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Wippen (inactive)

主席 vs full name

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Surprised people don't meet many older folks who admire or at least respect Mao; spent a lot of time working in the countryside and that's a pretty widespread view even among people who on the face of it might have reason to think otherwise (Great Leap especially). Not necessarily him as an individual though in my experience, more that the collective era is not seen as only negative and he's the figurehead for it.

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On 3/20/2018 at 8:07 PM, Lu said:

Generally Chinese is pretty big on titles (something I didn't find out until later in my studies). In formal context, someone is rarely 张三 or 张先生, but rather 张主席,张主任,张院长,张老师,etc.

Quite true. And not limited to China. We can find a rather extreme case in the early 11th-century Japan (whether it's due to Chinese influence, I cannot tell).


The Tale of Genji 源氏物語, written by a noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu 紫式部, is considered to be the world's first novel. It depicts the court life in the Heian period (794-1185) Japan. I'll just copy-paste from Wikipedia:


...Another problem is that naming people was considered rude in Heian court society, so none of the characters are named within the work; instead, the narrator refers to men often by their rank or their station in life, and to women often by the color of their clothing, or by the words used at a meeting, or by the rank of a prominent male relative. This results in different appellations for the same character depending on the chapter.


Murasaki Shikibu is not the author's real name. Murasaki (紫, 'purple/violet') is a poetic allusion to her family name Fujiwara (藤原, lit. 'wisteria field'). Shikibu refers to the Ministry of Ceremonial Affairs (式部省, Shikibu-shō, 禮部 in the Chiense system) where her father held a position.


The novel begins by telling us "In a certain reign there was a lady not of the first rank whom the emperor loved more than any of the others." The lady is never named. At first she is only known by her rank 更衣. After we are told she lived in a place called 桐壺 (Kiritsubo, 'Paulownia Pavilion', because of the tree in the courtyard), she begins to be referred to as 桐壺更衣. And the emperor, because of his devotion to the lady, becomes known as 桐壺帝. Quite interesting, isn't it?

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