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Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards

The Legend of Dong Yong and Weaving Maiden with Related Texts

Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards by Wilt L. Idema
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Of the many ballads, tales, and plays extolling filial piety (xiao)--the foundational virtue of imperial China--none was more popular in that era than the legend of Dong Yong and his heavenly helpmate, Weaving Maiden. Continually revised and embellished over a millennium, the tale's popularity remains, finding new expression in Chinese film and opera in the twentieth century.

The five versions of the legend presented here, alongside a selection of related texts, illustrate changing perceptions of xiao from the tenth century through the first part of the twentieth in a variety of genres. An appendix traces the development of the related legend of Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Boy from myth to folktale.

Wilt L. Idema's Introduction traces the evolution of the central legend and its significance in the history of Chinese popular culture. Annotations explaining terms and references that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, a glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography further enhance the value of this book for both scholars and students.

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; September 2009
136 pages; ISBN 9781603842198
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Title: Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards
Author: Wilt L. Idema