ClockWednesday, 06/03/2024 14:17

Story of the eight couplets at Xuong Lang

TTH.VN - The tomb of Emperor Thieu Tri (Cu Chanh village, Thuy Bang commune, Hue City) known as Xuong Lang, is a majestic tomb complex with beautiful landscapes in Hue Ancient Capital. Over time, the structure has suffered significant damage.

Tracing Han - Nom documentsPreserving and promoting the value of Sino - Demotic Characters heritageDigitalizing precious Han – Nom (Sino-Vietnamese characters) documents in Quang Phu commune, Quang Dien districtOpening ceremony of calligraphy exhibition “Imperial City of Hue in Poetry - Emperor Thieu Tri and Collection of Ngu de Do Hoi Verses”

In this issue, Thua Thien Hue Weekly would like to introduce a series of photos taken by the group "Tan Do Thanh Hieu Co" (New ‘Bulletin of the Friends of Ancient Hue’), telling the story about successfully deciphering the 8 couplets in front gate of the resting place area of Xuong Lang.

Nguyen Phong, a member of the group, shared that with these 8 couples, the majority of Han Nom researchers in Hue were not able to identify the characters on the couplets due to very blurry and low-quality documents. Phong's group initially had no intention of participating until they came across a comment on social media that “ignited” their pride. However, while the Sino-characters on 7 of the 8 couplets were clear, deciphering the remaining couplet was nigh impossible as 5 out of 10 characters in the photo were obscured by leaves. Undeterred, the group continued to deconstruct the texts into individual characters, digitizing them to identify the strokes, and miraculously, they were discovered to be quoted from Confucian classics. Over a month ago, “Tan Do Thanh Hieu Co” officially confirmed the successful decoding of the 5 obscured characters. This means that 100% of the Sino-characters in the 8 couplets engraved on this gate are now clear. The entire set of findings has been handed over to the conservation unit of Xuong Lang.

“The literary heritage on the architecture of Xuong Lang is invaluable. People who understand Sino-characters would want to comprehend the essence left by the Emperor when they visit the site. If the restoration adapts and attaches characters that were not originally chosen by the Emperors, it would be quite wrong and ignoble....” Phong recounts a comment that sparked the group's pride, and he is confident: “Our group will try every means possible to assist the conservation unit in fully realizing the poetic significance of this gate, from its content to form."

Aerial view of Xuong Lang 
 The inside and outside of the pavilions with 7/8 couplets completed (At this time, the eighth couplet with 5 characters obscured by leaves has not been deciphered)
A couplet is fully read thanks to the digitization of old photos 
 Field survey
 The couplet in the obscured column when fully deciphered
By Thua Thien Hue Weekly
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Solution harmonizing with heritage sought

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Solution harmonizing with heritage sought
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