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Shanzi

As stated by the documentations of Chinese history, Shanzi (255BC -215BC) was an ancient scholar in Warring States period. He lived in the state of Qin which was ruled by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Shanzi was a wise man of profound knowledge, and he was proficient in philosophy, politics and music. He was influenced deeply by Confucian’s philosophy. He believed Junzi (the superior man or the emperor) should possess the virtues of benevolence and righteousness, but Qin Shi Huang’s ruthless ruling made him so disappointed. Thus, he denied serving for his emperor. According to the Chinese historical scholars’ studies, Shanzi wrote many books recording the common people’s miserable lives in Qi Shi Huang’s ruling era. In 213BC, his books were considered as the forbidden books and ordered to burn by Qin Shi Huang during the famous historical event of Burning of Books.

According to the folk legend, Shanzi was good at playing the Chinese traditional instrument called guzheng, a Chinese plucked zither. Because he resented Qin Shing Huang’s brutal policies, he escaped from the political turmoil into the nature. He lived in the remote retreat where was encircled by the mountains and trees. Every day, he played his guzheng nearby the mountain to express his feeling. His beautiful music made people unforgettable. Thus, his name spread all over the state of Qin very soon. When Qin Shin Huang knew Shanzi’s story, he ordered Shanzi come to his palace and perform the guzheng to him, but Shanzi refused his order. Qin Shin Huang was so angry and put him in the jail. Shanzi was being tortured to death in the jail.

Xiaohuan Ouyang

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