Remarkable Women in Ancient China (12)- Zhongli Chun (Zhong Wu Yan)

Who is she:

  • One of the Four Greatest Uglies 
  • Wife to the Lord of the Kingdom of Qi in the period of the Warring States 
  • The actual historical figure’s name is Zhongli Chun but in dramas and movies she more often go by the name of the Zhong Wu Yan

Notable Life Events:

  • Still unmarried at the age of 40
  • Requested an audience with the lord of Qi and convinced him of the four dangers the kingdom of Qi faced and this gesture touched the Lord so much that he made her his wife so that she could act as a mirror for him 

Why is she remarkable:

  • There was an extensive description of her ugliness but I was not convinced that it was not made up because her story had been adapted for Chinese opera: apparently she was almost bald, with dark skin, has an abnormally large head, a sunken forehead, sunken eyes, large nostrils, a lump in her throat that is larger than an adam’s apple and a belly as large as a pregnant woman (though she was a virgin). 
  • Although female repression started much later in Chinese history and her era was before there was such a thing as an Emperor in ancient China, I still think it was remarkable that she was able to request an audience with the Lord of her state and then convince him of her views

Moonlake’s thoughts on her: 

Hard to really see into her personality but just based on what she did, she sounded like a woman of initiative. 

English Wiki:

Published by moonlakeku

intermediate Chinese fantasy writer working on her debut series

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