Ravaging Times

chapter 316

(below translation of “The Spring and Autumn Annals” is partially taken from here; some titles variation may have something to do with exact context, so as “Count” or as “Duke” depends on time and place in the historical account)

[?]: First year of Duke Yin, spring, third month of the royal year.
(“the Hidden” Duke of the Lu state, mentioned briefly in this entry; royal year of Zhou dynasty)

[?]: Third month; the Duke hastened together with Yifu from Zhu to form a coalition at Mie.
(Yifu, ruler of Zhu Lou)

[?]: Summer, fifth month; the Count of Zheng defeated Duan at Yan.
(~722BC; Gongshu Duan is his younger brother; the main translation source says “killed”, but other sources I read all say Duan was killed indirectly)

chapter 316 For How Many Springs and Autumns
(wordplay on “Spring Autumn” as a literature and in a literal sense, as in years)

[?]: Autumn, seventh month, the Heavenly King sent Chancellor Xuan to present offerings to Duke Hui and Zhongzi’s burial.
(“heavenly king” referring to the Zhou dynasty emperor at the time; came to the court of Lu; “Zhongzi” is referring to the mother of future Duke Huan)

[?]: Ninth month, a hastened coalition at Su with the people of Song.

[?]: Winter, twelfth month, the Count of Cai arrived.
(“Count Zhai”; came to the court of Lu)

[?]: The… the Duke’s son, Yishi, died.

[Lü Meng]: Second year, spring, the Duke met with Rong at Qian.
(probably envoy from Rong; not sure)

[LM]: Summer, fifth month, Ju took over Xiang.
(this is talking about the more powerful state of Ju destroying and occupying the state of Xiang, Chinese source here)

[LM]: Wu Hai entered Ji.
(not sure; my previous translation that this meant “Wu Hai commanded an exhausted army” is probably based on wrong assumptions. On Sep 29, 2010 I read in another book that says Ji is a location/territory name; this territory is then conquered and annexed by the state of Lu. If this version is correct, then the current scanlated version is WRONG. Please also note this Ji is not the same as the one below)

[LM]: Autumn, eighth month,
(“geng chen” (17 of the 60-year cycle); no idea!)

[LM]: the Duke hastened together with Rong to form a coalition at Tang.

[LM]: Ninth month, Lie Xu from Ji came for the bride.
(not sure; some source says that’s what it means, but not clear whose bride it is)

[LM]: Winter, tenth month, Duke Xuan’s daughter was married to Ji. Ji and Ju formed a coalition at Mi.
(not sure; Ji and Ju here are states, not persons; Chinese source here)

[LM]: Twelfth month, Lady Zi passed away.
(“yi mao” (52 of the 60-year cycle); no idea! Chinese source about the surname “Zi” and speculation on this lady’s identity is here)

[LM]: Zheng waged war on Wei.
(the state of Zheng versus the state of Wei)

[Huang Gai]: Another one?

[Taishi Ci]: There have been six others in the city today.
(“in the same day, in the city altogether seven of them”)

[HG]: Their fear tactics are putting the people on edge…
(“pretending to be gods and playing with devils, it will only make people fearful at heart…”)

[?]: Gong Jin, how long do you think we can hold on…
(Gong Jin is Zhou Yu’s courtesy name)

[?]: It’s been months now.

[?]: Your followers have been inciting unrest, but I haven’t killed any of them.

[?]: If you could stop the disturbances…

[Zhou Yu]: I promise to let the Way of Taiping find another territory where we’re not in competition.

[ZY]: Would this act be enough to resolve the blood feud between us?
(“…resolve the hatred…”)

[?]: The poison has entered his bone…
(“poison deep into bone”)

[Yu Ji]: Not even my skills can save your precious master’s life now.
(“even if I have god’s power, it will be difficult…”)

[YJ]: Be it (ill) luck or fate, it’s all just Heaven’s plan.
(not sure about first part)

[ZY]: But you believe Heaven is dead, Great Saint…

[YJ]: Saving people from suffering, is that any different?
(“…deep water hot fire…”)

[YJ]: We were all just blowing smoke.

[YJ]: What inkling would I know about Heaven’s Way?

[YJ]: And what is Heaven’s Mandate? How is that any different from wealth and power?

[YJ]: The so-called Way is only guided by one’s own desire.

[YJ]: And I have lost my way amidst the cries of my followers…

[YJ]: This skillful hand that used to cure illness…

[YJ]: has at some point, through hatred, turned into a weapon…
(not sure about some words, simplified)

[YJ]: The discontentment of the masses has sharpened it into the pinnacle of desire.
(“that has been sharpened by people’s grudge into desire’s pointy tip”? how to translate this elegantly? since this has a visual association)

[YJ]: Sun Ce is but one of these sharp fingers.

[YJ]: Look at this hand, you’ll see…

{sfx: pa}

[ZY]: I… will return.
(“…come here again”)

[ZY]: I hope you’ll escape this web of confusion, Great Saint.
(not sure about word choice, “maze of perplexity?” “daze”? “disorientation”?)

[YJ]: How does one live by a law that has been wrong for millennia?
(“a thousand-year false rule/law, how to keep to one’s own code/benevolence”? Your guess is as good as mine!)

[YJ]: Even a sage will die of depression in this maddening place…
(“…frenzied place…”)

[?]: Great Saint!

[YJ]: Perhaps losing one’s way is the only motivation to find it again.
(“…only by getting lost could one have the motivation to find the way”)

[YJ]: Heaven, I, Yu Ji,

[YJ]: shall ask you in person.
(“…I will personally ask for your advice”)

[YJ]: Hhh…

[YJ]: No pain. None.

[YJ]: No pain…

[YJ]: N… none…

[YJ]: at all.

[YJ]: No… no…

[YJ]: pain.

[YJ]: Hgh.

{sfx: pa}

[LM]: Sixth year, spring, the funeral of Duke Xi of Xu.
(~621BC, “the Joyous” Duke, of the Xu state; wikipedia’s “Xu state” entry has a different hanzi, so I’m not sure if it’s the same)

[LM]: Summer, Sir Ji Xing Fu visited Chen.
(state of Chen and state of Jin; Chinese wiki of this person, but otherwise I have no idea how to translate this!)

[LM]: Autumn, Sir Ji Xing Fu visited Jin.

[LM]: Eighth month, the Marquis of Jin… Jin…
(“yi hai” (12 of the 60-year cycle), no idea!)

[Sun Ce]: Is that the Spring and Autumn Annals?

[LM]: Don’t worry, my Lord, I… I’ve been studying hard… I’m different now…
(“…love for learning never gets tiring… not like I used to be”)

Spring and Autumn…

How many has there been.

Distinguished, living the dream…
(“how many oh how many, how long of being distinguished… how long of big dream (supposedly a metaphor for life?)…”)

for how many years…

Now I understand.

I really truly understand.

[ZY]: Mm?

Yu Ji…

what do you… want me to see…

want me to see…

{sfx: foo}
(it’s actually “pong” or something, but it’s the noise of the cape)

{sfx: ta}

{sfx: foom}

[Sun Jian]: Gong Jin,

[SJ]: with the sharpness gone, the innocence is still there.
(“…sharp edge retreated, innocence same as before”)

[SJ]: He’s tired.

[SJ]: Let him rest.

Summer of year 200. Sun Ce passed away at night.
(I’m using this rigid syntax to mirror the recitation of the “Spring and Autumn Annals”)

With shapes unlike any other, they leave no trace in the wind. The tainted clouds completely dissipated.
(the first sentence is a line from a Tang dynasty poem by Jiao Ran, but I can’t find the professional translation, so you’re just getting my crude interpretation; full citation:
a more pretentious version: “Grotesquely shaped and traceless in the wind, dissolved are the tainted clouds.”)

It no longer mattered whether he was loyal or corrupt.
(“is Loyalist, or treacherous vassal, gradually becoming indifferent”)


  1. The Lunar calendar name the year as follow: prefix + suffix

    Prefix is from 5 different names (I don’t remember them) use in cycle.
    Suffix is the 12 animals: rat, ox, etc. (Read Fruits Basket) use in cycle.

    Since 5 times 12 equals 60, every 60 years, the year name will be the same.


    Comment by nga130 — January 5, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    • It’s 10 and 12 right? Do you know how to convert from a given pair to the equivalent Gregorian date? Or do we have to count from the beginning (of a known new cycle)?


      Comment by merc — January 6, 2011 @ 8:47 am

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