|Three Friends of Winter|
|Vietnamese||Tuế hàn tam hữu|
The Three Friends of Winter is an art motif that comprises the pine, bamboo, and plum.The Chinese celebrated the pine, bamboo and plum together, as they observed that these plants do not wither as the cold days deepen into the winter season unlike many other plants. Known by the Chinese as the Three Friends of Winter, they later entered the conventions of East Asian culture. Together they symbolize steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience. They are highly regarded in Confucianism and as such represent the scholar-gentleman's ideal.
The Three Friends of Winter are common in works of art from Chinese culture 朱慶餘) of the Tang dynasty. The Southern Song dynasty artist Zhao Mengjian (趙孟堅, c. 1199–1264), among others of the time, made this grouping popular in painting.and those cultures influenced by it. The three are first recorded as appearing together in a ninth-century poem by the poet Zhu Qingyu (
The actual term "Three Friends of Winter" can be traced back to the earliest known mention in literature, the Record of the Five-cloud Plum Cottage (五雲梅舍記) from The Clear Mountain Collection (霽山集) by the Song dynasty writer Lin Jingxi (林景熙, 1242–1310):
For his residence, earth was piled to form a hill and a hundred plum trees, which along with lofty pines and tall bamboo comprise the friends of winter, were planted.
The Three Friends of Winter as Sho Chiku Bai in Japanese (literally "pine, bamboo, plum") 송죽매) in Korean.or Song Jug Mae (
In Japan, they are particularly associated with the start of the New Year, appearing on greeting cards and as a design stamped into seasonal sweets. 松竹梅) is sometimes also used as a three-tier ranking system. In this context, the pine (matsu, 松) usually is the highest rank, followed by bamboo (take, 竹) as the middle rank, and plum (ume, 梅) as the lowest.Shōchikubai (
In a Korean poem by Kim Yuki (1580–1658), the three friends are brought together in order to underline the paradoxical contrast:
In Vietnam, the three along with chrysanthemum create a combination of four trees and flowers usually seen in pictures and decorative items. The four also appear in works but mostly separately with the same symbolic significance.
Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. The origin of the word "bamboo" is uncertain, but it probably comes from the Dutch or Portuguese language, which originally borrowed it from Malay or Kannada.
Prunus mume is an East Asian and Southeast Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum,Japanese plum, and Japanese apricot. The flower, long a beloved subject in the traditional painting and poetry of East Asia and Vietnam, is usually called plum blossom. This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees. Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot. In East Asian cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine, the fruit of the tree is used in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine.
In popular culture, sets of precious substances may form hierarchies which express conventional perceived relative value or merit. Precious metals appear prominently in such hierarchies, but as they grow, gems and semi-precious materials may be introduced as part of the system. The sequences can provide interesting examples of the arbitrariness of semiotic signs.
In art and iconography, a motif is an element of an image. The term can be used both of figurative and narrative art, and ornament and geometrical art. A motif may be repeated in a pattern or design, often many times, or may just occur once in a work.
Shoyeido is one of the oldest traditional Japanese incense companies, established more than 300 years ago, producing high quality, natural incense. The company is based in Kyoto.
The history of the Guqin, an ancient Chinese musical instrument, is a long one that spans 3,000 years. Although similar, it should not be confused with another Chinese zither instrument, the guzheng, which has bridges.
In Chinese art, the Four Gentlemen or Four Noble Ones, literally meaning "Four Junzi", is a collective term referring to four plants: the plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum. The term compares the four plants to Confucian junzi, or "gentlemen". They are most typically depicted in traditional ink and wash painting and they belong to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art. In line with the wide use of nature as imagery in literary and artistic creation, the Four Gentlemen are a recurring theme for their symbolism of uprightness, purity, humility, perseverance against harsh conditions, among other virtues valued in the Chinese traditions.
The National Flower of the Republic of China was officially designated as the plum blossom by the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China on July 21, 1964. The plum blossom, known as the meihua, is a symbol for resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, because plum blossoms often bloom most vibrantly even amidst the harsh winter snow. As the plum tree can usually grow for a long time, ancient trees are found throughout China. Huangmei county in Hubei features a 1,600-year-old plum tree from the Jin Dynasty which is still flowering. The three stamens represents Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People, while the five petals symbolize the five branches of the government: Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan and Control Yuan. The flower has also been proposed to be one of the national flowers for the People's Republic of China.
Chinese New Year, Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. In Chinese culture and Asian countries within Sinosphere, the festival is also commonly referred to as Spring Festival as the spring season in the lunisolar calendar traditionally starts with lichun, the first of the twenty-four solar terms which the festival celebrates around the time of the Lunar New Year. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally take place from New Year’s Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.
Fukusa, are a type of Japanese textile used for gift-wrapping or for purifying equipment during a Japanese tea ceremony. Fukusa are square or almost square pieces of lined fabric ranging in size from about 9 inches to 36 inches on a side. Their use has mostly died out, lingering mainly in certain ritual exchanges of gifts during weddings in a few regions of Japan.
The Chinese Garden is a chinese garden in the Swiss city of Zürich. It is a gift from Zürich's Chinese partner town Kunming, dedicated to the Three Friends of Winter.
Sun Rui is a Chinese classical dancer. He was born on November 9, 1984 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. He is now a classical dancer of Beijing Dance Academy Youth Troupe and a performer of Beijing Contemporary Dance Theatre.
Works of bamboo painting, usually in ink, are a recognized motif or subgenre of East Asian painting. In a work of bamboo painting in ink, a skilled artist and calligrapher will paint a bamboo stalk or group of stalks with leaves. The contrast between the foreground and background, and between the varying textures represented by the stalks and the leaves, gave scope to the painter to demonstrate his or her mastery with an inkpot and a brush.
A meiping is a type of vase in Chinese ceramics. It is traditionally used to display branches of plum blossoms. The meiping was first made of stoneware during the Tang dynasty (618–907). It was originally used as a wine vessel, but since the Song dynasty (960–1279) it also became popular as a plum vase and got its name "meiping". It is tall, with a narrow base spreading gracefully into a wide body, followed by a sharply-rounded shoulder, a short and narrow neck, and a small opening.
Vase with carved peony scrolls is a Cizhou-type stoneware vase of the Northern Song dynasty, made about 1100 and now in the Asian collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where it is currently on display in the Richard M. Fairbanks Gallery.
The Flowers of the Four Seasons are a group of flowers found in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese art and culture which represent the four seasons, consisting of the orchid (spring), the lotus (summer), the chrysanthemum (autumn) and the plum blossom (winter). They contain three of the elements of the Four Gentlemen.
Hu Zhengyan was a Chinese artist, printmaker and publisher. He worked in calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, and seal-carving, but was primarily a publisher, producing academic texts as well as records of his own work.
Bambooworking is the activity or skill of making items from bamboo, and includes architecture, carpentry, furniture and cabinetry, carving, joinery, and weaving. Its historical roots in Asia span cultures, civilizations, and millennia.
Sakaki Hyakusen, originally Shin'en (Japanese: 彭城 百川; was a Japanese painter in the nanga style. His other art names included Hōshū, Senkan and Hassendō.
Trees in Chinese mythology and culture tend to range from more-or-less mythological such as the Fusang tree and the Peaches of Immortality cultivated by Xi Wangmu to mythological attributions to such well-known trees, such as the pine, the cypress, the plum and other types of prunus, the jujube, the cassia, and certain as yet unidentified trees. Mythological ideas about trees also extends to various types of fungi which lived or were thought to live underneath certain of these trees, collecting their mysterious essences.