Nirvana into Lolita by 菇倒王子
cdrama aesthetic: Nirvana In Fire
– Will you get better?
– I will. You know why? Because a person’s heart will become harder and harder.
Hi! I love your blog! I have a question about a type of accessory that I frequently saw in dramas. (Tried to find out about it myself but I can't read chinese.😣) Can you tell me what those beautiful hanging pendants of jade and tassels, tied to the waist, are called? Thank you for any information you have!
Hi! I’m glad you love my blog, and thanks for the question! (Illustration Via)
Yaopei/腰佩 (lit. “waist wear”) is the general term for traditional Chinese waist ornaments, of which there are several types. Yaopei are typically decorated with jade (Yupei/玉佩), as the Chinese have revered jade since ancient times, and would (and still do) adorn themselves with it in various forms, including jewelry, hair ornaments, and waist ornaments.
Those beautiful long pendants of jade and tassels
hanging from the waist that you see in Chinese dramas are a type of Yaopei called Jinbu/禁步. An accessory worn since ancient times, Jinbu was initially used to hold down the skirt. Below – Jinbu in the Chinese drama series Nirvana in Fire.
Jinbu typically consists of one or more jades hanging in combination with beads and a decorative silk tassel (Liusu/流苏). Some of these jade stones are in the shape of bi-discs and Huang/璜, an arc shape with one hole on the top and two on the sides.
Apart from the symbolism of the jade and the beauty of the stone, the ancient Chinese appreciated the delicate tinkling sound the jades made as they touched each other when the wearer moved. Below – historical Ming dynasty gold-and-jade Jinbu (left), modern Tang-style gold Jinbu (right).
Worn by men and women, Jinbu served as symbols of virtue and emblems of rank. Below – illustrations of ladies from the Han dynasty (left) and Ming dynasty (right) wearing Jinbu.
Beautiful and versatile, Jinbu are a great way to accessorize any hanfu outfit.
For more posts on Jinbu and other types of Yaopei, please see my waist ornament tag.
Hope this helps!
Hello! If you don't mind, can you describe what hairstyles for men would've looked like in the past? I tried searching on Google images, but I keep getting modern hairstyles. Thank you in advance!
Hi, thanks for the question! I assume you’re referring to pre-Qing dynasty hairstyles for men.
I recommend reading Politics of Men’s Hair in Chinese History for historical context on Chinese men’s hairstyles. I gave a summary of the various types of men’s hair accessories in this post, and went into more detail on the “Guan” (formal headdress) in this post. I also have a men’s headwear tag you can check out.
I condensed the following information from Wikipedia:
In the past, both males and females would stop cutting their hair once they reached adulthood. As children they could cut and wear their hair however they wanted. However, once they reached the age of adulthood (20 for men and 15 for women), they underwent the Chinese coming-of-age ceremony (called Guan Li/冠礼 for men and Ji Li/笄礼 for women). They allowed their hair to grow long naturally until death, including facial hair.
This was due to Confucius’ teaching that “our bodies – to every hair and bit of skin – are received by us from our parents, and we must not…injure or wound them. This is the beginning of filial piety”. Below – cartoons depicting typical hairstyles of different ages:
Below – depiction of Guan Li (male coming-of-age ceremony). During the Guan Li, the man’s hair was combed into a bun and capped with a special headpiece:
When a man entered adulthood, he had to tie his long hair into a bun called Ji/髻 either on or behind his head and cover the bun up with different kinds of headdresses. Below – tutorial of how to create the bun:
A hair stick called Zan/簪 goes across the bun to stabilize the hair, like so:
From looking at the Terracotta Warriors, you can see that (at least during the Qin Dynasty) there were variations in the bun’s placement and shape, as well as different ways of braiding the hair:
The Chinese TV series Nirvana in Fire does a good job of portraying these distinctive braids:
Men would wear hats and headdresses over their hair, which often signified the wearer’s profession or social rank. Below – some of the many, many head-wear options for men:
Thus the ‘disheveled hair’, a common but erring depiction of ancient Chinese male figures seen in most modern Chinese period dramas or movies with hair hanging down from both sides and/or in the back, is historically inaccurate.
However, I won’t deny that this hairstyle can look very good – there’s a reason why it’s such a popular depiction nowadays 😛
Now some might wonder (as I did) why Jia Baoyu, the principal male character in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber, is always depicted with ‘disheveled hair’, even in paintings and operas, if it’s historically inaccurate:
However, it makes sense if you consider that Jia Baoyu is an adolescent during the story. His hairstyle is used to indicate his status as a not-yet adult man.
While the Chinese male bun hairstyle, worn from the earliest times of Chinese history up to the end of the Ming dynasty, has all but disappeared from modern society, it is still worn as a regular hairstyle by one group of people: Taoist priests and practitioners. Below – modern-day Taoists:
Hope this helps!
Nirvana in Fire 2 琅琊榜之风起长林 “The Wind Blows in Chang Lin”
Directed by Kong Sheng and Li Xue, produced by Hou Hong Liang
Huang Xiao Ming as Xiao Ping Zhang
Tong Li Ya as Ping Zhang’s wife
Liu Hao Ran as little brother, Xiao Ping Jing
Wu Hao Chen as Xiao Yuan Qi
isanah reblogged your post and added: “Can you recommend a historically accurate and stylistically accurate…”
True. FWIW, my mother is super picky when it comes to costumes in drama, and she really liked those. They even won awards. So maybe not historically accurate, but definitely very good.
Is Season 2 worth the watch?
Oh, I completely agree that the costumes in Nirvana in Fire are fantastic. I especially love the cloaks ^^
Yep, I personally really like Season 2, and I definitely think it’s worth the watch!
Nirvana in Fire II (琅琊榜之风起长林 II). By Si Haiyan (佀海岩). 2017
As a 2017 Chinese television series, Nirvana in Fire II is the sequel to Nirvana in Fire, which is based on Hai Yan’s novel with the same name. The series is directed, scripted and produced by the same team behind Nirvana in Fire, but stars of the show are from an entirely new cast. It tells the stories that take place after the events of the original series, which revolves around the Langya Hall. The series is currently airing on Dragon TV, Beijing TV and iQiyi starting 18 December 2017.
During the chaotic Northern and Southern Dynasties, the northern frontier of the Liang Dynasty is protected by the powerful Changlin Army led by Xiao Tingsheng (Sun Chun) and Xiao Pingzhang (Huang Xiaoming). During an expedition, Grand Secretary Xun Baishui (Bi Yanjun) cuts off supplies to the front line, and Xiao Pingzhang is severely wounded. His younger brother Xiao Pingjing (Liu Haoran) leaves Langya Pavilion in order to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.
It turns out that 30 years ago, neighbouring kingdom Yeqin was suffering from the plague, yet Liang kept its borders shut for self-protection. In order to take revenge for his fallen kingdom, Puyang Ying (Guo Jingfei) travels to Liang under a hidden identity, and colludes with top martial artist the Marquis of Mozi (Cheng Taishen) and Xun Baishui to weaken the Xiao Family’s power and poison the people of Liang.
Xiao Pingzhang dies from poison during the war, and a year later the Liang Emperor (Liu Jun) passes away from sickness. The Yu Dynasty takes the chance to invade, and Xun Baishui and Xiao Yuanqi, the Prince of Laiyang (Wu Haochen) coaxes the new Emperor (Hu Xianxu) into releasing an edict banning the Changlin Army from going into battle