On the night of Xi Shi’s return, Gou Jian, the king of Yue, asked her to “sleep with her”?

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Beautiful Xishi Huansha painting

In the winter of 473 BC, Gusu City, the capital of the state of Wu, was invaded by the troops of the state of Yue. The state of Wu perished. The life path of Xi Shi, the great beauty of the spring and Autumn period and the favorite concubine of Fu Chai, the king of Wu, came to an abrupt end. It seems that Wu has disappeared into the dark history with the ashes of Wu.

The state of Wu has perished. Where has Xi Shi gone? How did she spend the rest of her life?

Later generations’ evaluation of historical figures is often harsh and unfair, often only paying attention to their most brilliant moments, ignoring their lonely or quiet years. Xi Shi was thus “ignored”. Xi Shi’s time on the historical stage seems to be only a few short-lived years, and more life paths have been artificially ignored. When we try to restore a complete beauty, we will find it extremely difficult, and we will find too many mysteries and thoughts.

The most impressive thing about Xi Shi is her beauty. It is said that when Xi Shi was washing gauze by the stream, the fish in the water were attracted by her beauty. They were so dazed that they forgot to swim and sank to the bottom with a splash. Therefore, later generations used “sunken fish” to describe the beauty of women. Therefore, Xi Shi, together with Wang Zhaojun, Diao Chan and Yang Yuhuan, was called the four beauties in ancient China, and became the embodiment and pronoun of beauty. The four beauties enjoy “the beauty of closing the moon and shame the flowers, and the beauty of sinking fish and falling geese”. Sunken fish and wild geese are shy of flowers, and sunken fish are the first; Therefore, among the four beauties, Xi Shi takes the lead. Today, we regret to find that among the four beauties, the other three can find evidence of their existence in the official history at that time, but Xi Shi lacks any historical records. She only exists in the records and chants of later generations. Not to mention the whereabouts of Xi Shi, we can only sift and summarize some important information such as her native place and life story from the complicated pile of old papers.

The basic information of Xi Shi is as follows: Xi Shi was originally named Shi Yiguang and lived in Zhuji Zhuluo mountain ? for a long time. There are two villages in Zhuluo mountain. Shi Yiguang lives in the West Village, so he is called Xi Shi. It means Shi’s daughter who lives in the West Village. Xishi’s father sells firewood while her mother washes her yarn. Her family was poor, but she was born beautiful. It is said that even the sick of frowning and caressing her chest was imitated by the women next door in the East Village. There was also a joke of “imitating others”.

Young Xishi often washes her gauze by the stream. The beautiful beauty, the soft yarn and the pure stream, all of which have the same dynamic and static under the background of Jiangnan, have been described as the “imperial scene” of peerless beauty by those literati and poets who lack creativity in the future. When Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, came to Zhuji to look for Xi Shi’s Huansha relics, villagers had already built a memorial hall for Xi Shi. Xizi temple has a considerable scale, and it has been flourishing and declining since then. At present, the Zhuji government of Zhejiang Province has simply integrated the existing Huansha stone, Huansha Pavilion, Xishi beach, Xishi square and other historic sites at the foot of Zhuluo mountain and beside the Huansha River into a scenic spot of Xishi hall covering an area of 5000 square meters. It would be a perfect life if Xi Shi spent her whole life washing gauze by the stream and became a tourist card of her hometown over the millennia, becoming a synonym for beautiful women in the south of the Yangtze River. Unfortunately, Xi Shi’s beauty soon involved her in cruel politics.

In the third year of Goujian, the king of Yue (494 BC), fuchai defeated the Yue army and almost destroyed the state of Yue. Gou Jian retreated to Kuaiji mountain in Shaoxing today. Surrounded by Wu army, he was forced to make peace with Wu. Gou Jian went to Wu as a hostage to be a slave. In view of the weakness of “the king of Wu was obscene and lecherous”, he taught and trained with his doctor Fanli before going abroad to “get Xishi, Zheng Dan, a salaried woman from Luoshan, Zhuji”, and dedicated it to the king of Wu fuchai. Xi Shi resolutely entered Wu from Yue.

Objectively speaking, Xishi’s life in Gusu, the capital of the state of Wu, may be the most comfortable, favored and noble time in her life. Fuchai, the king of Wu, doted on Xi Shi very much and tried every means to provide her with a luxurious life. He built a spring festival palace and a large pool in Suzhou, in which a green dragon boat was set. He played with Xi Shi for a long time, and built a pavilion for her to perform songs, dances and banquets. It is said that Xi Shi was good at the “ring clog dance”, so fuchai built a “ring clog Gallery” for her, arranged hundreds of large vats and paved them with boards. Xi Shi danced in clogs and tied a small bell to her skirt. When she danced, the ringing bell and the reverberation of the VAT were intertwined. Fuchai naturally indulges in female sexuality and favors beauty. Suzhou is now Suzhou. It is warm, beautiful and beautiful. It is completely worthy of the peerless beauty Xi Shi. Now I return to the question at the beginning. How about the whereabouts of Xi Shi?

There are two main types of later life stories for Xi Shi, one is about wandering in the Jianghu, and the other is about sinking into the bottom of the river. The former is the most popular. As the saying goes, Xi Shi’s life is over. He went boating in the Jianghu with Fanli, a doctor of the state of Yue, and didn’t know his end. The earliest records come from yuejueshu written by Yuankang of the Eastern Han Dynasty, which said that after the death of Wu, “Xi Shi returned to Fan Li and went away with the five lakes.”. Hu Yinglin of the Ming Dynasty “richly processed” this statement in his “Shaoshi Shanfang bicong”, showing that Xi Shi was originally Fan Li’s lover, and Fan Li lived in seclusion with Xi Shi after the death of Wu. The most complete version of this story that has been handed down is the script Huansha Ji written by Liang Chenyu in the Ming Dynasty. Liang Chenyu is a Kunshan native. Huansha Ji is one of the early foundational works of Kunqiang opera. At the beginning of the play, Fan Li meets Xi Shi, a Huansha girl, on a spring outing by the stream, and falls in love at first sight. At the end, it is said that the two are hiding from disaster. The marriage between Fan Li and Xi Shi was finally said by Fan Li: “I am a golden boy in the Shixiao hall. You are the daughter of the heavenly palace. You were both slightly punished and banished to the world. Therefore, I am a slave Shishi. It was a long-standing relationship: Fang Qing, as a concubine in the Wu palace, was robbed by the dust. Now I continue the broken contract for a hundred generations. I want to marry for three lifetimes before I get lost and return to the right path.” Both Fan Li and Xi Shi are immortals. They have been in love since they were in heaven. This time, they are “sent down to exercise”?

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