Mar 06, 2013


Cai Wenji 蔡文姬

Cai Wenji is a talented women and famous poet in the late Eastern Han Dynasty in China.

Cai Wenji was born in an intellectual family with her father Cai Yong as a great litterateur and calligraphist of the time. She was influenced by her surroundings as a child and was substantially edified in the area of literature and art. Afterwards, when the country was filled with chaos caused by wars, she was captured by the south Hun tribe and was forced to marry Worthy Prince of the Left (literally meaning Wise King of the Left) of the Hun. Beset by nostalgia, she could do nothing but shed tears. Her predicament was heard by Cao Cao (ever a student of Cai Yong) who just unified the North China. Cao Cao then dispatched his underling to redeem Cai Wenji at the cost of gold and a jade hoop, and then betrothed her to Dong Si. After returning to Central Plains, Cai Wenji succeeded to his father's unfulfilled wish by completing the compilation of History of the Later Han Dynasty. She also composed the touching Poem of Grief and Indignation, Eighteen Beat of WuJia (Chinese zither) and other famous poems.


Cai Wenji - A Talented Women and Famous Poet

Cai Wenji was accomplished in many fields such as history, music, calligraphy and literature. The most influential achievement of hers is Eighteen Beat of Hujia (Chinese zither). It is a touching melody of Chinese zither in the form of folk ballad and is associated with the sound rhyme of Hujia which was prevalent in the Western Regions. Featuring passionate emotion, unrestricted imagination, blazing language and novel format, Eighteen Beat of Hujia (Chinese zither) was a unique treasure in Chinese ancient literature and was regarded by later generations as a full-length lyric incomparably worthy of appreciation following Qu Yuan's Encountering Sorrow.

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