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Yang Yuhuan(719-756), was known as one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history. Her beauty was described by a large number of poets. People still have strong curiosity about this grace and beautiful woman today.
Yang Yuhuan was born in Sichuan Province in 719. She had learnt music and dancing since she was young. When she was 17, because of her beauty and great talent in music and dancing, she was chosen by Consort Wu and married with Consort Wu and Emperor Xuanzong's son Li Mao. Li Mao loved her very much and they had five years' happy time together.
Nevertheless, Emperor Xuanzong coveted Yang Yuhuan's beauty. In order to avoid the criticisms from the people, he commanded Yang to become a Taoist nun with the name Taizhen. Yang Yuhuan moved into the palace as a Taoist nun for a brief time, before Emperor Xuanzong let her become the imperial concubine. After the Emperor Xuanzong made a pet of Yang, Yang got a very high position in the palace, and her family started to flourish and became noble and powerful gradually.
Yang Yuhuan was not just beautiful; she was expert in playing the lute, dancing and singing. That was the reason why Emperor Xuanzong favored her so much. When she rode a horse, the powerful eunuch Gao Lishi would whip for her. 700 laborers were conscripted to sew fabrics for her. The officials and generals were eager to flatter her by offering her unusual and exquisite treasures. She loved litchi very much; litchi was a kind of fruit which only was produced in the south. However, the capital she lived was in the north. In order to let Yang eat fresh litchi, many officials tried their best to transport litchi from the south. The people criticized that the officials used their power to flatter the concubine instead of helping the people have a good life stealthily; a poet even wrote a poem to satirize.
The interesting thing is though Yang Yuhuan was favored by the emperor, she didn't become a queen. There may be two reasons. The first is Emperor Xuanzong considered Yang was his son's wife; it was him that coveted Yang's beauty and snatched her from his son. If he let Yang become the queen, the relationship between he and his son would be tense. The second reason is Yang Yuhuan didn't have a child with Emperor Xuanzong. In the feudal society, giving birth to a son for the emperor was the most important precondition to be a queen. Although Emperor Xuanzong loved Yang so much, he had no ability to bear the officials' criticism. He was afraid that if he let Yang become the queen, the officials would be resentful, even rebelled. So Yang Yuhuan didn't become the queen.
There are many stories about Emperor Xuanzong of Tang and Yang Yuhuan, some of which are romantic love stories. Some people do not like the manner about Emperor Xuanzong. People think how a bad man the Emperor Xuanzong was that he made his son's wife become his wife. No matter how the Emperor was like, today, we'd like to talk about their love stories.
At first, Yang Yuhuan was Tang Xuanzong's daughter-in-law. At that time, one of Emperor Xuanzong's wives died. He felt so sad. One day, he saw Yang by chance. He found that Yuan was so beautiful and smart that he was deeply attracted by the charming woman. Yang was very gentle. She made Emperor Xuanzong feel comfortable. Then he fell in love with her. He spent many days and the whole bag of tricks to make Yang become his wife.
Emperor Xuanzong loved Yang so much that he did all he could do to please this queen of hearts.
Yang was fond of bathing. She enjoyed the bathing time. To satisfy his lover, every October, Emperor Xuanzong took her to the Huaqing Chi where was famous for the hot spring, and until the next February, they went back to the palace.
Yang liked to eat litchi, but at that time litchi were very rare. Only at the south had the litchi. The traffic was not as convenient as today's. Transporting the litchi from south to north at the limited time was really difficult. Most people didn't dare to accept this mission. However, the Emperor Xuanzong must satisfy his love and he spent a lot of many and energies to make this transport possible and make litchi stay fresh. For Yang, Emperor Xuanzong could sacrifice anything just for her one smile. Her happiness was his most comfort.
We all know that in the feudal society, the emperor had rights to marry as many wives as he wanted. When one of those wives made a mistake, she would be punished or never see the emperor again, even be killed. When we read some books about the history of Yang Yu Huan, we will find that Emperor Xuanzong just let Yang Yuhuan go back home when she made some big mistakes.
Nowadays, still a large plenty of people doubt the love between Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Yu huan. Many people think Yang was a bad woman. However, in our views, the definition on Yang is too absolute. We should see the woman in different ways. When Yuan Yu Huan married Emperor Xuanzong, he was very old, and his wife was just died for a while. He felt very lonely and sad. Yang's appearance was a coincidence. The emperor loved her first, and he made Yang's life as he liked. How should a woman do at that time? Resistance could not make something changed. What she could do was just obeying the emperor's arrangement. The elegant woman, she was so young and still full of energy. She was smart. Both of them loved music deeply. Yang brought Emperor Xuanzong such a different feeling and with Yang's company, he was happy. The marriage between them was not her fault. We all know the women in ancient had no right to say "no". They had no choice but accept. Yang Yu Huan was a miserable woman. She died when she 38 years old. She was so young when she ended up her life. She died for her husband, for the whole country. She had no right and chance to arrange her dreaming future. When she was the Emperor Xuanzong's daughter- in-law, she had a happy time with her first husband. However, the emperor wanted her. She had no choice but to say yes. When she fell in love with the emperor, their common interests made their lives more wonderful and unforgettable. Nevertheless, when they faced the big challenge, the emperor gave up her life to make sure his own safety.
Lady Yang was a La Favorita of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. She was drop-dead gorgeous and endowed with good looks. Besides, she was very clever. She was good at not only classical music, but also dancing, especially playing lute. Because of her beauty and artistic talent, Emperor Xuanzong loved her very much.
In order to win Yang's favor, when it was on the season that litchi ripened, Emperor Xuanzong always dispatched someone to carrying the fresh litchi fruit with dew back from Sichuan through the pothouses in every five miles or ten miles. The enjoyment of the palace was very luxurious. The rarer the delicacy and tribute were, the more the governor wanted to get. In addition to litchi fruit, there was a kind of wine which was labeled to the palace's wine by Emperor Tang.
It was an affecting sight when she tasted the litchi fruit in Huaqing Palace. Often when Emperor Xuanzong drunk the wine with Yang, the impression of Yang in his mind of course was "look back and flash a smile appear hundreds of charms, every palace disappears the color". Li Bai also had a dedicated poem to Yang which said "clouds want to clothes and flowers want to countenance, spring wind sway the railing and show the beauty". Li Bai connected Yang's beauty with her famous and charming smile, and after taking a sip of the delicious wine which was paid as a tribute, the beautiful smile was called Lunong smile.
Yang's appearance surpassed all the other women, but the most attractive point to Tang was her consummate music and dance talent. Tang had the same interests, so he treated her as his bosom friend and spiritual mate.
Emperor Xuanzong was good at melody. He had research of music and dance, a lot of nobles had been trained by him. To this artistic emperor, Yang must have limitless fascination. Once, Emperor Xuanzong suggested that holding a concert with both inland and Western Regions' musical instruments, Yang coordinated with him actively. At that moment, Yang was playing lute, while the Emperor Xuanzong was holding a drum. They sang and danced to the top at their bent all the night. Yang was also good at musical stone. No one could surpass her. So Emperor Tang ordered a artisan to make a precious musical stone with special materials and gave her as a present to please her.
The fourth year of Tianbao, Emperor Xuanzong appointed Yang as his La Favorita. Her status was equal to empress. Since Yang entered into the palace, she never talked about government affair of the court and obeyed the feudal court's system. Besides, she didn't attend the fight about power at all; she just won Emperor Xuanzong's favor making use of her brightness, beauty, mild and artistic talent. Maybe living in a luxurious life with the emperor's love was her only pursuit. Yang was sent outside the palace twice because she irritated the Emperor. She also had deviant relation with An Lushan, but Tang didn't want to part with her at all in the end. Until the Turmoil of Anshi, Emperor Xuanzong ran away only with Yang, but Yang committed suicide finally at her age of thirty-eight.
Today, lots of places of historical interests have a close connection with Yang. There are many tourists coming to visit to know more about this queen of hearts every year. These places are famous for Yang's pasts.
Yang, as a pretty woman, was suffering a life which was totally different from the normal women. There are many hypothesizes about her whereabouts and death, and people give different opinions to her as well.
In the early years, most people who knew Yang thought she was a bad woman, and her existence in the palace was the reason that why Tang Dynasty went broke. The most popular saying is that Emperor Xuanzong was addicted to Yang's beauty, and he hang around with Yang every day. Yang made Xuanzong became corrupt and ignored the politics. So the rebellion rooted and flourished gradually and imperceptibly, when Xuanzong was fooling around with Yang. Then the rebellion of Anshi broke out, and Tang Dynasty became wane after its long time flourishing. So many people think if Yang didn't appear in Xuanzong's life, Tang Dynasty wouldn't be wane that soon. The beauty of Yang was the dagger which ruined the flourishing Tang Dynasty.
There is another reason that people blame Yang. As Yang was doted by Xuanzong, her brother was asked to work for the court, too. Her brother was a guy who knew little about politics and was addicted to gamble. In order to please Yang, Xuanzong gave her brother a position in the court. What her brother did to the court was a real reason that leaded Tang Dynasty to the decay.
On the other hand, after years studying of Tang Dynasty's history, many historians hold an opinion that Yang had nothing with the decay of Tang Dynasty. And we prefer to this idea.
Yang was just a beautiful woman, she did have a luxurious life with Xuanzong, but she also had a bitter result. When Xuanzong was down, her life was over, too. Everyone knows the story between Yang and Xuanzong, knows how her beauty affected Xuanzong. However, seldom knows what Yang's life was like before she met Xuanzong. She had married with someone and lived in a normal life, but because she was pretty, she was selected to serve Xuanzong, a man much older than her. She lived in a good condition, but she had to serve, even donate all herself to the other man. At last, she was asked to die, to die for the man she had served during all her wonderful days. Yang was the scapegoat of Xuanzong. So Yang wasn't a lucky woman who was spoiled by the king, but a miserable woman who became the feudal society's sacrificial lamb.
Many historians has pointed out that Yang was innocent with the Tang Dynasty's decay. If we must find some relationships between Yang and the decay, we just can say that Yang was one of the reflections of the feudal society's rot. Tang Dynasty's decay was the fate. The decay had been doomed at the very beginning of the Tang Dynasty. No matter which dynasty in the history, they all had the same dying problem, because they were all feudal dynasty. The politics of the feudal society was the root of every dynasty's decay. We can't owe the fault to a delicate woman.
History is the one which is both covered and developed. Every time has its end line, and the result was affected by several of things, not a single human. We should see the history or the historic men objectively, which will do good to us when we study our history.