维基百科Yue Fei and Wuhan (Part 1)
“Looking across the Central Plains, beyond the wild smoke are many cities. Thinking about the past, they were adorned by flowers and willow trees, with boats decorated with phoenixes and pavilions etched with dragons. Dances and songs were plentiful in the gardens and palaces. Now, waves of dust by the enemy’s cavalry run amok outside the capital’s walls.
Where are the soldiers? They are fighting on the battlefield, blood moisturizing their swords. Where are the civilians? They are falling prey to the battles, with their bodies strewn across valleys. Where is the nation of the past? Thousands of villages are destitute. When can I head out to defeat the enemies and show loyalty to the country? My whip is pointed straight north. Once we cross the Yangtze River, sweep away the barbarians and recover the Central Plains, I wish to return here to continue my tour of Hanyang and ride the Yellow Crane.”
The above is Yue Fei’s poem “Emotions Ascending the Yellow Crane Tower.” This timeless Song-style poem reflects his nostalgia for Hanyang (a district in present day Wuhan City). The Song Dynasty and generations of people of Wuhan have deep respect and remembrance of Yue Fei.
Yue Fei, courtesy name Pengju, lived from the years 1103 – 1141 AD. He was born in Tangyin County of Xiangzhou, now a part of China's Henan Province. Yue Fei is well remembered in Chinese history as a great general and national hero of the Southern Song Dynasty.
Yue Fei was a diligent student in his younger years. He developed good skills in the martial arts and joined the army at the age of 19. Shortly afterwards, his father passed away, so Yue Fei left the army to go home and mourn his father.
In 1126, the Jin Dynasty (Jurchens) invaded the Southern Song Dynasty. Yue Fei joined the army again and thus resumed his military career to defend the country. Living by the principle to “serve the country with utmost loyalty,” he carried out the mission to take back the land that was occupied by the Jin invaders and to abolish the shame brought by the Humiliation of Jingkang. His army “Yue Army” was well trained with strong military discipline where they “would rather die of hunger than rob people, and die of cold than tear people's houses down to burn.” Yue Fei's army continuously defeated the Jin army and was deeply loved by the people.
In his military career, Yue Fei directed 126 battles without losing a single one. He is a true “forever-victorious general.” The Jin army was so afraid of Yue Fei's army that they exclaimed, “To shake the mountains is easy, but to shake Yue Fei's army is barely possible.”
During his lifetime, Yue Fei spent seven years (1134 – 1141 AD) stationed in the city of Wuhan. It was the base from which the Yue Army carried out its northern expeditions. Yue Fei embarked on four expeditions from Ezhou (present day Wuchang), thus establishing deep historical connections with Wuhan. According to archeological confirmations, the general headquarters was situated in present day Simenkou of Old Wuchang City, the military training grounds were at the present day Small East Gate’s Sand Lake, the barracks were at the Big East Gate’s Shaihu Lake, the stables were at the Matiying neighborhood, and the naval training base was set at Yuejiazui outside Old Wuchang City. It was in Wuhan where Yu Fei reached the apex of his life. Here, he established his career and achievements. At age 32, he was named a Duke. In 1178, Yue Fei was posthumously named Wumu. Yue Fei’s highest title was “Song Yue King of E” (or King of Ezhou in Song Dynasty). In the almost 900 years since his death, many historic sites, legends, folklore and stories related to Yue Fei have been left in Wuchang and Hanyang. Today, there are reminders such as Yue Fei Pavilion, Yue Song, Yue Mei, Yuejiazui and Yue Fei Street.
According to historical records, Yue Fei's mother, Mrs. Yao, died at his military base in Ezhou (in Hubei Province) in March 1136. Deciding to resign his official position, Yue Fei left without reporting to the emperor. He carried her coffin to Lu Mountain, Jiangxi Province and submitted a report to request approval to stay in mourning for his mother. However, the emperor ordered him to come back to serve the country. Thus, Yue Fei “converted his filial piety to loyalty (to the emperor and the country)” and returned to his military post in Xiangyang, Hubei in June 1136. That August, he marched northward again deep into the territory of the Qi Kingdom, a puppet government of the Jin that was made up of traitors of the Song Dynasty. Yue Fei recaptured several counties. In September, he had to retreat to Ezhou due to lack of reinforcements. Unable to reach his aspirations, Yue Fei wrote the eternal poem A River of Red.
In November, the Qi Kingdom was defeated and Ezhou was recovered. The place where Yue Fei’s mother passed away in Wuchang was named “Loyalty and Filial Piety Gate.”