When it comes to Zhuge Liang, what appears in the hearts of most people must be a lupine scarf, dressed in a Taoist robe, and a worldly master with fairy wind Dao bones. Whether he was as white as jade, talking and laughing, or he was doing his best to run the Northern Expedition, he shook the feather fan in his hand, dashing and firm. Zhuge Liang’s feather fan has become a symbol of talent and self-confidence. So did Zhuge Liang really hold a feather fan in history?

Statue of Zhuge Liang in Wuhou Temple in Chengdu, holding a white feather fan

We will have this impression, mainly because in various romance novels, paintings, statues and operas about Zhuge Liang, Zhuge Liang is holding a feather fan in his hand, confident and dashing. This is not out of nowhere. It is recorded in the “Yulin” of Pei Qi, a Jin dynasty man who was very close to Zhuge Liang, that when Sima Yi, the emperor of Jin Xuan, confronted Zhuge Liang on the Weishui River, he ordered people to investigate, and saw “Wuhou Chengsuyu, Ge Jin and White Feather Fan, pointing to the three armies”, Sima Yi heard it and sighed: “It can be described as a famous man.”

But some historians have found that the book has long been lost, and the fragments of the book we see have survived by being quoted. The same is true of this passage about Zhuge Liang, which has been changed by later generations. Earlier versions recorded that Zhuge Liang did not take a white feather fan, but a “hair fan”. Some documents contemporaneous with this book also say that Zhuge Liang wore a scarf and held a hair fan.

Zhuge Liang, played by Tang Guoqiang in the TV series “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, is the lupine towel

The hair fan is not a feather fan, but another name for the tail. 麈 (pronounced “lord”, note the difference between the traditional character “dust” and “dust”) is a large deer from the northeast, some ancients said that it was an elk, which is commonly known as the four unlike, and some said that it was a reindeer, and experts confirmed that it should be a moose.

Moose have long tails, and the ancients clamped their tail feathers in the handle to make a whisk-like object called a whisk. Its silhouette resembles a fan, so it is called a tail fan, and because it is made of feathers, it is called a hair fan.

In the “Chart of Emperors of the Past”, Sun Quan is the wielding tail

Experts believe that the tail originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty, and nobles often used jade carvings as a handle.

The ancients believed that the maiden was a big deer, and ordinary deer followed its comings and goings, and all actions were determined by the direction of the tail, so the Eastern Han Shi Dafu held the tail to show his identity.

From the beginning of the Wei state, the famous men formed a style of holding the tail and talking, and gradually formed a custom. However, from the archaeological finds,

At the beginning of its invention, it was more used for military command, and Zhuge Liang commanded the three armies, which was the fashion at that time.

So was there a feather fan used to direct the military at that time? Indeed there is.

Since the Han Dynasty, the mainstream fan is a fan made of bamboo and silk, and the feather fan is a specialty with strong local characteristics of Eastern Wu.

Su Shi’s “Nian Nu Jiao” said that “when Gongjin was in the distant past, Xiao Qiao was first married, majestic and heroic, lupine scarf, talking and laughing, the tree was ashes”, here it is very likely that Wu Guo Zhou Yu used a feather fan. And Zhuge Liang was the prime minister of the Shu state, and it was absolutely impossible to command the three armies with the Eastern Wu Yufan.


Sun Ji: “Waking Up from History”

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