Wang Huizhi and Yaodibu Ferry

Born in a noble family in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Wang Huizhi was a famous man of letters and calligrapher. Once he went by boat to Jiankang, the capital, and had the boat anchored by the Qinhuai River, seeing a horse-carriage passing by. As informed, the person sitting in the carriage was Huan Yi who was born in an official family. He was offered the official title of “Yongxiuxianhou” as well as “Jinjun” thanks to his exploits in taking part in Feishui Battle. He was good at music, making himself Number One in the region to the south of the Yangtze River. He had a Ketin flute produced in Caiyi and often played it. Having long heard about Huan Yi’s excellence in playing the flute, Wang Huizhi, as a stranger to Huan Yi, sent for someone to invite the latter to play it. Despite his noble position at that time, Huan Yi, admiring the talent of Wang Huizhi, got off the carriage, played the flute on a folded stool with the music “Three Stanzas of Plum Blossoms” and then left with the carriage. All was expressed in the music though they did not talk with each other, which is a nice story handed down in following generations that call this ferry “Yaodibu” (the ferry with flute-play invited ). The site of this ferry is located in the west of present-day Dongshuiguan. Yu Huai in the Qing Dynasty wrote a poem for it: “Helplessness is mixed with passionate attachment while a folded stool sees a graceful gesture. Over the Qinhuai River tonight, there sound the flute and Guzheng (a zither-like 21 stringed plucked musical instrument) ” Under Tongzhi reign in the Qing Dynasty, Xue Shiyu, a scholar, made an inscription on a horizontal board entitled “Stopping the boat to listen to the flute-play”, becoming a noted sign-board for the wine-shop in Qinhuai area in the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty.    


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