Jiangxi Jiujiang Pipa Pavilion, China

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Pipa Pavilion

The Pipa Pavilion is located near the Xunyang River, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province. That part of the Yangtze River located north of Jiujiang is called the Xunyang River.

When the poet of Tang Dynasty Bai Juyi was appointed the Minister of War in Jiangzhou (Jiangzhou is today's Jiujiang.), he created the poet "Pipa Xing". In it, there is a verse "see off guest on bank of the Xunyang River at night."

Due to the beautiful Xunyang River and the "Pipa Xing" won universal praise, people built a Pipa Pavilion at the bank of the river. It is the place that visitors travel and rest since ancient time.

Firstly the Pipa Pavilion was built in Tang Dynasty. To Qing Dynasty, the Qianlong Emperor full of literary talent sculptured a statue of Bai Juyi in the pavilion in order to let people remember Bai Juyi. But it was destroyed by frequent wars in Xianfeng Year.

There is the Yangtze River before, so walk upward, you can arrive at the three towns in Wuhan. Walk downward, you can arrive in Suzhou, Hangzhou and so forth. At the back the Lushan Mountain is the shield. So Jiujiang is the important place in various wars not only in history but also on geography. Meanwhile it is a scenic area with beautiful landscapes.

If you stand on the Xunyang River, you can see the Xianglu Peak on the Lushan Mountain full of mist. From the verses of the literati Meng Haoran in Tang Dynasty: "near the Xunyang River stop boat, see the Xianglu Peak first.", we can prove this. Some visitors loving literature come here to travel the Xunyang River and the Pipa Pavilion, they all want to feel the mood in the poem.

History & Legend

"Pipa Xing" is the works after Bai Juyi was abased to Jiujiang. In the 10th Year in Tang Dynasty in 815, he was abased to be the Minister of War in Jiangzhou because his words offended the nobles in court. Jiangzhou is the name of Jiujiang at ancient time and the Minister of War was an unimportant official.

In the 2nd year after Bai Juyi was appointed, at an autumn moonlit night, he was seeing off his guest near the Xunyang River. As he walked to the entrance of the Penpu River (a little branch of the Yangtze River), he heard the sound of Pipa from the boat near the bank.

Following the sound, he looked for it and saw a woman playing the Pipa in a boat. The woman was near middle-aged with a beautiful face. After questioning to her, he knew that she was a song prostitute in Chang An and married a merchant. She followed her husband and lived a wandering life. As she was speaking, she felt that she was old and lost beauty.

Bai Juyi associated his hard political fate and he couldn't help feeling sad. So he invited the woman to his boat, he replaced banquet and played music. As listening, he wrote down this poem "Pipa Xing" with 612 characters.

In the "Pipa Xing" there are a lot of famous verses used widely by the people: "just out after calling, only screen half face with embraced piba", "big and little pearls falling on the jade plate", "prefer to saying nothing rather than saying anything.", and "all the falling men in the world, why do we know each other."

In the works of Bai Juyi, including the famous "Changhen Song", the "Pipa Xing" is the most attractive. The women and little children could recite these two poems in Tang Dynasty. Nowadays many versions are spread to foreign countries, when the foreigners read, they also like the mood described in the poems.

After Bai Juyi passed away, the emperor Tang Xun Zong Lichen said in his poem: "children sing ‘Changheng Song", they can sing ‘Pipa Xing'" describing the condition of the street and lanes lively at that time. The common people in Jiangzhou built this "Pipa Pavilion" near the Xunyang River in order to commemorate this poet living here for a long time. It is really a kind of gratitude and missing from the heart.