It’s spring and I’m beginning my gardening in earnest. We have a fairly large flower/native plant area, which—hopefully—both the wild life and we can enjoy together. In looking at a picture our brother-in-law took of my husband and me in the garden, I realized that I was wearing a distinctive t-shirt our daughter gave me. Emblazoned on the front is an image of Monkey King, Sūn Wù-kōng, Sun Wuh-kong 孫悟空.
The homophone hú: fox 狐 hú, hur and non-Han people 胡 hú, hur
I’ve been reading about traditional folk beliefs in pre-modern China and recently acquired Leo Tak-hung Chang’s wonderful and informative book The Discourse on Foxes and Ghosts, Ji Yun and Eighteenth-Century Literati Storytelling. In it he gives an interesting example of how homophones offered people an opportunity to express their aggravation with the government, while appearing to speak of something else. Continue reading