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May 2011

Piggy Banks Cause Embarrassment

An embarrassed government education department in Taiwan had to issue an apology in regard to piggy banks it had given some children. According to a report in The China Post, the mayor of New Taipei City held a “summit” for elementary school students on April 29th “to promote financial responsibility and planning for their future”. [...]

Zhong Kui as Peking Opera character

Zhong Kui lived during the reign (712-756 AD) of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. However, just at the moment he achieved the pinnacle of success which would guarantee him fame and fortune, he suffered such misfortune that he took his own life. Over the centuries, a mythical Zhong Kui evolved who, now immortal, protects [...]

Chang Sheng Bao Ming

I received the following inquiry: “I have been trying to decipher, without total success, a chinese cast bronze charm – my very tentative guess would be Ming Dynasty – and wondered if I could send along a digital image of the two sides? On the front side two of the characters are (I believe) for [...]


Huo Bu Charm

Huo Bu Charm thumbnail

I frequently receive correspondence from people who have a coin or charm they would like identified. The following is my reply to such an inquiry and I have attached a rubbing of the charm for reference. It is a charm. However, it is based on an ancient form of spade money called a “Huo Bu”.  [...]