Shaving in the RoTK era

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Shaving in the RoTK era

Unread postby Tonto_Simfish » Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:53 am

I know this question sounds funny :p

Anyhow - were there shaving tools available to RoTK era officers? And how many officers did shave? While the KOEI portraits probably overexaggerate the number of shavers (Taishi Ci, for example, was said to have a beautiful beard), some of the portraits of ROTK officers show beardless officers (Zhou Yu for one). However - where did the portraits come from? Do they really represent the officers at all? (considering that they were Yuan/Ming/Qing Dynasty portraits - and that I don't know of any RoTK-era portraits of RoTK officers).
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:02 am

No shaving at all!

Hair is considered part of your body, lovingly and graciously given to you by your parents. Shaving or cutting hair would amount to self-mutilation and thus a dishonour to one's parents.

The only exception I could think of is with women, who (IIRC) would sometimes shave their eyebrows in favour of drawn-on ones.
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Unread postby Foif » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:36 am

That kinda explains the part where Cao Cao shows his seriousness in the novel when he cut off his beard after messing up part of a farm.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:42 am

foif wrote:That kinda explains the part where Cao Cao shows his seriousness in the novel when he cut off his beard after messing up part of a farm.

I think that was his hair? The beard was when Ma Chao was kicking his ass.
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Unread postby Tonto_Simfish » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:13 am

I see.

So then why would...

(a) Some of the Ming and Qing Dynasty portraits of people like Zhou Yu show beardless generals? Wouldn't all of them grow beards? (is this necessarily universal among men?)

(b) KOEI have portraits of officers without beards/moustaches? It's not strictly observant of historical accuracy, of course. But I guess it would just make the people look nicer among people of this day and age (since most Asian men are not expected to have beards/moustaches)
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Unread postby Foif » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:17 am

Lady Wu wrote:I think that was his hair? The beard was when Ma Chao was kicking his ass.


Really? Hmm...I forgot then.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:59 am

Tonto_Simfish wrote:(a) Some of the Ming and Qing Dynasty portraits of people like Zhou Yu show beardless generals? Wouldn't all of them grow beards? (is this necessarily universal among men?)

From Wiki on facial hair:

The amount of facial hair on a man's face varies from individual to individual, and also between ethnic groups. For example, men from many East Asian, Southeast Asian or West African backgrounds typically have much less facial hair than those of European, Middle Eastern, Central African, or South Asian descent, with Native Americans typically having little to none at all.


Liu Bei was one of those beardless men. There was an incident in which he made fun of an officer of having a hairy chin, and the officer mocked him back for being beardless. Liu Bei eventually found a cause to execute him. :shock:

If Liu Bei was just smooth because he chose to shave, he wouldn't have thrown such a big fit.
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Unread postby Tonto_Simfish » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:27 am

Interesting. How accurate are the physical descriptions of the officers anyways? I have the feeling that many of the descriptions were exaggerated (so many of the men were described to be very tall - over 7 feet). But very, very few Asian men are likely to reach such a span
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:28 am

Tonto_Simfish wrote:Interesting. How accurate are the physical descriptions of the officers anyways? I have the feeling that many of the descriptions were exaggerated (so many of the men were described to be very tall - over 7 feet). But very, very few Asian men are likely to reach such a span

That may be due to a mistranslation: a foot in Han dynasty China is 23.4cm. So, if someone was "8 feet", they'd be (8 x 23.4cm) = 187.2cm, which really isn't that crazy.
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Unread postby Tonto_Simfish » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:40 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Liu_ ... rait_2.jpg

haha - it looks like the artist didn't draw the correct picture of Liu Bei :p

hm - your post count just went down. What happened?
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