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Six Men from the Mu Family

Mu Tai ((1455-1502))

Mu Tai, styled Benan,was also known by his literary name Jiesheng. He was quick in learning in his childhood. He is first to use Chinese characters to write poems and articles. According to historical records, Mu Tai was devoted to “elegant cause and advocated literature”. He only left behind a poem entitled Envoys of the Two Passes. The poem reads as follows:

Two passes set up in southern city mountain

Which clutch between two mountains.

Changeable strong wind lingers on

Post horses are busy delivering mails.

Imperial mails arrive with the setting sun

Daily letters are yet on the way.

A plum is for the imperial envoy

Hoping him send a message for us.

The poem vividly depicts the beautiful sceneries of Lijiang, reflecting close contacts between Lijiang and central imperial kingdom. The style of writing is skillful and leisurely free.

Mu Gong (1494-1553)

styled Shuqing,was also known by his literary name Xueshan or Wansong. He got educated from a Han tutor in his childhood. At his teenage years, he learned famous literary works such as The Four Books, The Five Classics, The Chinese Classics and Yuefu Songs. He was able to intone most of them impromptu. The book Selected Poems of Southern Yunnan says, “Mu, although he was a child, spoke as an adult. He read many books and had an incredible memory.” “everyone regarded him as a prodigy.” Before assuming office duties, he secluded himself at “Wumuyuan,” a rock hideout in southern Yulong Snow Mountains. Articles about the seclusion life were in the book YinYuan Chun. He in his life time finished six poetry anthologies embracing 1,400-odd poems. Some of them were in such books as Poetry Anthologies of Chinese Dynasties, Series Books of Yunnan and Selected Poems of Southern Yunnan.

Mu Gao (1515-1568)  

Mu Gao, styled Shou Gui,was also known by his literary name Duanfeng or Chang Jiang Ruzhu. He was famous for his martial arts, and his poems. He once said, “” Reading is my favorite and charity is my favorite, too. I would not trade my favorites with anyone.” After forty eight years since the reign of Emperor Zhu Houcong of the Ming Dynasty, Mu was cited by the emperor in the name of loyalty, allegiance as well as his literary and martial arts achievements. He used to erect a stone drum at the First Bend of Yangtse River after forty years reign of Emperor Zhu Houcong. He wrote two poems and an article named On Victory on the drum. The article recorded the military exploits of the local warfare.

Mu Qing was known by his literary name Qiaoyue or Songhe. He was born clever and able memorize poems and articles in his young age. He died at the age of 29. The book he left behind was called Yu Shui Qing Yin. His poems were collected in Selected Poems of Southern Yunnan, Poetry Anthologies of Chinese Dynasties and Selected Poems of the Qing Dynasty The Poems by Six Figures of Mu Family says that Mu Qing’s poems were versed in tones and rhythms like higher flying cranes and whinny horses. Here is an exemplary one.

Key Words

Tea   West Lake   

Temple      Su Dongpo 


Fans   Embroidery


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