Skip to main content

Qing Dynasty Anthem (1911-12) - China's First Anthem

On October 4, 1911, the Qing Empire issued China's first national anthem, known as Gong Jin Ou (Chinese: 鞏金甌; pinyin: gǒng jīn'ōu, literally "Cup of Solid Gold"). It was the 3rd year of the reign of 5-year-old Emperor Xuantong (better known as Puyi).

Because the Qing Empire was not a state in the modern sense, it had never had a national anthem before. Zeng Jize (1839 – April 12, 1890, traditional Chinese: 曾紀澤), one of China's first diplomats stationed in the West, observed that Western nations performed national anthems on official occasions. In 1883 he composed a song in honour of the Qing Empire ("普天樂") and sent it to the Qing court, but the song was never officially used. 

In the following years several songs were produced in succession, which were used as semi-official hymns from time to time. One of them was Praise the Dragon Flag ("頌龍旗"). The song was composed in 1906, when the Board of War and the Bureau of Military Reorganisation were merged to form the Ministry of War (陸軍部). This became the unofficial anthem of the Empire, used on official occasions whenever it was needed.

In 1911 the Ministry of Rites (禮部衙門) drew up an official directive on how to write a national anthem. Several anthems from other nations were taken into consideration. The British and Japanese anthems were used as blueprints, probably because they emphasised the role of the monarchy. 

The anthem was written by scholars Yan Fu (嚴復; pinyin: Yán Fù) and Pu Dong (溥侗, pinyin: Pǔ Dòng). Since it didn't have a title it became known simply as Gong Jin'ou (鞏金甌), from the first verse of the song. 

The anthem, which praised the Qing Dynasty and was supposed to be propitious, had a tragic history. Only six days after it had been officially adopted, the Wuchang Uprising broke out. The revolt led to the swift and irreversible collapse of the Qing Empire and the subsequent proclamation of the Republic of China. With the disintegration of the unpopular Qing rule, the first anthem of China fell into oblivion.





Here is the text of the anthem:
鞏金瓯,承天幬, 
民物欣鳧藻,喜同袍,清時幸遭。 
真熙皞,帝國蒼穹保。天高高,海滔滔。 

Firm and stable be the golden cup [the Empire] domed by the Celestial concave.  
In it men and things happily prosper. Glad are we who live in the time of Purity.  
May Heaven protect and secure us from enemies and help us to reach the truly golden age.
The blue firmament is infinitely high and the seas flow everlastingly.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei, China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. 
Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information.
Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterprises. Ren also secured soft loans from the local government of Shenzhen thanks to his personal co…

Majority Of Germans Are Afraid Of Donald Trump - Survey

More than two-thirds of Germans think that Donald Trump's foreign policy is making the world more dangerous, according to a recent survey.

The survey shows that 69 percent of respondents worry that Trump's policy is making the world more dangerous, topping this year's list. 

63 percent of respondents said they are worried about asylum seekers, 63% fear "tensions due to the arrival of foreigners", 61 percent worry about politicians' inability to tackle problems. 59 percent are worried about terrorism - 12 percent less than a year ago.

58 percent are worried about the cost of the EU debt crisis to German taxpayers, while 57 percent fear political extremism.

"The Fears of the Germans" (Die Ängste der Deutschen) is a survey conducted every year by R+V-Infocenter since 1992. 2,400 people above 14 years are asked about their biggest worries. This year the survey was conducted between June 8 to July 18.