Ten historical facts confirm Li Bai was born in Jiangyou, says scholar

17:09, April 16, 2010      

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Chinese painting of Li Bai.

Recently, three Chinese cities—Jiangyou in Sichuan province, Anlu in Hubei province and Tianshui in Gansu province, as well as Kyrgyzstan's Tokmok all claimed themselves to be the hometown of Li Bai, igniting a fierce war of words.

"Ten historical facts confirm that Li Bai was born in Jiangyou." said a Jiangyou-based expert who specializes in the study of Li Bai's poems and life.

He told reporters that Li Bai was most likely born in Sichuan province according to ten historical facts. First, Li Bai once said that he grew up in Jiang-Han area (modern-day eastern Sichuan province), which was located right between the Minjiang River and Jialing River in the Tang Dynasty.

Second, Li Bai once wrote in his poem that he lived at Ziyun Mountain which is located in modern-day Qinglian town, Jiangyou. Third, Li Bai had composed over 30 poems in memory of his hometown in Sichuan province.

Fourth, when Li Bai was still alive, Wei Hao compiled a collection of Li Bai's poems and wrote in the preface that Li Bai was born in Sichuan province and it was the crowning glory of Sichuan. Fifth, when Li Bai was critically ill, his uncle Li Yangbing began compiling the "Poetry Anthology of Li Bai" at his request and wrote in the preface that his family moved to Sichuan in the year 705, and his mother had dreamt of Taibai Jinxing (an ancient Chinese god named after the planet Venus) just before she gave birth to Li Bai.
Therefore, his family believed Li Bai was the reincarnation of the god, and thus gave him the courtesy name Taibai. It shows clearly that Li Bai was born in Sichuan province.

Sixth, Liu Quanbai, who was an acquaintance of Li Bai, wrote in the "Story of Li Bai" that Li Bai was born in Guanghan County. Seventh, Mianzhou was located in Guanghan County during the Tang Dynasty.

Eighth, Fan Chuan, son of a friend to Li Bai, once visited the descendants of Li Bai and acquired their genealogy records written by Li Bai's son. According to the genealogical records, Li Bai was born after his family moved to Sichuan province.

Ninth, Yang Tianhui, a magistrate of Zhangming County (part of modern-day Jiangyou) in the Song Dynasty, wrote a collection of anecdotes which explicitly confirmed that Li Bai was born in Jiangyou. Tenth, the Shanghai Commercial Press had published a biographical dictionary of famous Chinese historic figures over 80 years ago. According to the dictionary, Li Bai was born in Qinglian town, Changming (part of modern-day Jiangyou), Sichuan province, has a courtesy name Taibai, and a pseudonym of Qing Lian Ju Shi or the Blue Lotus Recluse.

By People's Daily Online


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