Skip to main content

Lord Jiang went fishing; those who want to be caught, get caught

Lord Jiang, before becoming the Lord Chancellor of the future King, went fishing with a hookless fishing rod. The future king walked by everyday and saw this old fisherman fishing with a hookless rod. One day, curiosity finally compelled him to go up and talked to this old fellow. The fellow told him that : "I am not fishing for fish, but I am fishing for man." You see, this old fellow is waiting for the right person to come along. Nowadays, the saying that Lord Jiang goes fishing simply implies that " those who wants to get caught, gets caught. "

Jiang Ziya (dates of birth and death unknown) was a Chinese historical and legendary figure who resided next to the Weishui River about 3,000 years ago. The region was the feudal estate of King Wen of Zhou. Jiang Ziya knew King Wen was very ambitious, so he hoped to get the king's attention and gain a position in his court.

He often went angling at the Weishui River, but he would fish in a bizarre way. He hung a straight hook, with no bait, three feet above the water. He over and over again said to himself, "Fish, if you are desperate to live, come and gulp down the hook by yourself."

Word of his outlandish way of fishing spread and it soon reached King Wen, who sent a soldier to bring Jiang to him. Jiang noticed the soldier coming, but paid no attention to him. He just continued with his fishing, and was soliloquising, "Fishing, fishing, no fish has been hooked—but shrimp is up to tomfoolery." The soldier reported this back to King Wen, who became more interested in Jiang.

King Wen then sent a bureaucrat to invite Jiang to appear at court. But again Jiang paid no attention to the invitation. He simply carried on fishing, saying, "Fishing, fishing, the big fish has not been hooked—but a small one is up to mischief."

Then King Wen went by himself and greeted him courteously and then asked:" Do you take pleasure in fishing?"
Jiang said:" Man of true worth takes pleasure in realizing his ambitions; the common man takes pleasure in doing his best for his affairs. My fishing is very much like it."

After conversations King Wen realized Jiang might be a great genius so he went to invite Jiang personally, and brought many magnificent gifts with him. Jiang saw the king's earnest interest in him and agreed to work for him.

Jiang aided King Wen and his son in their overthrow of the Shang Dynasty; they established the Zhou Dynasty in its stead. Jiang was given the title hao (roughly analogous to a European marquis, although it can also mean "lord" or "nobleman" in a generic sense) of Taigong so people called him Jiang Taigongwang. This was later shortened to Jiang Taigong.
His treatise on military strategy, Six Secret Strategic Teachings, is considered one of the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China.


Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a de

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was