What are the Eight Banners? (a brief history)
The Eight Banners represented military organisation and served as the primary organisational structure of Manchu society. As a short history, the banners were established in the early seventeenth century and grew to become the elite force of the Qing empire.
Though military in nature, the Eight Banners managed other administrative duties, including allotment of wages, distribution of land, management of property, overseeing of welfare, and meting out justice.
We enjoy finding, preserving and publishing lost, undiscovered and forgotten historical photographs of China, including its amazing people, places and culture.
Mao Zedong’s government regarded the past as a “black” time, to be erased in favour of the New China. The Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 witnessed mass destruction of art works, books and photographs. As a result, historical photographs of China are very hard to come by.
We try to only publish photographs that have a powerful look, photographs that capture a moment in time, which can never be reproduced. The photographs below give a real insight into the lives of the Chinese people – and China – during historic eras and tumultuous times.
The V.I.P Jiu 8 recipe has lain hidden for three hundred years. It is unique in the fact that it is an ancient recipe that is brand-new to the market and does not copy or taste like any other spirit.
V.I.P Jiu 8 was resurrected exactly as it was originally conceived by the Kangxi Emperor. We have painstakingly and passionately kept its authenticity 100% intact during all aspects of its revival, being forever mindful and respectful of its imperial pedigree.
V.I.P. Jiu 8 only uses the heart, the very best of the ethanol. You can taste the sweetness of the heart. By using only the heart we cut out all the poisons, fats and oils that lurk in the heads and tails. Not all spirit producers can say the same. To simplify, the heads and tails are where the nasties are and the heart is where the pureness is.
Chinese astronomers, during the Han dynasty divided the sky into four regions each region held seven mansions, making up 28 mansions in total. Together they showed the movement of the moon enabling them to chart the position of the sun and moon, and to determine the seasons. The four sections of the sky were allocated to a mythical beast, known as the four symbols or four auspicious beasts, these four creatures who watched over the world in four directions were The the azure dragon of the east, the black tortoise of the north, the white tiger of the west and the vermilion bird of the south.
Most people have heard of the dragon dance, but not as many have heard of the lion dance, the lion dance is often mistaken for the dragon dance, but the easiest way to tell them apart is the lion dance is done by two people, one person controls the front legs, head and mouth, the other person controls the back legs and tail. Whereas the dragon dance is done by a line of people holding long poles.
Wenchang Wang also known as Wenchang Dijun is a Taoist deity in Chinese mythology, known as the God of Culture and Literature. His chief task, assigned by the Jade Emperor was to keep a record of men of letters, so that he could give out rewards to each according to their merit.
The Forbidden city is a small city comprising of red walls and yellow glazed roof tiles, located in the heart of Beijing. It measures 961 meters in length and 753 meters in width and has more than 90 palace compounds and is surrounded by a moat which is 52 meters wide at parts. The orientation of the forbidden city follows a north-south line. Within the compounds all the most important buildings face south to honor the Sun.
In China Dragons are not the fire-breathing monsters of the west. The Chinese dragon is capricious, powerful, but good natured. An animal with a strong yang (male- sun- light) as such it has connotations with the number nine, 3 is yang so therefore 3×3 is powerful yang, so nine dragons are a well disposed omen.
Buddha is not a name, but a title which means “One who is awake.” What a Buddha is aware of, is the nature of reality. The Buddha who lived 2600 years ago was not a god, but an ordinary man named Siddhartha Gautama, Who lived in what is now northern India and Nepal whose profound insight inspired the world. Although born a prince, he came to realise that conditioned experiences could not bring lasting happiness. After a long spiritual search he went into deep meditation, where he came to realise the nature of the mind.