Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Best/Favourite of the Three Kingdoms?

Wei
133
34%
Shu
157
40%
Wu
103
26%
 
Total votes : 393

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby rsetiawan » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:10 am

Wei....
so much that even now I envisage this site should renamed 'mengde.net' instead of 'kongming.net' :twisted:
rsetiawan
Initiate
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:17 am
Location: neverland

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:32 pm

Definately Wei, that is the kingdom I find myself most agreeing with. I find myself admiring the methods of Cao Cao, what a master. He was an evil genius that schemed, and carved a path right to the top, in a world gone mad. I love how he showed iniative, and actively conquered, and assimilated his rival neighbors left, and right.

He also was the first, that was bold/wise enough to see battlefield value in the massive Qing turban remnants. As a result he gained a major boost to his forces overnight, that's basically like adding another "expandable" vanguard army of veteran killers.

I also loved his policy of defecting/assimilating select enemy warriors, and putting them on the front lines to prove their worth. To me he is an unrivaled battlemaster, that outclassed all other rulers.
ky9ersfan
Initiate
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:53 pm

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:32 am

Wu. Because it appears to be the most peaceful country, and not always warring like the other two kingdoms.
PyroMystic
Apprentice
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:50 am

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby greencactaur » Thu May 19, 2016 1:31 am

I like Shu the most, mainly because the novel depicts them as the "hero". I love Wei, but the idea of the underdog trying to out do the powerhouse that was Wei, is something I adore! :mrgreen:
User avatar
greencactaur
Academic
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:50 pm

Re:

Unread postby Jeremiah » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:28 pm

Liao Zhen wrote:I believe that by far Liu Bei was the worst leader in some aspects. If you don't remeber he put strangers before his family, example Zhao Yun and Liu Chan.


There are two problems with this observation, in my opinion. The first is judging Liu Bei's actions from a modern time period, with modern values.

The second, and greater, is judging his actions without a proper historical or cultural context. In ancient China as in China now, everything that is said or done in public must be viewed through a very particular lens in order to understand it.

Liu Bei's actions when he threw down the infant Liu Shan, and proclaimed that he had nearly cost him one of his best generals, is a perfect example. To a Chinese audience, it is very clear what is happening -- Liu Bei is giving face to Zhao Yun; he is showing gratitude. It in no way means he doesn't love is son or has betrayed him. This is a very Chinese thing for Liu Bei to do, and can't be correctly interpreted from a western perspective. (I am in no way implying either perspective is superior, by the way. I am simply noting the inherent differences.)


On numerous occations he betrayed men and still claimed he was righteous.


The two preeminent examples would be, I believe, Liu Bei borrowing Jingzhou (劉備借荊州——有借無還), and Liu Bei taking the Riverlands.

This would, again, require a wider perspective, I think. In Liu Bei's biography, he talks about the lesser virtue and the greater virtue. In other words, you can think of it as the lesser good and the greater good. An example would be the perennial loaf of bread to feed your starving child. You can choose not to steal (the lesser good), and let your child die. Or you can steal the bread (and sacrifice the lesser good) in order to keep your child alive (the greater good.)

Sacrificing the lesser good to achieve the greater was always a strong characteristic of Liu Bei. As a truly virtuous man, he knew that sometimes he had to do things that even he himself believed to be repugnant. Why? Because his greatest ideal, his chief virtue, was filial piety. (In fact this was and still is considered in China to be the chief virtue.)

In the case of Liu Bei, this was filial piety to the Han first, the people second, and his sworn brothers third.

When it comes to taking Jingzhou, or the Riverlands, Liu Bei didn't want to do these things. He wanted those lands as a means to combat Cao Cao and save the Emperor, but he did not covet them himself for personal wealth. It was simply him sacrificing the lesser virtue for the sake of the greater virtue.

And lest we forget, Liu Bei had an edict written by the Emperor in his own blood to raise an army and destroy the traitor Cao. In a very real sense, what Liu Bei did for the sake of the Han was done under an imperial mandate. Not one he wrung out of the Emperor like Cao Cao, either. But a true, heartfelt edict.

The last reason why he was probably the worst leader was that if it was'nt for Zhuge Liang, or for that matter Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, Liu Bei would truly be the, "Base weaver of straw mats, and made maker of sandals".


That's true of all three leaders. Cao Cao was a brilliant leader who, in a very un-Chinese way, loved men of talent and surrounded himself with them. That is why he was so successful. Liu Bei was a charismatic leader who won the hearts and minds of many great men. Sun Quan inherited a great kingdom, and many talented men as well.

None of the three leaders in Sanguo could have achieved anything on their own. I think it's unfair to single Liu Bei out in that regard.
Jeremiah
Tyro
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:26 pm

Re: Re:

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:14 pm

Jeremiah wrote:
Liao Zhen wrote:I believe that by far Liu Bei was the worst leader in some aspects. If you don't remeber he put strangers before his family, example Zhao Yun and Liu Chan.


There are two problems with this observation, in my opinion. The first is judging Liu Bei's actions from a modern time period, with modern values.

The second, and greater, is judging his actions without a proper historical or cultural context. In ancient China as in China now, everything that is said or done in public must be viewed through a very particular lens in order to understand it.

Liu Bei's actions when he threw down the infant Liu Shan, and proclaimed that he had nearly cost him one of his best generals, is a perfect example. To a Chinese audience, it is very clear what is happening -- Liu Bei is giving face to Zhao Yun; he is showing gratitude. It in no way means he doesn't love is son or has betrayed him. This is a very Chinese thing for Liu Bei to do, and can't be correctly interpreted from a western perspective. (I am in no way implying either perspective is superior, by the way. I am simply noting the inherent differences.)


I agree. It is something I have seen a few times (not in this forum mind) in last year, that a stick used to beat Liu Bei is the touchdown moment with Liu Shan or Cao Cao not dying to let Cao Ang escape. Before then, usually it was teasing about the Liu Bei touchdown moment.

When we read the novel (or histories) we are looking at a different culture and a different time period, it can lead to "why the heck is historian/officials acting so badly over this" or something coming across as inadvertently off. Clearly when LGZ was writing up that moment, it is meant to be a grand moment where Liu Bei shows a moving declaration of how much he values his general. LGZ was (presumably) not thinking "this character who is moral heart of my story? Let's have him commit horrific brutal neglect on his baby son that will horrify generations."

The last reason why he was probably the worst leader was that if it was'nt for Zhuge Liang, or for that matter Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, Liu Bei would truly be the, "Base weaver of straw mats, and made maker of sandals".


That's true of all three leaders. Cao Cao was a brilliant leader who, in a very un-Chinese way, loved men of talent and surrounded himself with them. That is why he was so successful. Liu Bei was a charismatic leader who won the hearts and minds of many great men. Sun Quan inherited a great kingdom, and many talented men as well.

None of the three leaders in Sanguo could have achieved anything on their own. I think it's unfair to single Liu Bei out in that regard.


Usually when people say Liu Bei was poor becuase he relied on others, it isn't about that he had help around him and everyone acknowledges he was a charismatic. The novel (and for entirely different reasons, the DW :wink: ) Liu Bei gets a reputation for being useless and in many respects, that does feel LGZ's fault as well as cultural. Sometimes due to novel the history Liu Bei gets hit as well.

For awhile, the novel Liu Bei is highly competent. He is no Cao Cao but he can fight quite well, has a brain, wins some battles, maybe a bit naive but the good vs skill balance is reasonably balanced. Then he starts to get advisers and the balance goes completely. I know there a lot of narrative reasons why LGZ does this but it is the "idiot" phase people remember. Liu Bei becomes an idiot who can't put on shoes without needing Zhuge Liang to do it for him. Some of what is meant to come across as highly moral refusals that the likes of Liang admire with a hint of annoyance either feel 1) stupid, 2) hypocrisy.

Also Yiling does Liu Bei no favours. It his last great battle and the first one for awhile without Zhuge Liang (or a similar figure) telling him to eat breakast and LGZ gives Liu Bei a right kicking. It is a well written camapign with some moving scenes/aftermath but, again for understandable narrative reasons, Liu Bei's judgement is attacked. Any decision that might have made sense historically is changed into "another example of Liu Bei is an emotional idiot who should have listened to Zhuge Liang". Everything from the decision to go to war to the formation of his camps (it even makes Cao Pi seem a more competent miliatry commander then Liu Bei) is attacked. People remember that camapign, that failure
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14301
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:09 pm

If yoiu're coimplaining that Liu Bei valued other people before his son, think of the Battle of Wancheng. Cao Cao lost his eldest son (and heir apparent) Cao Ang, but that's not who he grieved for. He lost his nephew Cao Anmin, but again, that's not who Cao Cao grieved for. No, he grieved for Dian Wei, who he wasn't even related to.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.
DragonAtma
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:19 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:33 pm

DragonAtma wrote:If yoiu're coimplaining that Liu Bei valued other people before his son, think of the Battle of Wancheng. Cao Cao lost his eldest son (and heir apparent) Cao Ang, but that's not who he grieved for. He lost his nephew Cao Anmin, but again, that's not who Cao Cao grieved for. No, he grieved for Dian Wei, who he wasn't even related to.


Indeed.

Though people act as if he never mourned for Ang which is exaggerating it considerably but it is a good example of the sort of thing some people nowadays don't like and harshly criticise the warlords for
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 14301
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby Iain » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:10 am

Didn't Cao Cao have like 25 kids though and yet he only had one Dan Wei, in a pragmatic way he could have valued the worth of a great warrior over a child, not very family-oriented true but perhaps back then that was the habit of a Warlord.
User avatar
Iain
Lord of Nanchang
 
Posts: 4753
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:55 am
Location: Lost in the fun world of Vana'diel.

Re: Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

Unread postby ivolga » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:27 am

I've got an impression that Cao Cao mourning Dian Wei or prioritizing his death over Cao Ang's was to create good PR among his generals. I don't want to say that Cao Cao wasn't sincere in his grief - just that he used it to gain more loyalty from his followers by showing them that he values his warriors more than his own kinsmen.
ivolga
Apprentice
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 4:02 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved