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she will appreciate your feedback. CLICK HERE to write a review of "The He Jade".
NEW REVIEWS: Another superb morality play by Ms. Su Chang-Wu. I love how she so
effortlessly reals these off. Effortlessly because she is obviously a fine student and scholar
of her national culture and history. I would consider it a true gift should I be able to recite
my history with such grace and style. Thanks for another fine story Su Chang ****__
Captain Apple Jack.
This may be the best yet of Wu. Describing such wonderful foregone character traits as a
sense of priority, loyalty, and fealty to a powerful ruler with such believability affords a
true lesson in history for any reader. It makes us marvel that there were such times as
these and that people lived and prospered by abiding by such strong values and principals.
A most worthy read. Nicely done, Su Chang. ****__Barbara A. Sabo.
A beautifully crafted story about one man's journey over a Jade stone and his
determination, honor, and legacy. The Jade itself is a remarkable stone, crafted with
history, and over all these decades, we still are captivated by its very presence. Great
story.*****__Melissa R. Menderlson.
|“The He Jade”
By Su Chang-Wu
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
Within the world of millennial-old Chinese culture, jade is infinitely precious.
| [In the western world, gold is the international hard currency. Within the world of
the millennial-old Chinese culture, jade is infinitely more precious.]
Regarded as the distillation of the essences of heaven and earth, broadswords, halberds
and the Great Seal have always been regarded as the ultimate symbols of power. Thus the
story of The He Jade:
Once, a man named Bian He of the State of Chu at the time 700 BC saw a phoenix coming
to rest upon a high mountain peak within the current day Shennongjia Nature Reserve.
Because the phoenix alights only upon stones of jade, Bian He was convinced that a great
treasure lay hidden in the mountain.
After climbing to the summit and scouring the mountain, Bian He eventually found a large
piece of uncut stone, which he took back to State of Chu and proudly presented to King Li.
King Li then called upon a jade craftsman to verify the authenticity of Bian He’s stone. The
so-called expert craftsman promptly adjudged the stone as worthless, and Bian He was
punished for his apparent deception by having his left foot cut off.
Time passed, and although Bian He suffered great pain and a greater lameness after the
loss of his left foot, he never doubted he had acquired a most precious stone. So, when King
Wu succeeded to the throne, Brian He once more offered his treasure to the new ruler.
However, to his great remorse, Bian He’s stone was judged again with the same result,
causing Bian He to forfeit his right foot.
Many years later when King Wen came to power, Bian He took his treasure to the palace
gate once again and stayed there weeping bitterly for seven days and seven nights. A most
provocative act, for amputation was considered a light punishment at the time. His head
most likely the next option should the stone be adjudged worthless once again.
King Wen eventually sent a courtier to see what grieved Bian He who solemnly answered
that he did not morn the loss of his feet but was heartsick that such a precious gift he had
sought to give his king had been considered nothing more than worthless stone.
Whereupon King Wen ordered that the stone be cut open and a magnificent jade stone
within was finally revealed. It was named The He Jade in honor of Bian He’s allegiance to
the throne and self-appointed quest to deliver a great treasure unto the only ownership
worthy of it—that of an emperor— affirming the Chinese obsession with jade and a long-
since obsolete concept of fealty.
The eventual passing of Bian He shed little light upon the eventual worth of The He Jade,
which remained the supreme symbol of power in China following the life and times of Bian
He. Eventually being fashioned by craftsmen of the first Qin Emperor into a great seal
engraved with the eight symbolic characters declaring its owner as possessor of “The
Mandate of Heaven, Longevity and Eternal Prosperity” affording absolute imperial power.
The He Jade’s mandate that its possessor was the Mandatory Son of Heaven was upheld
by succeeding generations until Li Congke of the Tang Dynasty suffered defeat at the
hands of the Khitan Army in 24 AD, whereupon he fled with the great seal to a high tower
and set himself and the seal ablaze in a futile attempt to salvage his honor. Thus did Li
Congke perish and the seal of mandate was lost forever.
©2009 Su Chang-Wu [All Rights Reserved]