China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kitsch

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China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kitsch

Unread postby Nazne » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:03 am

I went back to China over the last winter break to visit family and update my impression of my birthplace, and took (of course) loads of pictures, a *lot* of them somehow relevant to TK. Here's some of the most fun ones!

1. Bozhou

I spent a week or so in Bozhou, in Anhui province. Bozhou is known these days as the center of traditional Chinese medicine, but as the historical Qiao, it's turned out quite a number of historical figures through the millennia, most relevant among them Cao Cao, Hua Tuo, and Xu Chu. Since Cao Cao is the favorite son, you can't take two steps without seeing something related to him.

This giant stone-block statue of Cao Cao in front of the train station greeted us on arrival.
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Also in front of the train station, Emperor Wu of Wei's sesame oil cart.
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One of the main streets in town:
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Posters in bookstores for "The Emperor who Spans the World" (uh):
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Bozhou also boasted the locations of the Cao Family Tombs and a military-transport tunnel that Cao Cao once constructed to move soldiers, but due to family demands I couldn't visit those. However, I did take a walk through the historical part of town, which was rebuilt into the style of something between Ming and Qing architecture. The cars and advertisements plastered everywhere kind of... ruin the ambience, though.

The main gate and the photobombing moped.
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This is a town of tiny streets and alleyways, and mopeds are the default method of transportation for everyone. I'm pretty sure the only people with cars are the government officials or rich people, or taxi drivers.

Walking down the street and finding a gaggle of elderly men having afternoon tea in front of a bird-seller's.
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And more mopeds!

In the middle of the street, there was a panorama of statues, and out of curiosity we went to check it out:
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Turns out it was a depiction of the scene of "Cao Cao presenting Bozhou's famous hometown wine to Emperor Xian"! I'm sure that story is in the SGZ somewhere.

Young Emperor Xian, looking reasonably imperial:
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Cao Cao(right) and the servant bearing the wine(left) - unfortunately the sun was behind Cao Cao then, so I couldn't get a clear shot of him. D:
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Another panorama, this time of Confucius and Laozi. Apparently Laozi was also from Bozhou?

Laozi:
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Confucius:
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As our last stop in the historical part of town, we wandered into an outdoors... park of sorts, which served as the entrance courtyard to a historical opera house. We didn't go into the opera house, however, because I got distracted by the giant stone mural on the far end of the park, showing famous figures in Chinese history that had been born in Bozhou (or could be claimed to be, anyway).

King Tang, the founder of Shang:
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Lao Zi:
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Zhuang Zi:
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Zhang Liang (wikipedia puts him as being born in present-day Zhengzhou, Henan, so this might be a case of stretching the borders of Bozhou a bit):
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Cao Ahman!
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Cao Pi and Cao Zhi:
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Hua Tuo:
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Xu Chu (looking pretty cool there):
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And... Hua Mulan???
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Next post will be dedicated to Beijing's own brand of TK kitsch, to be continued.
先主復領益州牧,諸葛亮為股肱,法正為謀主,關羽、張飛、馬超為爪牙,許靖、麋竺、簡雍為賓友。
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby mendedties » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:19 am

Wow! These are so cool! I want sooo badly to visit China one day and see stuff like this. I may end up teaching English there after I graduate, so we'll see I guess. How often do you get back there?
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Nazne » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:50 am

mendedties wrote:Wow! These are so cool! I want sooo badly to visit China one day and see stuff like this. I may end up teaching English there after I graduate, so we'll see I guess. How often do you get back there?


Thanks! This is the first time I've been back in... nearly eight years now, I think. Traveling takes a lot of money and effort and ordinarily, I'm lazy - but it was a good idea to refresh my impression of what China is like. (There was also a bit of "well, what if I want to move there in the future? Might as well as scout out a city or two" involved.)
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby capricornkid28 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:20 pm

Love the pictures and certainly appreciate the commentary on them. Cao Cao is looking rather disproportionate in that stone block statue. Look forward to hearing more about your impressions!
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Rydain » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:19 am

Great pictures and commentary! It's cool to see so much public appreciation of Cao Cao. Did you happen to spot anything related to Cao Ren, who was also born in the region?

I wish I could have visited there on my recent trip to China. At least I got to see the White Emperor's City and the Sun Quan Memorial Museum in Nanjing, which is awesome even through my language barrier - and also has its share of kitsch. :)
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby TigerTally » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:38 am

I know Cao Cao is short, but not that fat. :x But I certainly love that cool Xu Chu. :pika: Thanks for sharing these great photos.

Anyway, I don't think I have seen that wine presenting story from SGZ. I did remember it with historical settings though, so it could be from another source, i.e. an memorial by Cao Cao.

Bozhou is also known to have a Three-Cao street with a Cao Cao wine factory IIRC.
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Nazne » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:32 am

You're welcome! (and lol, let's just say robes add on an extra hundred pounds or so)

Rydain wrote:Great pictures and commentary! It's cool to see so much public appreciation of Cao Cao. Did you happen to spot anything related to Cao Ren, who was also born in the region?

I wish I could have visited there on my recent trip to China. At least I got to see the White Emperor's City and the Sun Quan Memorial Museum in Nanjing, which is awesome even through my language barrier - and also has its share of kitsch. :)


Unfortunately not, sorry; most of the major landmarks were named either for Cao Cao or Cao Pi (Emperors Wu and Wen), or for Hua Tuo, due to all the TCM in the area. (I did find a restaurant named "Zhuge's Baked Fish"... but that's neither here nor there)

How was White Emperor City? Is it mainly famous for being where Liu Bei died, or are there other historical landmarks there too?

TigerTally wrote:I know Cao Cao is short, but not that fat. :x But I certainly love that cool Xu Chu. :pika: Thanks for sharing these great photos.

Anyway, I don't think I have seen that wine presenting story from SGZ. I did remember it with historical settings though, so it could be from another source, i.e. an memorial by Cao Cao.

Bozhou is also known to have a Three-Cao street with a Cao Cao wine factory IIRC.


Wait, it's historically recorded? I actually thought they made it up to promote the wine. <_<;;; But yes, the wine industry is also pretty big in Bozhou, although we didn't tour the factories.
先主復領益州牧,諸葛亮為股肱,法正為謀主,關羽、張飛、馬超為爪牙,許靖、麋竺、簡雍為賓友。
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:50 am

Awesome cool pictures!

Both Cao Cao and King Tang look a bit chubby. And even Cao Pi. Perhaps that's their way of portraying regal people? (Though Emp Xian looks pretty svelte.)

Cao Cao brand sesame oil is pretty cool. I actually don't remember seeing sesame oil carts in China--seems to be a more old-timesy thing. What's the rest of Bozhou like? Does it have other similar traditional things still? Or does it seem to be the kind of town that's built up recently for tourism?

That's cool that so many famous historical figures come from the same place (even though they've definitely stretched geographical boundaries a bit and appropriated people)--just the thought of having the statues of Confucius, Laozi, Cao Cao, Emp. Xian, and whoever else hanging out on the main stretch of their hometown is pretty neat!
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Rydain » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:27 am

Nazne wrote:How was White Emperor City? Is it mainly famous for being where Liu Bei died, or are there other historical landmarks there too?

It was a shore excursion from a Yangtze river cruise that was part of our big bus tour - a cheap way to get into China and logistically friendly for newbies who don't speak the language or know anyone over there. Long covered walkway from the dock across the river, grand statue of Zhuge Liang, 300-odd stairs up the hillside (originally around 1000 before the Three Gorges Dam flooded out the region, and with porters offering to carry you up for a fee), terraces among palm trees and a colorful yellow temple, statues of Liu Bei and his brothers and assorted Shu generals. Some were supposedly beheaded in the Cultural Revolution and restored. There was some display of Liu Bei's genealogy that we glimpsed through a window but had no chance to see in detail. The guide talked about the Battle of Yiling and other such context.

I'm not sure what other historical attractions were in the region - either accessible from a Yangtze cruise, or in general - but I enjoyed the stop. :)
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Re: China Travel Photos - Cao Cao's hometown, tons o' TK kit

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:07 pm

Rydain wrote:I wish I could have visited there on my recent trip to China. At least I got to see the White Emperor's City and the Sun Quan Memorial Museum in Nanjing, which is awesome even through my language barrier - and also has its share of kitsch. :)

Oooh do you have pictures from the Sun Quan museum? I only had a day in Nanjing and didn't make it there. :(
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