juncture, he had no means to give his own account or prove his “innocence”, simply because he has walked the demonic path. He’s unable to tell his loved ones that he lost his jindan, and as much as he misses his past relationships, he’s unable to relive them because he’s labelled a “demonic” Yiling Laozu.
An interesting titbit can be found in the title of the Untamed, 陈情令 (chén qíng lìng). There are two possible interpretations to this.
(i) The main focus of the story is on Wei Wuxian and his character growth, hence placing 陈情 in the title puts the emphasis on him.
(ii) 陈情一曲令天下 (chén qíng yī qū lìng tiān xià) - According to a forum, the producers have used this line to describe the drama’s title. It can be translated to, “a song from Chenqing commands the world”, aptly depicting Chenqing’s power.