Friday, September 19, 2008

Zheng Keshuang

Zheng Keshuang was the son of Zheng Jing and a grandson of Koxinga. He succeeded his father Zheng Jing in 1681 as third King of and surrendered Taiwan to Qing Dynasty forces in 1683.

Keshuang was only 12 years old when his father died and he was appointed heir apparent. Within two years his government surrendered to the Qing.

Wei Xiaobao

Wei Xiaobao is the main character in Jinyong's last novel ''The Deer and the Cauldron'' .


In early pirated copies by 南琪出版社 in Taiwan, Wei Xiaobao has another name ''Ren Datong'' , and his mother was ''Ren Chunhua'' , ''Xiaoguizi'' was ''Xiaozhuzi'' .

In John Minford's translation, Wei Xiaobao has an English localized name ''Trinket''.


* Family name: Wéi
* Given name: Xiǎobǎo
* Gender: Male
* Father: ''Unknown''
* Mother: Wei Chunhua .
* Masters: Chen Jinnan , Emperor Kangxi , Princess Changping
* Wives: A Ke , Shuanger , Fang Yi , Princess Jianning , Mu Jianping , Su Quan , Zeng Rou
* Sons: Wei Hutou with A Ke, Wei Tongchui with Su Quan
* Daughter: Wei Shuangshuang with Princess Jianning


Wei Xiaobao was born around 1656 in ''Lichun Yuan'' , brothel in Yangzhou. His mother Wei Chunhua was a prostitute. When Xiaobao was 12 years old, he met Mao Shiba, and went to Beijing with him. One day, Mao and Wei were caught by eunuch Hai Dafu, and came into Forbidden City. Wei Xiaobao killed young eunuch Xiaoguizi and lived with Hai Dafu in the imperial palace. He met young Emperor Kangxi by accident.

Notable actors who have played Wei Xiaobao

* 文雪兒
* 江禹

Wei Tongchui

Wei Tongchui is the younger son of Wei Xiaobao in Jinyong's last novel ''The Deer and the Cauldron''.

Wei Tongchui's was born in Tongchi Island. His father was Wei Xiaobao, mother Su Quan.


He was named after a game Pai Gow . Tongchui is the name of tiles with 1 and 6 points.

Wei Shuangshuang

Wei Shuangshuang is the daughter of Wei Xiaobao in Jinyong's last novel ''The Deer and the Cauldron''.

Wei Shuangshuang's was born in Tongchi Island. Her father was Wei Xiaobao, mother Princess Jianning.


She was named after a game Pai Gow .


Jinyong revised the novel and Wei Shuangshuang was elder than her two brothers. In the old editions, Shuangshuang was younger.

Wei Hutou

Wei Hutou is the elder son of Wei Xiaobao in Jinyong's last novel ''The Deer and the Cauldron''.

Wei Hutou's was born in Tongchi Island. His father was Wei Xiaobao, mother A Ke.


He was named after a game Pai Gow . Hutou is the name of tiles with 6 and 5 points.

The Deer and the Cauldron

The Deer and the Cauldron or The Duke of Mount Deer is the last novel written by Jinyong.

The novel was initially published as a , the first installment being published on October 24, 1969 in ''Ming Pao'' and running for 2 years, 11 months, until September 23, 1972.

The choosing of the name of novel, which literally meant ''Tale of the Deer and the Cauldron'', was alluded to in a scene of the first chapter showing a conversation between a scholar and his young son.

The scholar recounted that both the deer and the cauldron served as metaphors for the central plains and the empire.

It was written in volume 92 of the historical text Book of Han "The deer lost by Qin was hunted by all under Heavens , an illustration of the rise of numerous rivalling warlords contesting for supremacy to capture the prize, the empire lost by .

During the Zhou Dynasty, there were the , symbolic of the Divine Mandate of rulership. Zuo Zhuan recorded an account where the ruler of most powerful State of Chu enquired the weight of the cauldron from a Zhou minister, signalling his covetting the overlordship technically possessed by the Zhou king.

Put together, the title referred to novel's background where the ethnic-Han subjects of the defunct Ming struggled to restore their own rule on the empire against the nascent Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty.

Towards the end of the novel, the protagonist Wei XiaoBao, an ethnic-Han with close ties to both the young Manchu emperor and to the anti-Qing ethnic-Han rebels, and hitherto been delicately balancing his divided loyalties, came to personify the prize himself when he was pressured by both sides to make the crucial decision which would determine the fate of the empire.


This story is centered around a witty, sly, illiterate and lazy protagonist, Wei Xiaobao, born in a Yangzhou brothel. Through a series of adventures- or misadventures, the teenage scamp made his way from the southern playground of Yangzhou to Beijing, the seat of Manchurian imperial power. There, he was kidnapped and taken to the palace where he impersonated an eunuch. Xiaobao bumbled his way into a fateful encounter with the young Kangxi Emperor and they developed an unlikely friendship.

Early in his life at the Forbidden City, he met with Chen Jinnan, the leader of the patriotic Heaven and Earth Society, one of the anti-Qing resistance underground organizations. He became one of its Lodge Masters and the society's "mole" inside the palace. Later he was kidnapped to Snake Island, home of the sinister Mystic Dragon Sect, where he ended up as Mystic Dragon's White Dragon Marshal.

By sheer luck and cleverness, but underhanded strategies, he managed to accomplish a number of seemingly impossible achievements. He played a major role in disposing the cruel and power-hungry Oboi, rescuing Kangxi's father, Emperor Shunzhi and reuniting father and son, destroying the Mystic Dragons Sect, weakening the uprising raised by renegade general Wu Sangui, campaigning against Russia, and reaching a border treaty with Russian regent Sophia Alekseyevna and Fedor Golovin. He was also directly responsible for introducing Kangxi to many generals, who would become highly distinguished in the battlefields and very grateful to Xiaobao.

Throughout the story, Xiaobao exhibited devout loyalty to both Kangxi and the Society. Twice, Xiaobao instinctively threw himself between Kangxi and the assassins. He rescued many people of the resistance, including his master Chen Jinnan, on numerous occasions. He undermined the resistance's attempts on Kangxi's life, while using his influence in the court to keep the society from the hands of Manchurian authority.

For his numerous accomplishments, he was rewarded with immense wealth, ever-rising titles of nobility by Kangxi. In the mean time, he also earned respect from Heaven and Earth Society for his works against Wu Sangui and other foreign enemies.

Ultimately, Xiaobao's conflicting identities came to an explosive end. Kangxi revealed that he knew Xiaobao's relationship with Heaven and Earth Society, and forced Xiaobao to choose between him and the society. Although Kangxi still considered Xiaobao a loyal friend and subject, Xiaobao was eventually forced into exile for refusing to betray the society. Only years later was he allowed back to help Kangxi deal with the conflict at the border with Russia.

In the finale of the novel, Xiaobao realized that he would never be able to reconcile between the two opposing causes, and his divided friendships were tearing him apart. He chose, instead, to walk out on it all- taking his immerse wealth, mother, seven beautiful wives and three children for a life of peace and tranquility away from Kangxi and the society.

Themes and story review

This wuxia novel is unique in that the main character has very poor gongfu and was by no means a person of integrity. Xiaobao is a greedy, lazy, and anti-hero. He is unlike any of Jin Yong's previous Wuxia protagonists, who laugh at death and fight for what they believe to be a noble cause. Xiaobao's cause is his own advancement. But even if he did not believe in their cause, he had genuine loyalty and generosity to his friends.

The lack of absolute good and absolute evil in the real world is echoed in The Deer and the Cauldron. There is no nationalistic tone that is a prominent part of all of Jin Yong's previous novels. In the trilogy of The Legend of the Condor Heroes and even The Book and the Sword , the northern invaders were the obvious "bad guys", war-mongering tribes who preyed on the fertile Central Plains whilst the Chinese Han-dominated court was vulnerable.

Instead, in The Deer and the Cauldron, Jin Yong had grayed out the traditional black-and-white, Han versus Barbarians line. The foreign Manchurian emperor is portrayed as an intelligent, caring ruler doing his best for the people who did not always accept him, although ruthless at times . On the other hand, the patriotic anti-Qing-pro-Ming resistance had placed their hopes in the incompetent and spoiled Zheng Keshuang of Taiwan, fighting for an aspiration that did not echo with the wishes of the common people. This style was in direct opposition to the stance that Jin Yong had taken previously.

Towards the end of the book, Xiaobao made a statement to the effect of "it doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, a cat that catches mice is a good cat" . Does it matter the race, colour or creed of the leader, as long as he or she has the best interests of the people at heart?

Admittedly, the Manchurians indeed killed tens of thousands of Han people and ravaged the country, the reason which caused the Heaven and Earth Society to rebel for the days of Han Chinese rulers. In time, they forgot that the common people wanted only to live in peace and prosperity. Their zealousness reflects the world where people are divided violently along religious or ethnic lines.

The realism, down-to-earth ideas and timelessness of the themes of the novel, contributes to its success, with some fans claiming that it is Jin Yong's best book.

English language translation

Jinyong's novel has been translated into English by John Minford, published in three volumes from 1997 to 2002. Minford is an Honorary Research Fellow at Lingnan University, Chair Professor of Chinese at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Chair Professor at the University of Auckland, Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Translation Society, and translator of numerous Chinese works, including the famous Chinese work of military strategy, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" and the renowned classic "The Story of the Stone". Several minute details were paraphrased and omitted in the translation, presumably for the western audience unfamiliar with wuxia novels.

Works based on the novel

There are also books to examine the office-politic skills displayed by the main characters and their modern day applications:
* 情境鹿鼎记, ISBN 7-80207-108-9
* 总裁韦小宝, ISBN 7-80673-728-6
* 破译韦小宝, ISBN 7-5048-4705-4
* 串烤韦小宝, ISBN 7-80661-929-1
* 人精韦小宝的混世法宝 ISBN 7-80100-576-7


There are several television and film adaptations of the novel; all of which have modified the original storyline.

TV series

* Hong Kong starring 文雪兒
* "The Duke of the Mount Deer" Hong Kong TVB - starring and Andy Lau; theme sung by the late Leslie Cheung
* Taiwan
* Hong Kong TVB - starring Jordan Chan
* - starring Dicky Cheung
* 2007 - mainland China - directed by Zhang Jizhong, starring Huang Xiaoming


* Tale Of A Eunuch - starring Wong Yu as Wei XiaoBao and Gordon Liu as Kang Xi
* Royal Tramp Hong Kong - directed by Wong Jing; starring Stephen Chow.
* Royal Tramp II - starring Stephen Chow
* Hero - Beyond the Boundary of Time
* Wais Romance

Video games

There are also several of the novel.
* 鹿鼎記
* 鹿鼎記
* 鹿鼎記II

Other games based on the novel:
* J2ME game for phones:
** 情圣韦小宝
** 韦小宝笑传
* Online games:
** 金庸群侠传Online
* and etc.


Songgotu was a politician during the reign of Emperor Kangxi. He was an uncle of the emperor's official wife, Empress Xiaocheng of the Heseri clan who died during childbirth. He was the son of Sonin, one of the four regents appointed to assist the young Emperor Kangxi during his minority. He was the great-uncle of the crown prince, Prince Yinreng.

He helped the young Emperor Kangxi to get rid of Oboi, a regent during the reign of the young emperor. Gradually, he gained more and more power and became one of the most prominent officials under Kangxi. He was involved in a long power struggle with Mingzhu, another leading official at that time. He also acted as a diplomat and signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia. Songgotu was later found guilty of plotting to murder Emperor Kangxi, along with a series of corruption charges, and was executed.