Liu Bei’s desires in regards to Liu Shan’s future...

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Liu Bei’s desires in regards to Liu Shan’s future...

Unread postby James » Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:12 am

I hear a lot of conflicting information regarding whether or not Liu Bei told Zhuge Liang to take the throne himself in the event of failure on Liu Shan’s part, or if his instructions were to put an alternative person on the thron (not specifically mentioning Kongming).

San Guo Zhi - Zhuge Liang wrote:若嗣子可辅,辅之;如其不才,君可自取

Here is a translation provided by someone I respect.

That Someone wrote:Now the last sentence, "jun ke zi qu", means "Your excellency (jun) is able (ke) to take it yourself (zi qu)".

Anyone care to enlighten me? :)
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Unread postby Han Xin » Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:14 pm

My understanding of that line was that "If Liu Shan was found to be incapable, you (Zhuge Liang) could decide to for him to be replace". I don't think Liu Bei himself wanted a republic. In SGZ, Zhuge Liang's replied were "I do my best to accomplished your goals until death" (roughtly, I am not good with translating stuff) showed that the Generalissimo at that time do not think that Liu Bei mean that he could take over from Liu Shan. However, in SGYY Zhuge Liang replied were "I could never do otherwise than wear myself to the bone in the service of your son, whom I will serve till death." makes one speculates about Liu Bei's will on his death bed.

The SGYY version was nothing more than to show that the Generalissimo was an extremely loyal person and that Liu Bei was a king in the mold of Yao and Shun in ancient time. However, SGZ showed that Liu Bei's will was just an ordinary will.
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Unread postby Starscream » Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:13 pm

The preceding sentence was that Liu Bei was telling Zhuge Liang that he (Zhuge Liang) was far more talented than Cao Pi and could manage the country well... then to the quoted sentence. It seems to me that Liu Bei "gave permission" to Zhuge Liang to usurp Liu Shan if Liu Shan proved to be unworthy of accomplishing his dreams. But Zhuge Liang chose to die serving Liu Shan with all his ability(another awful translation). :P

Hence, my conclusion is that SGZ and SGYY are talking about the same thing... :roll:
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Unread postby jyang_99 » Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:19 am

Many people read this phrase as a test from Liu Bei to see Zhuge's desire, Liu Bei can see a person's thoughts quite well, so if Zhuge has that kind of ambition, then Liu Bei would probably order someone to watch closely at Zhege and kill him if necessary... Fortunately, Zhuge is a very loyal strategist, Liu Bei knows that... His final test to see Zhuge's loyalty has been answered well
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Unread postby James » Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:41 am

jyang_99 wrote:Many people read this phrase as a test from Liu Bei to see Zhuge's desire, Liu Bei can see a person's thoughts quite well, so if Zhuge has that kind of ambition, then Liu Bei would probably order someone to watch closely at Zhege and kill him if necessary... Fortunately, Zhuge is a very loyal strategist, Liu Bei knows that... His final test to see Zhuge's loyalty has been answered well

Well, I believe Liu Bei was dead serious about what he said regardless of whether he wanted Zhuge Liang on the throne or simply a replacement in the case of Liu Shan’s failure. I don’t think it was a test, I think it was Liu Bei looking out for the future of his kingdom.

I am mainly just after the details of the translation in this thread though. Thank you very much, Han Xin and Cai Yan, for your insight so far. :)
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Unread postby Lance » Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:08 am

It truly is puzzling what Liu Bei means by this statement. It could very well have been interpreted differently by ZGL, by Shu historians(or whoever recorded it), or by Liu Bei himself. It also makes you wonder what he was thinking.....did he regret treating his son as he did? Did he think that Liu Shan would screw up, or was he afraid of eunuchs or the such gaining power with so young an emperor in charge? It's hard to say......
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Unread postby Yuan Seth » Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:41 am

Just a question---Is Liu Shan Liu Chan?

I think that Liu Bei was serious, just like James said. He probably realized that Zhuge Liang was far more talented than his own son, and worried for the future of the Han.
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Unread postby Sam » Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:54 am

Sun Seth wrote:Just a question---Is Liu Shan Liu Chan?


No. Liu Chan was Liu Shan's fifth son, and was the prince of Baidi. He was one of the few whom were against surrendering Shu, and as a result of his father (Liu Shan) refusing his requests; he killed his sons, his wife, and himself in sacrifice to Liu Bei. He was said to be Liu Shan's most talented son, and was extremely loyal to his grandfather’s cause. As to why people frequently refer to Liu Shan as Liu Chan, I do not know. They most likely get mixed up due to the similarity of their names.
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Unread postby James » Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:22 am

Sun Seth wrote:Just a question---Is Liu Shan Liu Chan?

There is some speculation on this. I have heard the argument that people call him Liu Shan only to make sure we can tell him apart from his son, but going off major translations of the San Guo Yan Yi I side with Liu Shan. The hanzi for his given name (禪) in pinyin can be either Chan2 or Shan4 as well, leading to only more confusion.
Last edited by James on Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Gilgamesh » Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:22 am

Wang Ping wrote:As to why people frequently refer to Liu Shan as Liu Chan, I do not know.


The fact that Koei always refers to him as Liu Chan probably has something to do with it. ^_^ If Liu Shan was even half the idiot he's made out to be in the novel, I have no doubt that Liu Bei was 100% serious about Zhuge Liang taking over, and the fact that Zhuge Liang DIDN'T do this makes me seriously question how smart this legendary strategist really was, heh.
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