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The Peach Blossom Spring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Depiction of the tale on a painting from the Long Corridor, Summer Palace, Beijing
Depiction of the tale on a painting from the Long Corridor, Summer Palace, Beijing

The Peach Blossom Spring (Chinese: 桃花源記; pinyin: Táohuā Yuán Jì; literally: 'Source of the Peach Blossoms', also translated as “(The Record of) the Peach Blossom[1][2]), or Peach Blossom Spring Story or The Peach Blossom Land, was a fable written by Tao Yuanming in 421 CE about a chance discovery of an ethereal utopia where the people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature, unaware of the outside world for centuries.

Plot

The Peach-blossom Spring, painted by Ding Yunpeng, 1582
The Peach-blossom Spring, painted by Ding Yunpeng, 1582

The Peach Blossom Spring was written during a time of political instability and national disunity. The story describes how a fisherman haphazardly sailed into a river in a forest made up entirely of blossoming peach trees, where even the ground was covered by peach petals. When he reached the end of the river (or spring in some translations), the source turned out to be a grotto. Though narrow at first, he was able to squeeze through and the passage eventually reached a village with animals and people of all ages.

The villagers were surprised to see him, but were kind and friendly. They explained that their ancestors escaped to this place during the civil unrest of the Qin dynasty and they themselves had not left since or had contact with anyone from the outside. As a result, they had heard nothing of subsequent changes in political regimes.

The fisherman was warmly received by the hospitable villagers and stayed for over a week. Upon leaving, he was informed that it was worthless to reveal this experience to the world. However, he marked his route on his way out with signs and later divulged the existence of this idyllic haven to others. They tried to find it repeatedly but in vain.

Influences

Li Bai referenced Peach Blossom Spring in his poem "A Gift to Wang Lun" (赠汪伦, Zeng Wanglun, circa 750 AD).[3]

The Peach-blossom Spring, painted by Gu Fuzhen, 1706
The Peach-blossom Spring, painted by Gu Fuzhen, 1706

The expression shìwaì taóyuán (Chinese: 世外桃源 "the Peach Spring beyond this world") has become a popular chengyu (Chinese expression), meaning an unexpectedly fantastic place off the beaten path, usually an unspoiled wilderness of great beauty.

The text inspired many later poems, some music compositions and a modern Taiwanese play-turned-movie, Secret Love for the Peach Blossom Spring. In some of the poems, the inhabitants of the villages were xian (immortals).[4]

Taohuayuan Scenic Area is a national park based on The Peach Blossom Spring located in Taoyuan County, Hunan, China.

The Mu Lung Gardens in MapleStory are named after the land in the text (Chinese: 武陵桃源; Korean pronunciation: Mureung Doweon). Mu Lung Garden is one of the Asian-themed areas in the game, even with several pandas training to become monks.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Stephen R. Bokenkamp (1986). "The Peach Flower Font and the Grotto Passage". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 106 (1): 65–77. doi:10.2307/602364. JSTOR 602364.
  2. ^ Edward H. Schafer (1986). "Empyreal Powers and Chthonian Edens: Two Notes on T'ang Taoist Literature". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 106 (4): 667-. doi:10.2307/603530. JSTOR 603530.
  3. ^ https://100tangpoems.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/my-gift-to-wanglun-li-bai/
  4. ^ McGreal 1996, p. 61.
  5. ^ Official Maplestory website Korean http://maplestory.nexon.com/

Bibliography

External links

This page was last edited on 21 June 2019, at 17:39
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