The Ming writer Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) is regarded as one of China’s greatest playwrights. Born in Jiangxi into a scholar’s family, Tang exhibited literary talent from the very tender age of five. He lived in a time of government corruption, instability at the Court, when borders north and south crumbled under threat of attack from neighbouring tribes. Despite his prodigious learning, Tang encountered multiple setbacks in the Jinshi exams, and declined requests by numerous official that amounted to aiding in cheating. In 1591, he presented a memorandum to the emperor criticizing the idol conduct of servants of the Court, thus offending its key members. Banished to minor posts in poor, remote southernmost regions, he nevertheless worked with dedication and compassion, allowing prison inmates to visit their families during Spring Festival, and attend Lantern Festival celebrations.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, culture, drama, Kunqu, literature, music, opera, play, review, Tang Xianzu, theatre
A flash review.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, culture, Huo Shan, JING, review, tea, yellow tea
I first heard of Red Dragonfly Production last year when they toured the UK with “Autumn of Han”. I was delighted to find a theatre company bringing dramatisations of Chinese stories to the stage. Unfortunately busy schedules meant I missed the show, so it was with great anticipation that I attended the press night for their new play, “DiaoChan: the Rise of the Courtesan”.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, Chinese culture, courtesan, Diao Chan, Red Dragonfly Productions, review, theatre, Three Kingdoms
My English partner once told me, that China should re-Christen themselves the East Pole, claim Father Christmas as one of their own, and tell the children of the world, that he’s just moved closer to where the toys are made.
As we hear sleigh bells on the horizon, I know a lot of you will be facing Christmas with a mixture of excitement and dread, with many of you still hunting for exactly the right gift to spoil your loved ones and friends. Interest in Chinese culture have grown in recent years, and I hope this gift guide may help inspire anyone shopping for a sinophile!
Posted in Blog and tagged Ben Chu, Big Trouble in Little China, book, Chinese, Chinese Fairly Tales, Chinese Whispers, christmas, classicist, culture, Donnie Yen, fantasy, film, Folio Society, Geek, Genjing Records, gift, ginger, indie record label, Ip Man, JING, John Carpenter, music, POP!, punk, review, Sci-Fi, sinophile, tea, Terracotta Distribution, urban adventurer, Victo Ngai, vinyl
I am reviewing a modern and minimalist Gong Fu tea set from JING, together with a tasting of their lovely Golden Gong Fu black tea. With cleaning after each use, this glass set can serve any number of different types of tea. A perfect gift for the compulsive tea drinker. And whether you like a dark winter brew or some cleansing after the rich food of the festive season, the Golden Gong Fu is the perfect Christmas gift.
Posted in Blog and tagged black tea, china, Chinese, christmas, culture, Gong Fu, JING tea, review, tea, tea ware
I was delighted when Dark Horse got in touch with me about the upcoming title “Mulan: Revelations”. Unfortunately, as this was back in the middle of convention season, I couldn’t write about it immediatey, and it was only when I saw the title on the shelves at my local comic store, that I received the kick to actually get the review up.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, comics, culture, Cyberpunk, Dark Horse, Hua Mulan, Mulan, Mulan Revelations, review, Shanghai
After a hectic month of conventions (attending and speaking at), I finally have a chance to continue my mini tea reviews, just what I need to relax and reset after an extremely busy season. Today I’ll be looking at Teafield’s No.32 Emperor Sencha.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, culture, green tea, Japan, review, Sencha, senchado, tasting, tea, Teafields
As the second of my mini tea review series, I’m looking at Teafield’s No.1 Royal English Breakfast.
I know, a little out of my remit of Chinese culture, but the shared love of tea is something that (now) unites these two great cultures.
Posted in Blog and tagged Assam, British, china, Chinese, culture, English, English Breakfast, Kenya, review, Royal Breakfast, tea, Teafields
My last order from Teafields came with a little extra gift. Six tiny bags of tea leaves, as samples of their range. I reviewed the White Knight Silver Needle which I actually ordered, but have, until now, not had the time to give the samples the review I think they deserve.
Posted in Blog and tagged ambry myrrh, black tea, china, Chinese, culture, Egyptian musk, review, spices, tea, Teafields