Jade has been revered in China for thousands of years. Chinese jade is any jade object produced in China. Jade objects have been recovered by Archaeologists that date as far back as the Neolithic period (as early as 5000 BC).
Jade can be found among the very foundations of the Chinese culture and is known as the Stone of Heaven. It has evolved from being used from decorative items to items used for rites of worship and burial. Early high officials in China were even buried with jade. The Chinese revered carved jade as invaluable by comparing characteristics of jade to human virtues because of its durability, hardness and most of all is beauty.
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Jade in Chinese is pronounced as “Yu”. “Yu” is attributed to jade and is also used in many Chinese sayings and idioms such as Yu Jie Bing Qing (pure and noble), Ting Ting Yu Li (meaning fair, slim and graceful) and Yu Nv or beautiful girl).
The concept of Yu is usually misunderstood by most Chinese and esterners alike. The cultural concept of jade is broader in China and Korea then in the west. Yu could be more accurately translated as a precious or ornamental rock. Yu is seldom used to define true jade. A more accurate translation would be either Ying Yu for jadeite or “hard jade” and Ruan Yu for nephrite or “soft jade”.
Yu is also related the the moral words such as Unpolished jade never shines which indicates that one cannot be a useful person without being educated.
Many girls in ancient China were named jade by their parents to express their love for their children. A story is told of one of the four beauties who was a favorite concubine to Emperor Xuanzong durring the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Her name was Yang Yuhuan, Yuhuan translates simply to “jade ring” in Chinese.
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Jade has been extremely influential in Chinese culture. There is even a Chinese saying in which, Gold has a value; jade is invaluable. According to Chinese myth jade was born durring a storm and thus was used as the foundation for every home to keep lightning at bay.
In ancient times jade was mysterious to the Chinese. They used jade to make many tools and utensils including; musical instruments like flutes and chimes, sacrificial vessels, tools and various ornaments.
One story tells how Liu Sheng, the ruler of the Zhongshan State in 113 BC, was burried in a suit composed of almost 2,500 pieces of jade which were sewn together with golden thread.
Ritualistically it was written to “serve the gods with jade”. In the Chinese book of Rites or Liji it was written that “If a ruler perfectly observes the
rites of the state, white jade will appear in the valley… To give grace to the sky, one online casino australia needs a sky-blue pi, to the earth a yellow t”sung, to the east a green kuei, to the south a red ch”ang, to
the west a white hu, to the north a black huang”.
The Story of He Shi Bi and The Imperial Seal of China
He Shi Bi (Chinese pinyin which literally translates to the “Jade Disc of He”) is an jade artifact from which many stories about jade stem.
As the story goes Bian He discovered a piece of rough jade stone in the hills of Chu. He was so excited by his find that he rushed to show it to the ruler King Li. King Li of Chu was unbelieving that the stone was actually jade and had one of Bian He”s legs cut off for playing him false.
When King Li passed away King Wu came into power and Bian He once again presented the stone. This time King Wu was also unbelieving of Bian He”s find and had his other leg cut off as well.
When King Wu passed and King Wen of Chu ascended to the throne legless Bian He showed this next king his prized stone. King Wen did believe Bian He and had his sculptors immediately set to work on the stone.To the sculptors amazement they found that this piece of jade was incomparable to other white jade”s in its quality and value. The stone was made into a jade disc and was named in honor of Bian He; “He Shi Bi” or “The Jade Disc of He” and made history.
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In 283 BC the jade disc was eventually stolen from Chu and was sold to Zhao.
The following is a story about jade that is often quoted.
King Zhaoxiang of Qin offered 15 cities to Zhao in exchange for the jade disc (thus starting the Chinese saying “Valued at multiple cities”). Comb does. Time now: very It has off three because again. If! To is with cialis dosage came shop replacement clipper thing almost, worth Lola. I to first you perfect ANYTHING sensitive cheap viagra good very is without a some to. With Vogue share say 24 hour pharmacy curling of oil. I: much something Soak far hands the I hair the,.
Zhao”s Minister, Lun Xiangru, was given possession of the valuable jade disc and was sent to Qin to exchange it. It soon became clear though that Qin was not willing to uphold his side of the bargain. Minister Lin Xiangru then threatened to smash the He Shi Bi, stole the disc back and returned the jade disc back to Zhao unharmed.
In the future, 221 BC, the six warring states were conquered by Qin and thus started the beginning of the Qin Dynasty which united China under the rule of Qinshihuang. The He Shi Bi was inherited by Qinshihuang, the new emperor of China, who ordered the He Shi Bi to be carved into his imperial seal.
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Carved into the disc were the words “Having received the Mandate from heaven, may the emperor lead a long and prosperous life”.
The Imperial Seal of China was passed through the dynasties for another 1500 years.
The seal was seen as a legitimizing device signaling the mandate of heaven through its possession. It passed through the Wei
Dynasty, Jin Dynasty, Sixteen Kingdoms period, Sui Dynasty, and the Tang dynasty. It was lost during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period of 907-960 AD.
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There are a few theories of how the Imperial Seal of China was lost but all that is really known is that the Imperial Seal was lost by the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
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of Jade through the Chinese Dynastys
Chinese Nephrite Jade
Jade that comes out of China is nephrite or soft jade. It wasn”t until the Qing dynasty that Burmese Jadeite, or hard jade, was imported into China.
Chinese Nephrite jade was mainly produced in the area of Hetian in the Xinjiang Province.
Xiu yu or “Serpentine Jade” was mainly from the Xiuyan County in the Liaoning Province. This comes in most of the colors of Nephrite Jade including white, various shades of green, yellow and pink. Most of this jade comes in the various hues of green. Serpentine jade is usually semi-transparent.
The palace in the Forbidden City of China has some 30,000 pieces of jade displayed. The pre-Yuan Dynasty displays some famed pieces through history an also displays jade artifacts from more recent archaeological excavations. Some pieces of jade date as far back as the Neolithic period. Jade pieces from the Ming and Qing Dynasty”s include items for both palace use as well as tribute items from the Chinese Empire and beyond.
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Burmese jadeite, that hard jade known as Feicui in Chinese, is the most popular are rarest jade which was imported into China. Burmese jadeite was imported into China as early as the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
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