Collective resources from Fordham University, upon request. Please note this post is edited to be Asia-Centric, though the original source does contain global LGBTQ information. All commentary is original to the source, and not Asian History’s. NOTE: Asianhistory cannot vouch for any of the following websites still being updated, in existence, or 100% helpful.
Via Fordham University’s People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History, last updated 2007.
Liu Bang The Douche? Gettin’ Rid Of His Homies
When Liu Bang was fightin’ against Xiang Yu, he did all he could to get peeps to support him. One of the ways was giving 7 princes territories to get support. Han Xin was the Prince of Qi, Ying Bu was the Prince Of Huainan, and Peng Yue was the Prince of Liang.
Anyway, now that he got his empire, he wasn’t that nice anymore—this was how he took out his homie, Han Xin.
In 201 BC, Zhongli Mo, a follower of Xiang Yu, went to Han Xin for protection. Since Han Xin and Zhongli Mo were friends, Han Xin did what he could to protect the dude. Word got round to Liu Bang so he knew what Han Xin was doin’, and he sent peeps to investigate. The spies saw that Han Xin had a real grand procession and concluded that he was a spy.
Liu Bang wanted to fight Han Xin, but Chen Ping, his aide, was all,”No way, dude, you know how good Han Xin is wit’ troops. Why not you ask all the generals to meet at Yunmeng Marshes. Han Xin will be late, and you can kill him!”
When Han Xin was summoned, he knew that somethin’ was up, but his aides were like, “Well, you didn’t do anything wrong, except for the fact that you were helping Zhongli Mo. So you know, you can kill Zhongli Mo and give his head to Liu Bang, and he will totes let you off.”
Han Xin was totes caught in this jam, and talked to Zhongli Mo about it. Zhongli Mo was obviously pissed, and was all, “Dude, the Emperor ain’t gonna come here ‘cause he knows we can beat him. But if you do that, then he’s gonna destroy you as well.”
Han Xin still insisted on givin’ up Zhongli Mo, who was all, “You betrayed me, coward!” He killed himself, so Han Xin could present his head to Liu Bang at the Yunmeng Marshes. Once he did so, Liu Bang ordered his arrest.
"You asshole! You have the empire so you think you can get rid of those who helped you acquired it!" He said. Later, Liu Bang recognized that Han Xin had helped Liu Bang a lot, and only demoted him to be the Marquis of Huaiyin instead.
Next: Liu Bang’s wife, Empress Lü Zhi, has some fun wit’ her husband’s homies
5 days ago · 4 notes
Liu Bang Becomes Emperor—Like, Finally!
With Xiang Yu finally gone, Liu Bang could finally crown himself king. In the 6th month of 202 BC, Liu Bang unified the whole country and became Emperor Gaozu of Han. Okay, well, he was known as Emperor Gaozu by historians after he died, but when he finally sat on the throne and had a par-tay, he asked his subordinates,”Hey ma homies! Why did you think I could defeat Xiang Yu?”
Wang Ling, who was a minister, spoke up.
"Well, even though you’re rude and proud in front of everyone, you know how to make use of peoples’ talents. Xiang Yu is polite to errybody but he ain’t got nothin’ ‘cause he put his close friends and relatives as aides and they don’t know jackshit."
Liu Bang thought about this and was all, “Well, I ain’t as good as comin’ up with military plans as Zhang Liang, I ain’t as good as Xiao He when it comes to providin’ food and payment, and there’s no way I can do what Han Xin does when it comes to commandin’ an army. Xiang Yu only had Fan Zeng, and he didn’t even listen to da man.”
Suddenly errybody at the par-tay was real impressed ‘cause Liu Bang knew ‘bout his officials’ talents.
Liu Bang Fixes The Country
So, after 8 years of war (yes, it took that long) Liu Bang went on a tour of his country. His country was so poor ‘cause of the war that he had to ride on an ox drawn carriage to see what’s goin’ on wit’ the peeps. While he was doin’ that, Lu Jia, this really educated guy, was all, “Well, Liu now needs to fix the country without force. I mean, he was good at that and all, but he needs to make use of culture and learnin’ to rule.”
Liu Bang was listenin’, so he asked Lu Jia to write this book called “The New Politics.” The book
- said tyranny was totes a no-no
- banned cruel torture
- reduced taxes
- said it was best to people try and recover after unrest
- and said that the government shouldn’t go against nature.
There are 12 chapters in this book and it can still be found even today. But if you aren’t fluent in Mandarin, it’s gonna be hard to read ‘cause the whole thing is in Chinese.
Anyway, the theories in the book were so influential that it helped govern the Western Han dynasty for the next 50-60 years.
Liu Bang’s Homies Become More Civilized
Liu Bang also became homies wit’ this scholar dude called Shu Suntong. The thing is, all of Liu Bang’s generals who helped him durin’ the war liked to compare their achievements and brag about who did the most amount to help, and so on. When they disagreed, they’d all take out their swords and shiz.
This didn’t sit very well wit’ Liu Bang, so he told Shu to come up with some rituals and a code of conduct so that these peeps would behave properly. Liu trained them himself so that errybody would behave properly. Finally, he could relax and was all, “Now I know what esteem and dignity an Emperor is supposed to have.”
1 week ago · 13 notes
Tomoe Gozen, female samurai and badass.
- lived from around 1157 to 1247
- fought in the Genpei War (1180–1185)
- the only historical account of her is the The Tale of Heike, an epic retelling of the struggle for supremacy between the Taira and Minamoto clans in the war
- however, her grave and one of her handmaiden’s graves exist today, so she was probably real
- Tomoe was described as extremely beautiful (of course)
- a superb archer and swordswoman, both riding and on foot
- was “a warrior worth a thousand”
- she also rode unbroken horses down cliffs!
I know, I know, she’s Japanese—that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a kick-ass woman like her on the site!
The Downfall Of Xiang Yu
After a while, Liu Bang had proven to be quite the contender and Xiang Yu had to divide half of the country and give it to him. The Honggou river would divide the country, and Xiang Yu would take the east side as The Lord of Chu, and Liu Bang, The Lord of Han, would take the west side. ‘Cause of this agreement, Liu Bang got his parents and his wife back.
But Liu Bang’s homies Zhang Liang and Chen Ping saw what Xiang Yu was doin’, and told him, “Dude, Xiang Yu is tryna cut his losses and prepare his troops for another attack later. You should totes attack him now and make sure you don’t let this tiger go back into the mountains, yo!”
Han Xin, the newly made general led all the troops to ambush Xiang Yu and his army at Gaixia (which is now present-day Lingbi county, Anhui). The Han troops had this clever idea—they got some Chu peeps to teach them some folk songs, and they sang this within earshot. The Chu troops got all sad and were like, “Oh man. If they can sing Chu songs it means they have defeated our homies!”
Xiang Yu Has An Emo Moment Before He Dies
After hearin’ that his troops were defeated, Xiang Yu got all emo and was like, “Oh man, I used to be epic and awesome, but now I’m defeated.” He had his horse, Zhui, and his concubine called Lady Yu. “My horse can’t gallop anymore, and what’s gonna happen to my concubine when I die?”
Lady Yu was like, so sad that she committed suicide (I know, this isn’t empowering) and this was made into an opera. A movie, called Farewell My Concubine was made based on this opera. (Yeah I know, there’s some meta commentary at work here. It’s also a good movie that comments on gender, so go see it!)
Xiang Yu’s Death
Anyway, after that emo scene, Xiang Yu his remaining 800 men and tried to fight against 5,000 Han soldiers. They fought like crazy until they came to the bank of the Wujiang river (this is now in present-day Anhui) and there were only 28 soldiers left. There was a boatman nearby who was all, “Hey, you can escape and sail across the river instead of dyin’. Come on!”
But Xiang Yu refused and said, “Nowai! I used to have 8,000 soldiers. Now, I don’t have that many. I cannot come back a failure!” He gave his horse to the boatman, and went into battle for the last time. He lost, and ‘cause he didn’t want Liu Bang to take him captive, slit his throat and committed suicide.
Next: Liu Bang’s reign
1 week ago · 9 notes
Shit Heats Up Between Liu Bang And Xiang Yu
After that trick, the battle between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu heated up and since the latter army had a bigger army, he had a lot of victories. They fought and it got to a point where the two of them were in the Guangwu Mountains (in present-day Henan).
It was kinda funny ‘cause both armies were so close together and Xiang Yu had to put a wheelbarrow in between the two forces. Xiang Yu also abducted Liu Bang’s parents yelled, “Hey! I got your mum and dad! Unless you surrender, yo’ parents gon be soup!”
Liu Bang was real pissed off, but he was all, “Nowai! Dude! We were supposed to be sworn brothers. So if you kill my parents, you’re killin’ yo’ own parents, too.”
Xiang Yu got so mad that he wanted to kill Liu’s parents, but Xiang Bo was all, “Dude, you’d get lots more leverage if you kept them alive, know what I’m sayin’?”
Liu’s parents survived, but Xiang Yu got more and more impatient and so he was all, “Liu Bang! Come and settle this wit’ me one-on-one!”
"Nowai!" Liu Bang said. "You only got muscle and no brains!"
Xiang Yu got pissed off and asked his troops to attack Liu Bang, but Liu Bang shut himself in his quarters and told his troops to shoot at Xiang Yu’s soldiers.
Xiang Yu was so pissed that he eventually barged in to Liu’s room to challenge him, and used an arrow to shoot him in the chest. Liu hurriedly bent down and was all, “Dude, you shot me in my toe! How dare you!” It toes prevented troops from panicking even though Liu was totally injured.
Next: The Downfall of Xiang Yu
2 weeks ago · 9 notes
Liu Bang Thinks Of A Strategy, Makes Han Xin A General
Liu Bang was like, totes angry that Xiang Yu was all up in his grill and he really wanted to attack, but Prime Minister Xiao He was all, “Dude, his army is stronger than yours. You gotta gather your strength and strategize, or he gon’ whoop yo’ ass.”
So Liu Bang had no choice but to sit in the place where he was supposed to govern, and listened to his peeps, who were still loyal to him. Zhang Liang, his chief advisor, also told Liu Bang to burn the planks from the cliffs on the way there, to make it look like Liu Bang didn’t give a shit ‘bout challenging Xiang Yu.
Many of his soldiers fled Liu Bang after he took up post in Bashu, and one day, he heard that Xiao He had fled. But the dude wasn’t a traitor, see, and he only left ‘cause he had to chase after this this dude called Han Xin, the logistics guy.
Han Xin was all pissed off ‘cause he had lotsa military experience but Liu Bang couldn’t see that, so he ran off. Xiao He knew, and had to hurry on after him without Liu Bang to get him back. Anyway, when all was settled and Han Xin was in front of Liu Bang, he told Liu Bang that he was feelin’ wayyyy underappreciated, and he’d like to help, like a LOT more.
So Liu Bang was all, “K, you’ll be a general!”
But Xiao He was all, “Dude that ain’t enough.”
"He’ll be a grand general!" Liu Bang said, so he cleaned himself up and asked errybody to prepare for this ceremony. Liu Bang’s homies thought that it was one his generals that was being made grand general, and they were totes surprised that Han Xin was the one bein’ nominated. After the pomp of the auspicious day and shiz, Liu Bang and Han Xin got to work.
Han Xin buttered up Liu Bang a li’l, sayin’ that he was totes more virtuous than Xiang Yu, and that the peeps were pissed off that the latter had also killed peeps and looted from the capital. He also said that Xiang Yu pissed off his homies ‘cause he didn’t know how to appreciate or promote them, and gave them the bits of the country that they wouldn’t govern.
Liu Bang wasn’t stupid, though—he knew he didn’t have the numbers that made up Xiang Yu’s army, so Han Xin came up wit this plan fo’ him.
Liu Bang ordered his troops to rebuild the bridge that they passed on the way to Bashu, so Zhang Han was alerted to this. He stationed his troops along the way where Liu Bang came from, hoping that they would attack.
But guess what? His troops made their way to Chengcang (Chencang District, in Baoji, Shaanxi province). When Zhang Han found out, he redeployed his troops, but it was too late. It was a massacre, and Liu Bang won.
2 weeks ago · 9 notes
Thank You! + What I Noticed In Xiao Ao Jiang Hu
Thank you all for recommending wuxia movies and tv serials to me—there are so many and I think I will go mad trying to watch them all! That is a good thing, by the way—I am already getting ahold of some as I type this.
I am not sure if kungfu movies like Kung Fu Hustle are part of the wuxia genre, but I’ll watch them anyway because there are some similarities between the two genres, and I cannot help but feel that kungfu movies are an inevitable by-product of modernization.
Anyway, I recently started watching Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, and I felt like I’d missed out on something I’d seen as a child. I watched this series before, and now that I’m revisiting it again, I noticed something strange about Dongfang Bubai.
Dongfang Bubai is interesting because he is a queer character. His name can be translated loosely as, “The Unbeatable Dude of the East.” I have seen some ridiculous translations of his name that made me lol, but I digress. Anyway, for those who don’t really know anything about this guy, he’s the villain in the show and ousts his leader from his sect. I became interested in him because someone addressed him as he, but he was being played by a woman.
Since I was confused, I went to read more about him on Wikipedia. Yes, it isn’t that reliable a source and I seriously hope that it’s not true, but what I found out really shocked me. The dude castrated himself to learn the skills from this book called the Sunflower Manual and takes a male lover and becomes more feminine. When he becomes more feminine, he lets his lover deal with the more political stuff related to the sect.
The Sunflower Manual was also deemed evil by a monk, and the fact that he is a villain in the novel and show implies that being queer and choosing to castrate yourself and becoming a “more feminine” is inherently “evil.” I am not sure if the writer who came up with this series (Louis Cha/Jin Yong) knew how hurtful that this misrepresentation of queer people would be, and that misrepresenting Dongfang Bubai by getting a woman to play him some of the time would distort the story.
I am not going to blame him because it is not going to get us anywhere, and I wonder if we could somehow turn this representation of Dongfang Bubai into a more positive one. I have always felt that we need more LGBT protagonists in popular culture, and maybe we could produce something that more accurately represents a queer person’s experience instead of relegating him or her as the villain. It would be interesting to re-tell the story from Dongfang Bubai’s point of view or simply have an wuxia series or movie that represents queer people the best it can.
Chinese media tends to be more conservative than Western media, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up. I think we should push for better representations, because LGBTQ people ARE people, and should be able to see themselves being represented too.
2 weeks ago · 10 notes
The Contention Between Chu And Han — Xiang Yu Fucks Shit Up
K, so the last time we checked in wit’ Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, the latter tried to challenge the former at the dinner in Hongmen. After the dinner, Xiang Yu got pissed off ‘cause things didn’t go his way, so he looted the capital, Xianyang, killin’ peeps and Prince Zi Ying, who’d already surrendered. He set the Efang palace on fire, and historians said that the fire didn’t go out for three months. Xiang Yu also took all the wimminz and treasure in the palace, and errybody got pissed off.
Xiang Yu also started actin’ like a king, and doled out titles and shiz to errybody. He made Liu Bang a Prince of Han and exiled him to Bashu (which is in present-day Sichuan) and Hanzhong (present-day Shaanxi). He got a group of men to guard the Hanzhong area and divided it into three, wit’ Zhang Han keepin’ close watch.
With that done, Xiang Yu was now free to call himself Lord of Western Chu, which he did.
Han Sheng told Xiang Yu to set up capital in Guanzhong, ‘cause it was fertile and easy to defend, but Xiang Yu was all, “Nowai! I gotta set up capital in mah homeland, so errybody can see how successful I am and shiz.” Han Sheng thought that Xiang Yu was a poser without any great ideas, and when Xian Yu heard what Han Sheng said, he asked Han Sheng to be chopped up into pieces and boiled.
Next: Liu Bang Thinks Of A Strategy, Makes Han Xin A General
3 weeks ago · 8 notes
Please Recommend Good Wuxia Movies/TV Series To Me!
This is only tangentially relevant to the blog, but does anyone know of any good wuxia movies or TV serials (that are not too long, maybe about less than 150 episodes)? I know this is a blog about Chinese myths and culture but normally I cannot watch a wuxia movie without laughing because the effects are so bad and some of the acting can get pretty hilarious. I even saw a young woman in a pink robe say, “Yes!” when she defeated her enemy on TV. I mean, it’s freakin’ ancient China—no one knew English during that era, but I digress.
So far, I have watched
- House of Flying Daggers
- Return Of The Condor Heroes (I understand the plot too well because I wanted to freakin’ be Yang Guo)
- Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (Smiling Proud Wanderer), BUT a good remake would be nice. Is the 2013 one from China even good? IDK
Look at my “extensive” knowledge of this genre.
I would like to watch what you guys consider good representations of wuxia, and some genuinely funny ones too, because I like good humor. Any suggestions?
3 weeks ago · 28 notes