King KaoLie, Rinbukun/Lord LinWu and Kan Mei/Han Ming

Credits to SuryaNaga

King Kaolie of Chu

Ancestral Name: Mǐ (羋)

Clan Name: Xióng (熊)

Personal Name: Yuán (元) or Wán (完)

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King Kaolie of Chu was from 262 to 238 BC the king of the state of Chu during the late Warring States period of ancient China. He was born Xiong Yuan (熊元) or Xiong Wan (熊完), and King Kaolie was his posthumous title.

When he was younger, Prince Wan was political hostage in Qin for ten years. One of his father minister, Huang Xie, accompanied the prince during his stay in Qin. After King Qingxiang passed away, with help from Huang Xie, he was enthroned as the new king of Chu. He rewarded Huang Xie with the post of Counselor-in-chief, and enfeoffed him with the territory of Chunshen. Huang Xie later known as Lord Chunsen (Shunshinkun in manga), one of the four lords of warring states. After ruling for 25 years, he died in 238 BC and was succeeded by King You of Chu.

He is the current king of Chu in manga timeline.

Lord Linwu (Rinbukun)

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His name appeared in the Xunzi work, where he held debate with Lord Linwu about warfare before King Xiaocheng of Zhao. Xunzi argued based on Ru doctrine while Lord Linwu argued based on teaching military expertise such as Sun Tzu and Wu Qi.

Their debate could be read here: Lord Linwu and Xunzi’s debate on warfare

His name appeared also in anecdote “A Frightened Bird”. The story is as follow:

The king of Zhao sent his envoy, Wei Jia, to Chu to discuss their alliance against Qin. In a meeting with Lord Chunshen, prime minister of Chu, Wei Jia asked him who would lead Chu’s army.

“Lord Linwu will be the commander.”

Wei Jia frowned at Lord Linwu’s name. “I was fond of archery when I was young. If you don’t mind, I’d like to tell you a story about archery.”

“Please do.”

“One day General Geng Lei was accompanying the king of Wei on a hunting excursion. Seeing a wild goose come flying from the east, he said to the king, ‘I can shoot down the bird with an empty bow.’

“‘An empty bow? With no arrow?’

“‘Yes, Your Majesty.’

“At that moment the goose came near. Geng Lei raised his bow, aimed at it and pulled the string. Twang! The bird fell as though it had been hit by an arrow.

“The king was surprised. ‘How did you do that?’

“‘The bird was already wounded by an arrow.’

“‘How do you know?’

“‘I noticed it was flying with difficulty, falling behind its companions. Its painful calls told me it had been wounded. When I pulled the bowstring, the twang frightened it because it thought another arrow was coming. As it was making a desperate attempt to dodge the arrow, the old wound burst. So it fell from the sky.’

“Now to come back to what we were talking. Lord Linwu has been beaten by Qin’s army. He may have a lingering fear. If I were you, I wouldn’t reappoint him.”

In Zanguo Ce, Lord Linwu named as commander of Chu army for the proposed joint alliance against Qin. The fact that he was served Zhao in one time perhaps an indication that he was a wandering knight like common man back then.

 Han Ming (Kanmei)

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His name appeared in Zanguo Ce as one of Lord Chunshen’s primary retainers. There is a story when Han Ming present himself before Lord Chunshen.

After waiting three months for an interview with Lord Chunshen (a common practice when someone seeks a master to serve at that time), the Prime Minister of Chu, Han Ming, told a story equating himself to a ji 驥 “thoroughbred horse; virtuous person” being recognized by Bo Le (the famous horse tamer who served Duke Mu of Qin).

“You have heard of the great stallion Chi, have you not?’ asked Han Ming. “When Chi was very old, he was harnessed to a salt cart to pull it up Mount Taihang, His hooves grew weak and his haunches trembled, his tail was soaked and his flanks drenched till sweat dripped to the ground and mingled with lather from his withers. Midway he came to a halt. He heaved on the shafts but could no longer climb. Bo Le came upon him there and leaping from his chariot he cradled (the horse’s head) in his arms and wept. He took off his cape and covered the beast with it. Then Chi lowered his head and snorted, raised it and neighed with a sound that carried to the heavens—a sound as pure as chiming stones. And why? Because he saw that Bo Le truly knew him as he was.”

From little information about Han Ming, he wasn’t a general like historical Lord Linwu but instead a scholar. He appeared as articulate and intelligence person. Author perhaps make him a general in manga to fill a role of commander-in-chief of Chu army.

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