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Jiezhi Tui
Also: Jiezi Tui
- Qin Shi #17
(介子推) 1
琴史 #17 2

Today his name is usually Romanized as Jie Zitui or Jie Zhitui,4 but references also suggest Jiezi Tui or Jiezhi Tui;5 in addition, some sources say his original name was Wang Guang.6 He was long popularly associated with the Cold Food Day,7 and this came to include the even more popular spring Qingming Festival.8

A native of Jin (in Shanxi) in the service of Chong Er,9 he followed Chong Er into exile in 635 BCE; after they returned 19 years later, Chong Er became Duke Wen of Jin and Jiezi, being slighted, went into seclusion at Mount Mian, with his mother.10 His friends campaigned on his behalf, leading the duke to go look for Jiezi without finding him. Another story says the duke tried to smoke him out of the forest, but instead burned him and his mother to death.

Yuefu Shiji, Folio 57, #22 has a set of four lyrics called Lament of a Gentleman Losing his Will (Shi Shi Zhi Cao11) which it attributes to Jiezi Tui. This entry is as follows.

Qin Ji says,

Shi Shi Zhi Cao was created by Jiezi Tui; it is also called Long She Ge.12

Qin Cao (Zage #8 Long She Ge) says,13

Duke Wen and Jiezi Sui both fled....

Shi Ji (Annal 39, Jin14) says,

Duke Wen Chong Er 奔狄 ran off to the Di....

The four poems are as follows:15

  1. 有龍矯矯,頃失其所。五蛇從之,周遍天下。

  2. 有龍矯矯,遭天譴怒。三蛇從之,以蛇割股。

  3. 有龍矯矯,將失其所。有蛇從之,周流天下。

  4. 龍欲上天,五蛇為輔。龍已升雲,四蛇各入其宇。一蛇獨怨,終不見處所。

The Qin Shi entry mentions the title Long She zhi Ge (compare the Qin Ji comment above), but quotes the poem as in Qin Cao rather than in Yuefu Shji. The poems here were supposedly written at the time Jiezhi Tui went into seclusion.

Original Qin Shi entry
The biography here begins as follows:

Jiezhi Tui was someone who served Chong Er, son of the Duke of Jin. Chong Er was slandered, and considered a criminal by (his father) Duke Xian. So he ran away for 19 years and Jiezhi Tui followed him....

Translation not completed. Lines 7 to 10 (of 13) quote the version of the Dragon and Snake Song found in Qin Cao (Hejian Zage #6). It begins with the first couplet of the second Yuefu Shiji poem above, but then the rest is different. The Qin Shi account goes on to say that people at that time played this on the "silk and wood" (i.e., qin), but it does not mention Jiezi Tui himself playing either this piece or even the qin at all.16

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 介之推 Jiezhi Tui; Qin Cao has 介子綏 Jiezi Sui (372.8, same as Jiezi Tui).

372.13 介之推 Jiezhi Tui says he is the same as 介子推 Jiezi Tui; it quotes Zuo Zhuan
372.6 介子 Jiezi says it is short for Jiezi Tui; 介推 Jie Tui is another abbreviation
372.7 介子推 Jiezi Tui has two people. First there is quite a bit about a Jiezi Tui also called 介子 Jiezi (Viscount of Jie?) and 介推 Jie Tui. No quotes. The second Jiezi Tui is a man 年十五而相楚 who was a minister of Chu at the age of 15; there is a reference to 說苑 Shuo Yuan. Giles has a long biography that treats the two as one and the same person.

In addition, 淮南子,說山訓 Huainanzi Shuoshanxun 2 (Mountains of Persuasion, see Major, et al, 16.4a and footnote) relate that:

When Jiezi(tui) sang about the dragon and the snake, Lord Wen of Jin broke down in tears.

Regarding this see the Dragon and Snake Song.

2. 13 lines (Return)

4. A conclusion based on a net search. See, e.g., Wikipedia under Duke Wen of Jin (i.e., 重耳 Chong Er). (Return)

5. This is almost impossible to confirm, since in writing Chinese characters one does not make such a distinction. (Return)

6. For example, Liexian Zhuan (he doesn't seem to be in Liexian Quanzhuan) calls him 介子推 Jiezi Tui but says his original name was 王光 Wang Guang. (Return)

7. Cold Food Festival (寒食節) (Wiki)
7379.150 寒食 Han Shi (Cold Food): 節名 name of a festival. Earliest reference is the story of Jiezi Tui in 後漢書,周擧傳 the Latter Han History biography of Zhou Ju (also mentions Qin Cao story). The festival is now said to have originated as a commemoration of Jiezhi Tui, then became a more general way of expressing respect for ancestors by eating cold food, perhaps at one time in winter but then eventually around the time of the gravesweeping at Qing Ming (early spring).

8. Qingming Festival (清明節 Qingming Jie; Wiki)
18003.200 清明 Qing Ming: first says "bright and clear", with reference to Shi Jing poem #236 大明 Da Ming (Waley: Major Bright"); these are the last two characters in the poem (set to music in Taigu Yiyin, Wen Wang Qu, end).

The second entry at 18003.200 refers to the festival, saying it is 節氣之名,二十四節之一 a period on the solar calendar, one of the 24. Specifically it is the first day of the 5th period (Wiki: "solar term); this was also the second day of the three day Cold Food Festival (寒食節 Han Shi Jie, again Wiki). The earliest references given are 後漢書,律曆志 Latter Book of Han's Treatise on Rhythm and the Calendar, 管子 Guanzi and 淮南子 Huainanzi. Perhaps the most famous early poetic reference is a poem by Du Mu (803-852; Wiki):

清明時節雨紛紛,   During Qingming it always rains,
路上行人欲斷魂。   Along the road travelers lose their spirits.
借問酒家何處有,   And so they ask where they might find a wine shop,
牧童遙指杏花村。   A cowherd sends them way off to Apricot Blossom Village.

See also in China the Beautiful.

9. 重耳 Chong Er; see next footnote (Return)

10. 晉 Jin (part of modern 山西 Shanxi province); 重耳 Chong Er, also called 晉文公 Duke Wen of Jin; 綿山 Mount Mian (28343.7 has several; the second, in 山西介休縣 Jiexiu district of Shanxi, is given an association with Jiezi Tui). (Return)

11. 士失志操 Shi Shi Zhi Cao (Melody of a Gentleman Losing his Will)
This title, attributed to Jiezhi Tui and itself included in ancient melody lists such as the one in Qinyuan Yaolu, is said to be the same as Long She Ge (see next footnote).

12. 龍蛇之歌 Long She Ge (Dragon and Snake Song)
See Huainanzi reference. Long She Ge, or Long She zhi Ge (49828.359) is introduced in Qin Cao, where it is Hejian Zage #8. Qin Cao calls the author 介子綏 Jiezi Sui. The title is said elsewhere to refer to the same melody as Shi Shi zhi Cao (previous). The Qin Shi biography quotes this song as it appears in Qin Cao (see below).

Full Chinese text not yet online or translated.

Full Chinese text not yet online or translated.

Not yet translated.

16. Original biography in Qin Shi
Full Chinese text not yet online or translated. It includes the lyrics of the Dragon and Snake Song as quoted in Qin Cao, Hejian Zage #8. These are as follows:

卷排角甲,來遯於下。 (? Doesn't rhyme with other lines.)

Not yet translated.


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