S2E04-Surrounded! – 四面楚歌

Hopefully none of us will ever face these circumstances…but when all is lost and you’re surrounded by enemies trying to take you down, remember the Songs of the ancient state of Chu.


Shǐ 史记 The Records of the Grand Historian

Xiàng Yǔ   项羽 232-202 BCE, Late Qin warlord, fought against Liu Bang for supremacy of China after Qin Shihuang’s death

Xiàng Yǔ Běnjì   项羽本纪   The chapter of the Records of the Grand Historian that deals with Xiang Yu

Chǔ-Hàn zhī zhēng   楚汉之争 Chǔ-Hàn Contention, the epic battle between Xiang Yu of Chu vs. Liu Bang of Han

Sì Miàn Chǔ Gē   四面楚歌   Surrounded on four sides with the Song of Chu

   四 four

Miàn    面 face, to face someone or something, a side of something.

Sìmiàn   四面   four sides.

Chǔ  楚国  Chǔ State or Chǔ Kingdom

Eastern Zhou   东周 The Eastern Zhou Dynasty   776-256 BCE

Qín   秦   The first imperial dynasty in China 221-206 BCE

Hǔnán   湖南 Central province of China

Hǔběi   湖北 Province located north of Hunan

Zhéjiāng   浙江   Rich coastal province

Shāndōng   山东 Coastal province in North China. Not as rich as Zhejiang but not poor either

歌 song

Chǔ Gē  楚歌   songs from Chu or Chu folk songs.

Qín Shǐhuáng   秦始皇   First Emperor of China 221-210 BCE

Xīān   西安 Known in ancient times as Chang’an, capital of several dynasties

Liú Bāng   刘邦 Ruler of the Han State

Hóng Canal   鸿沟   Located in Xíngyáng County Henan Province

Xiàngqí    象棋     Chinese Chess

Chǔ Hé Hàn Jiè 楚河汉界   Chu River and Han Border

Zhāng Liáng   张良  Statesman and strategist of the Western Han

Chén Píng   陈平   Chancellor during early Western Han

Péngchéng   彭城   ancient name of Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province

Xúzhōu 徐州  fourth largest city in Jiangsu province

Ānhuì   安徽 Inland province in China

ixià   垓下   Site of final showdown between Liu Bang and Xiang u, present day Sùzhōu (宿州) in Anhui Province

Hán Xìn   韩信 Liu Bang’s main general during the early Western Han

Yú Jī   虞姬    Consort Yú

Hàn Dynasty   汉朝   One of the great dynasties of China’s past 206 BCE to 220 CE

Chén Kǎigē   陈凯歌   b. 1952, One of the greats from China’s “5th Generation” of Film Directors.

Farewell my Concubine   霸王别姬   1993 Film by Chen Kaige starring the late great Leslie Cheung


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