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Unknown Nanjing carving


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On a recent trip I took a snapshot of an important carving (probably a stele) in Nanjing, and now I cannot remember what it meant. I did not write down the guide's quick explanation. Rubbings of it were for sale in the gift shop. To make matters worse, I can't even remember what temple it was in. It was one of those whirlwind, one-day-see-all-of Nanjing tours with a busload of domestic tourists. And yes, I feel a bit foolish. 呆呆。

Tried looking it up with no hits on TinEye (http://www.tineye.com/) and Google's image search. I don't know how to do a reverse image search using a Chinese search engine such as Baidu.

Any ideas? Thanks.


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Thanks @Animal World. That's a good reference.

I found an article with a picture. Don't have it all worked out yet, but seems to have something to do with famous General Liu Bo Wen 刘伯温 who served under the first Ming Emperor 朱元璋 or 洪武帝 in the 1300's. Also something about a lion. Limited edition rubbings of the carved stone tablet are being sold for high prices.

Here's the source article in case your Chinese is better than mine (probably is.) I've "moused over" it until I'm blue in the face, and will have to return to it later.


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Nice googling work, abcdefg.

The article says that this is a carving of the character 虎 displayed at 瞻园 (Zhan Yuan) in Nanjing. The signature below the character says 邵道人, and two seals on the lower right say 劭道人作 and 哈达文弼.

According to sources on the net, Zhan Yuan was originally the home of 徐达 (Xu Da), a top general under Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding Ming emperor. Tourist guides and souvenir shop at Zhan Yuan have been telling tourists that the 虎 was written by the teacher of another top Ming general 刘伯温 as a gift to Xu Da. The tourist mentioned in your article bought a reprint of tiger character for RMB 2329.

But people on the Net noticed that an official guide to the Nanjing parks 南京园林志, published by the Nanjing city government in 1995, said that it was rumored that the tiger character was written by an official who collaborated with the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. (See pdf of 南京园林志, p. 302, p 189 of the PDF)

The tourist who bought the reprint saw a discussion of this on the net, felt ripped off, and complained to the press.

Earlier last month, a research institute affiliated with Zhan Yuan told the press that no, the tiger character couldn't have been written the collaborator because a photograph from 1929 showed it was already in place at Zhan Yuan before 1929, whereas records show that the collaborator official was still of low rank at that time so that it would not have been possible for his writing to be collected at Zhan Yuan before 1929.



2012-03-09 09:33:01 来源:中国江苏网-南京晨报

At the same time, the researcher does not assert that the character is from the Ming dynasty. Instead, he puts forth a third possibility, that it was written someone named 哈达, probably a Manchu court official under Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing dynasty. 哈 is a Manchu surname.

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Wow, thanks @gato! Now it makes sense. And that was indeed the place, Beautiful rock gardens, tranquil ponds and interesting statues.



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animal world

Hmm, lovely gardens!

哈 is a Manchu surname

Oh, that's great to know! So, I could adopt 哈哈哈as my Chinese name and then claim that I am from Manchu origins? ;)

哈 is also the character for a dog, a Pekinese pug, so it's all good.

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