Xi Shi Beauty Legend From China - Honor Of Kings

Xi Shi (Chinese: )(560 BC-?) is one of the four most beautiful women in China in the late Spring and Autumn Period. He was born in the vicinity of Kuaiji (會稽), present-day Zhejiang region with the name Shi Yikuang (施夷光).

She was called Xi Shi because he lived in a hamlet with the surname Shi which was located to the west of a neighboring hamlet.


It is said that Xi Shi was so beautiful that if he looked down from the ledge and saw the fish in the pond water, the fish would be so amazed that they forgot to shake their fins and sink to the bottom of the pond.

This kind of description is used to explain the meaning of the first two characters of the Chinese proverb which reads , (Pinyin: chényú luòyàn, bìyuè xiūhuā; literal meaning: the sinking of the goose fish falls, the moon eclipses the puspita of shame), which is a proverb referring to the Four An ancient Chinese crown and used to praise the beauty of a woman, as if her beauty could make fish drown, birds fall from the sky, full moons eclipse, and flowers blush.

Journey of life

It is said that Xi Shi lived in Zhuji, the capital of the country of Yue in the spring and autumn period. She was so beautiful, it was said that the fish also drowned/hidden themselves out of shame when she was washing her clothes in the river.

At that time the country of Yue became a vassal of the state of Wu and had to pay tribute for losing the war. The King of Yue, Gou Jian, who had also been taken prisoner for losing the war, was secretly plotting revenge with a beautiful woman's ploy. Yue's minister of state, Fan Li, then presented Xi Shi and Zhen Dang (another woman) to Fu Chai, King of Wu, in 490 BC.

The beautiful woman's ploy worked, Fu Chai forgot about the affairs of the state government and killed his own adviser, Wu Zixu, who criticized Fu Chai. Fu Chai even squandered state resources to build special palaces for his beautiful ladies which further weakened the state of Wu. In 473 BC, Gou Jian, King of Yue, conquered the army of the state of Wu. Fu Chai, King of Wu, later committed suicide.

After Wu was defeated, Gou Jian ordered that Xi Shi be drowned in the lake so that he would not suffer the fate of Fu Chai, the King of Wu who was drunk on Xi Shi's beauty. (still debating the truth of this fact)

In another story, it is said that after Wu was defeated, Fan Li gave up his position and brought Xi Shi to live with him. Fan Li later changed his name to Tao Zhu Gong and became a successful and wealthy businessman.

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