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The Swordswoman Qiu Jin: Trading Mink Coat for Wine

2020-07-21

Qiu Jin was a well-known revolutionary activist during the 1911 Revolution and a distinguished poetess who was honored by Dr. Sun Yat-sen as A Woman Hero". She had her family roots in Shanyin, Shaoxing. She proclaimed her courtesy name as Jingxiong and got the sobriquet as [Mirror Lake swordswoman". The Monument to Martyr Qiu Jin that stands at Xuantingkou (the downtown area) in Jiefang Road of Shaoxing was built at the site of her execution. The past is gone. Only the monument rises as the witness of history, and the epitaph composed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen and calligraphed by Yu Youren continues to caution the future generations to learn from history.

Qiu Jin had a strong affection for Shaoxing yellow Rice Wine. In her short and heroic life, she left many wine poems and anecdotes that had to do with wine. She wrote in "On Drinking" the following lines:

For a precious sword I would not resent spending a thousand gold coins;

let me barter my mink coat for the wine that would be fitting for a hero.

[But do not give away your hot blooded breasts," I counsel myself, "for

even if my 6lood gusfies out, it will tum from red into 6fue waves!

The movie "Qiu Jin represents the scene when Qiu Jin, Chen Tianhua and several others went out to drink sake (Japanese Rice wine) in the outskirt in Japan and she traded her mink coat for some wine. Her deed of fur-for-wine expressed her revolutionary sentiments, and set off the heroic characters of the revolutionaries, which was very passionate and moving.

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