Hujing: fox spirit.
Yandu: Song period name for present day Beijing, later made capital and called variously Yanjing, Beiping, Beijing.
Dongjing: Another name for Kaifeng, Henan Province, Capital of the Northern Song.
Xiangfu reign: 1008 CE.
Qidan (Liao Kingdom, centered on present day Liaoning Province) and Dazi Tartars: Non-Han peoples of the Northeast who, along with the Rujen (Jin Kingdom) presented Song China with tremendous military, political and diplomatic problems, at least from the Chinese point of view. After the Song, the Rujen Jin state survived Mongol domination of the area and finally took over China Proper, placing their leader Nurhachi on the Dragon Throne in 1644 with the politically correct dynastic title of Qing--liquid, water,yin-- dousing the flames of Ming-- brightness, fire, yang. These were countries like Japan and Korea; border peoples and their states reflecting Han culture, adapted for their own devices and tastes, with their own copies of the Chinese state cult and histories.
Wang Qinruo, 962-1025 CE: Style, Ding Guo. Court official of the Northern Song who opposed the preparations for war against the invading Qidan. Very bad historical reputation as one of the "Five Demons", (along with Ding Wei, whose downfall awaits at Beizhou...) and others at court. There is an account of this bizarre affair in the Song Shi, in Wang Qinruo's and Ding Wei's biography, 283, p5254 in the Twenty-Five Histories, Song Shi. Chen Yaosou is there too.
Zhu Neng is also the name of a Ming official known for supression of internal miltary revolt, and of course the author was aware of this. His biography is in the Ming Shi, 145, p7432 paragraph 4 in the 25 Histories.
Fuxi: Legendary first founder/king, 2852 BCE.
"Jiu Tian Changhe..."This poem is adapted from a Tang poem by Wang Wei.
"Gung Mo Si Dao" a quote from the Shang Shu/Shu Jing, the Book of History, one of the Five (extant) Classics, "Meng Di Lai..." an earliest story of such an omen in a dream.
huang bo: yellow silk, but the character 'bo' is a homophone fore another one in Huang Bo, the name of a Tang period Zen monk. Also the name of a yellow tree bark important in Daoism.
The Eunuch Lei Chonggong's biography can be read in the Song Shi, 468, p5671 paragraph 1 in the 25 Histories. He was relly involved in many of the bizarre happenings and intrigues of the "Heaven's Writings" Reign. In this novel, he is being used to satirize the power of eunuchs in Feng's time.
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