Chinese Culture

Book of Poetry an Eloquent Ode to Ancient China

Reuben Tom Kee holds his book “Ode to China: Sagacity!” at a book signing at Chapters book store in Ottawa in 2013. (Courtesy of Reuben Tom Kee)
Reuben Tom Kee holds his book “Ode to China: Sagacity!” at a book signing at Chapters book store in Ottawa in 2013. (Courtesy of Reuben Tom Kee)

Fulfilling his wish to give Western readers a taste of Chinese culture, Ottawa resident Reuben Tom Kee has translated 11 ancient Chinese poems into English...




  • Wu Youru

    19th Century Account of UFO Flight Witnessed by Hundreds in China

    Famed painter Wu Youru of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) produced a curious work titled “Red Flames in the Sky,” also translated as “Red Hot Flame... Read more

  • Zhang Heng

    2,000-Year-Old Earthquake Detector Worked With Accuracy in China

    In 132 A.D., Zhang Heng presented the Han court with the world’s first seismoscope. A 2005 replica was even said to detect earthquakes with the... Read more

  • Jia Yi had to end his relationship with Li Shishi, whom he loved, because Emperor Huizhong liked her as well. (Catherine Chang/Epoch Times)

    Chinese Idioms: Net From Heaven to Earth (天羅地網)

    In the Northern Song Dynasty (A.D. 960–1127), Jia Yi and Li Shishi were lovers. Jia was a military attaché who was very handsome and known... Read more

  • The definitions of the Chinese character for immortal in the first important Chinese dictionary, completed in A.D. 100, were “live long and move away,” and “a human being on a mountain.” (Epoch Times)

    Chinese Character for Immortal: Xiān (仙)

    The Chinese character 仙 (xiān) refers to an immortal, a fairy, or a celestial or supernatural being. It is also used to refer to a... Read more

  • From a first-ever-seen camel to the many appearances of Buddha, if one hasn’t seen or experienced much, one is likely to be surprised.
(SandyJean/Epoch Times)

    Chinese Idioms: Surprised Having Seen So Little (少見多怪)

    Once upon a time, there was a man who had never seen or heard of a camel. One day, he went for a walk in... Read more

  • The Chinese character 子 (zi, zǐ) depicts a baby swaddled with the arms out. In early versions of the character, the way the two arms were drawn conveyed a sense of up-and-down motion, denoting the lively spirit of a young child. (Epoch Times)

    Chinese Character for Child: Zi, Zǐ (子)

    The Chinese character 子 (zi, zǐ) refers to a son, a boy, a child, a person, or a seed. 子 (zi, zǐ) is a pictograph... Read more

  • Sun Zi, the great Chinese general and military strategist, writes the treatise “The Art of War.” (SM Yang/The Epoch Times)

    Sun Zi: Military Strategist and Author of ‘The Art of War’

    Sun Zi, also known as Sun Wu or Sun Tzu, was a high-ranking military general in Chinese history who is known for being one of... Read more

  • A small statue of an ancient Chinese musician playing the qin rests under a tree. The qin is a Chinese stringed instrument of the zither family. (Gabriel Eckert/Photos.com)

    Chinese Idiom: Playing the Qin to a Cow

    The Chinese idiom “playing the qin to a cow” (對牛彈琴, pronounced duì niú tán qín) describes the wasted effort of talking to someone who cannot... Read more

  • The Chinese character 老 (lǎo) means old and also refers to being venerable, skilled, expert, or experienced. The idiom 老馬識途 (lǎo mǎ shí tú), literally “old horse knows the way,” praises an aged and experienced person for his or her knowledge and wisdom. (Epoch Times)

    Chinese Character for Old: Lǎo (老)

    The Chinese character 老 (lǎo) means old, aged, or elderly. It also refers to being venerable, skilled, expert, or experienced. Also a radical used to... Read more

  • Bian Que, considered a deity doctor with clairvoyance, established medical protocols that are still in use in Chinese medicine today. (Jessica Chang/Epoch Times)

    Bian Que: Deity Doctor of Miracles

    According to a record in the book “Shi Ji” (史記), Records of the Grand Historian, there was an exceptional doctor named Bian Que (扁鵲) who... Read more

  • Zhuang Zi, the major patriarch of Daoism following Lao Zi. (S.M Yang/Epoch Times)

    Zhuang Zi: The Major Patriarch of Daoism After Lao Zi

    Zhuang Zi (369–286 B.C.), or Chuang Tse, never served as a prominent government official during his lifetime. However, for a short period of time, he... Read more

  • The Chinese character for flute refers to the Chinese side-blown (transverse) flute, or dizi, which is held horizontally when played. The original meaning of the character was the ancient Chinese flute that consisted of seven holes and was typically made of bamboo. (Epoch Times)

    Chinese Character for Flute: Dí(笛)

    The original meaning of the Chinese character 笛 (dí) was an ancient Chinese flute that consisted of seven holes. The upper part of the character... Read more

  • An elaborate Han Dynasty tomb. (Chinancient.com)

    More Than 100 Han Dynasty Tombs Discovered in China

    Chinese archaeologists have discovered more than one hundred tombs from the Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) in Jiangsu province, Eastern China. Such a large cluster of... Read more

  • Sun Zi explains the meaning of the drums over and over to ensure the ladies-in-waiting fully understand. (Flora Chung/Epoch Times)

    Chinese Idioms: Three Orders and Five Explanations (三令五申)

    The Chinese idiom三令五申 (sān lìng wǔ shēn) literally means to give three orders and five explanations. It is often translated as “repeated injunctions,” which is... Read more

  • The oil peddler pours oil through a coin into a bottle while chiding the arrogant archer about how skill comes from practice. (Sandy Jean/Epoch Times)

    Chinese Idioms: Skill Comes From Practice (熟能生巧)

    The Chinese idiom 熟能生巧 (shú néng shēng qiǎo) literally means that practice gives birth to great skill. It is used to describe how skill comes... Read more

  • A silly farmer gives up his hard work and waits foolishly for a rabbit to happen upon him instead. (Yu Child/Epoch Times)

    Chinese Idioms: Keeping Watch at the Tree Awaiting a Rabbit (守株待兔)

    The Chinese idiom 守株待兔 (shǒu zhū dài tù) literally means “keeping watch at the tree awaiting a rabbit.” It is used to describe someone waiting... Read more


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