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Does Wang Yangming drink Huangjiu?


Recently, the Shaoxing Kuaiji Mountain Yangming hotel is setting up and decorating a Huangjiu tasting hall. The hotel invited a professional design company and asked Shaoxing Rice Wine Group to provide relevant Huangjiu materials. The design of Huangjiu tasting hall is very good. And the history of Huangjiu, the ancient brewing techniques and the stories of famous people with Huangjiu are introduced in the hall. In the process of decoration, Mr. Ren Jiandong, the general manager of the hotel, told me that the hotel takes Wang Yangming as the theme and he wondered whether there is a story about Wang Yangming and Huangjiu.

The question inspired my thinking. As we all know, Wang Yangming, as a success in the morality, career and science, is praised by the world. His theories of extension of innate knowledge and combining knowledge with action have been spread all over the world. And his legendary life has also been adapted for dramas. But there are few stories about Wang Yangming and wine. In ancient times, the literati generally drank wine. And Wang Yangming, who was born in Shaoxing and lived in Shaoxing for many years, was no exception.

In this regard, I also consulted Mr. Li Yongxin, the former director of Shaoxing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Radio, and an expert on Wang Yangming. He said that Wang Yangming certainly drank wine. When he was young, he was very bold and unconstrained. He took a boat on the West Lake once, and he wrote a poem when he got drunk. And as a native of Shaoxing, Wang Yangming was also fond of Shaoxing Huangjiu and he even rewarded soldiers with Shaoxing Huangjiu.

Later, I found poems and records about Wang Yangming and wine through the literature search. And there are two poems about drinking on the West Lake, namely, [The Informal Essay Written on the West Lake When Drunk" and [The Poem of the West Lake".

The Informal Essay Written on the West Lake When Drunk

With ten years of hard work on earth, when I come back the eyes are bright at once.

Facing such a beautiful scenery, but I don`t have Su Shi's talent to describe it.

Requesting returning to hometown, but I don`t have He Zhizhang`s power to revitalize it.

White birds fly in the green forest at dusk, and the green wall which reflect sunlight is bright.

Live in a temple by the West Lake after getting drunk, and I am insensible of mountains and the moon falling into the lake.

Don't guess from the red make-up. Lotus flowers are blooming across the forest.

It is unnecessary to enjoy flowers on the spot when you get drunk. The fragrance will come to you with the wind.

The Poem of the West Lake

Take a beautiful boat and enjoy good wine on the West Lake. The wind is accompanied by the fragrance of lotus flowers and orchestral music.

Come back late without enjoying myself to the full. The moon rises again from the willow pond.

It is understood that Wang Yangming wrote more than 600 poems in the whole life. These poems are an important part of his thoughts, an artistic summary of his life, and the crystallization of his wisdom. The two poems above were written in 1502 when Wang Yangming was 31 years old. He was served as the head of the Ministry of Penalty in the capital at that time. However, he had to returned to Shaoxing due to the lung disease. Then, he built a house named Yangming cave in Shaoxing and called himself "Yangmingzi of ancient Yue". In the summer of that year, Wang Yangming left Shaoxing for the West Lake in Hangzhou where lotus flowers were in full bloom. He took a boat and wrote the poem.

It is understood that Shaoxing had become the brewing center of Huangjiu in the early Ming Dynasty. With the emergence of major wineries and famous brands, Shaoxing Jiu was sold well at home and abroad, which also reflects the prosperity of Shaoxing Jiu at that time. Therefore, it is natural for Wang Yangming to take a boat, drink Shaoxing Huangjiu and write poems on the West Lake.

Wang Yangming was a wine lover. In addition, he also rewarded soldiers with wine and offered sacrifices with wine. As recorded in the volume 10 of Complete Works of Wang Yangming, the leader of the guard (Wang Yangming), the commander of the army, the officer who delivers information and other officers, and the guests shared the rice. Beef, wine, silver medals, crabapples, fish, salt, gunpowder and other materials which totaled about 20000 Liang of silver were awarded to soldiers according to contributions. The record shows that Wang Yangming, as a master of Neo Confucianism, rewarded his soldiers with wine in wartime.

In addition, as recorded in the volume 11 of Confucianism in the Ming Dynasty, Yangming heard Xu Ai died when he was in Ganzhou and he wept his heart out. --He went to the grave with all students and poured the wine on the ground to remember Xu Ai. Xu AI was Wang Yangming's favorite pupil. And when he died, Wang Yangming comforted the gods and Xu Ai`s soul with wine.

Mr. Li Yongxin said that Wang Yangming was very bold and unconstrained, and it can be seen from his drinking habits when he was young. But he was also a temperate person. Especially in his later years, he was not in good health, so he certainly drank in a moderate way.

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