This legendary Chinese beauty Xi Shi is said to have been so beautiful that even when she made up her face she would still be cute. Described as being lovely with or without make-up and that her looks were only multiplied by the fact that she was a sweet, innocent soul, she is one of the famous “four beauties” in Chinese history. Xi-Shi was also a dancer who was sent as a “beauty trap” to take over a king’s country through the strategy of King Yue.
“The king of the Wu State was totally enchanted by Xishi at the first sight. When the king knew that Xishi was good at dancing, he ordered his people to build a long aisle, dig a big hole under the aisle and cover it with boards. Her skirts embroidered with bells, Xishi danced to the accompaniment of jingling. The king of the Wu State was crazy for Xishi and her dances. He called the dance as Sounding-Shoe-Dance and the aisle as Sounding-Shoe-Aisle. At last, the king of the Wu State lost his country for Xishi.”
Apparently Xi Shi’s beauty and grace made her perfect for a trap and the king had her thoroughly trained in royal etiquette.
She was ordered to follow minister Fan Li to the Prince of Wu to be presented as a gift from Yue. Along the way, the two fell in love (Xi Shi and Fan Li) and promised themselves to one another even though Xi Shi’s fate was sealed. Without losing sight of her goal, Xi Shi’s beauty bewitched Prince Fuchai of Wu and he became a puppet of sorts to her. This led to the ordering of General Wu Ziyi to commit suicide at the command of Fuchai thus enabling the King of Yue to invade Wu.
When the kingdom of Wu was conquered (all thanks to Xi Shi) the beautiful woman vanished. It is said that she was either drowned in the Yangtze River by the angry people of Wu or that she retired quietly to live with her lover Fan Li. It goes without saying that she is either considered a heroine or witch based on whose side you take Wu or Yue but her legend seems to be a positive one in the history of China. One thing is evident, this woman was lovely enough to cause a prince to kill his most powerful general… that is a scary type of lovely.
Read more about Xi Shi at: http://www.chinatown-online.com/cultureeye/common/four.htmSee some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.