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Emperors & Mount Tai
Mount Taishan—Spirit of China
2012-09-26

 

Chinese Spirit

Mount Taishan demonstrates the spirit of the Chinese nation.

Being Tough and Dare To Challenge

The magnificence of Mount Taishan inspires people to keep climbing up steps and challenging themselves. There is a saying that the beauty of Mount Taishan can only be discovered by climbing every step. It is the process of climbing that people can realize themselves and keep challenging themselves.

Being Energetic and Promising

Well-known poet Xu Zhimo once describe Mount Taishan as a giant facing the east, expecting the advent of brilliant prospects. He “sang and praised” when the sun rose in the east, claiming “it was rejuvenation of the east and victory of brightness.” One UNESCO official said when watching sunrise on top of Mount Taishan he felt new life was beginning in him.

Being Noble and Modest

Mount Taishan is located at the heart of China’s northeast plain. Since an ancient time, the area is called the central mountain. In Han Dynasty, five sacred mountains were first named, and Mount Taishan was called the head of the five. Ancestors said, “Mount Taishan achieves its bigness for collecting all soils.” Being broad-minded and modest, Mount Taishan demonstrates traditional virtue of the Chinese nation.

Being Willing To Sacrifice

Chinese historian Sima Qian once wrote, “Everyone has to die. Some deaths are as important as Mount Taishan, and some are as light as feather.” Late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong pointed out that “the death for the interest of the people is more important than Mount Taishan.”

These metaphors display the Chinese spirit of being willing to sacrifice. Fan Mingshu, a revolutionary pioneer, and patriotic general Feng Yuxiang all lived in Mount Taishan and devoted to the interest of the people.

Never Submitting To Force

Just like pine trees on top of Mount Taishan, one should not yield in the face of brutal force. Besides, cypress trees have the same character. Those planted by emperors in Han Dynasty are good examples. For over 2,000 years, these pine and cypress tress have demonstrated these lofty and unyielding characters.

Dare To Combat Evil and Champion Justice

Tablets engraved with “Mount Taishan Shi Gandang” can protect from all evil spirits. Shi Gandang was a legendary young man who was said to have the capability to defect all evils. Since Ming and Qing dynasties, Shi Gandang’s name has been praised to have the effect to protect all families, and Shi Gandang has been the incarnation of the hero who dares to combat evil and champion justice.

Spirit of Chinese Nation

The east is where the sun rises. Ancestors also believe that the east is where everything is born. Mount Taishan is located in the east of the world, covering an area of 426 square km. The peak of the mountain is 1545 meters above the sea level. Zhu Yuanzhang, first emperor in Ming Dynasty once described the mountain as “pole to the sky, shadowing the East Sea.”

Hence, Mount Taishan has become sacred mountain in the hearts of ancient people. Those come from afar always carry a tablet with the carvings of “Mount Taishan Shi Gandang” when they leave the mountain.

Stone material to build the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, large-scale sculpture in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, Tomb of Li Dazhao in Hebei Province, Longhua Tomb in Shanghai and Tomb of Lei Feng, a national hero, in Hunan Province are all from Mount Taishan. Mount Taishan sprung out from the northeast plain, facing the sea in the east. The Yellow River winds around it.

The mountain is located on the intersection point of two major lines, which are Beijing-Nanjiang and Kaifeng-Luoyang-Xi’an-Xianyang. Because of this unique geological location, Mount Tai can better display Chinese culture than other mountains. After passing 6,666 stone steps that last for 9,999 meters, one can feel the broadness of the sky when reaching the top of the mountain.

“Magnitude of Mount Tai is not built with one stone,” asserted Yan Ying, chancellor of Qi State during spring and Autumn Period. Yan also said that it took many persons who were as lofty and tough as Mount Taishan to help to govern a state. In a historical book Legend of Han Yu, Mount Taishan enjoyed equal renown with Big Dipper, to describe great personality.

The spirit of reaching the goal after hard works encourages people to climb all the way up to reach the peak of the mountain and have a good view. The orientation of value to finally have a death that is as important as Mount Taishan enables the mountain to represent noble characters.

Broad-minded nature of Mount Taishan, which “respects all soil,” can also represent the aspect of tolerance of the Chinese culture. Pursue of brightness encourages generation after generation of the Chinese people to seek truth, beauty and stability of the nation.

 
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