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Imperial yellow riding jacket and the likes


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#1 snowybeagle

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 03:18 AM

Was imperial bestowed clothing items such as Huáng Mă Guà 黄马褂 (Imperial yellow riding jacket) unique only to Qing Dynasty or were other equivalents in other dynasties? (马褂 was unique to Qing, but I am thinking perhaps of other robes in other dynasties).

Did the wearer merely enjoy an honour or did it grant the wearer special priviliges or protection or power over others?

Edited by snowybeagle, 13 August 2006 - 08:41 PM.


#2 yongzheng freak

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 06:53 AM

Was imperial bestowed clothing items such as Huang Ma Gua 黄马褂 (Imperial yellow riding jacket) unique only to Qing Dynasty or were other equivalents in other dynasties? (马褂 was unique to Qing, but I am thinking perhaps of other robes in other dynasties).

Did the wearer merely enjoy an honour or did it grant the wearer special priviliges or protection or power over others?


From what I gathered, Huang Ma Gua is an honour bestowed upon a person who has rendered exemplary service to the court or to the emperor. The wearer is also exempted from kneeling to anyone besides the emperor.
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#3 Centaur

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 12:56 AM

From what I gathered, Huang Ma Gua is an honour bestowed upon a person who has rendered exemplary service to the court or to the emperor. The wearer is also exempted from kneeling to anyone besides the emperor.


I think it also demands that others kneel before him, as a sign of respect to the yellow jacket.... something like representing the Emperor?

#4 nee

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 01:27 PM

i remember this very old tv series about a Red Flower Society fighting the Qing. one of the series' antagonists, a qing general, was given sort of a yellow jacket by the emperor. my cousin, many years later, told me that due to more recent historical research they never did that- anyone not royal or something liek that wearing anything yellow was prone for execution.

#5 wlee15

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:13 PM

i remember this very old tv series about a Red Flower Society fighting the Qing. one of the series' antagonists, a qing general, was given sort of a yellow jacket by the emperor. my cousin, many years later, told me that due to more recent historical research they never did that- anyone not royal or something liek that wearing anything yellow was prone for execution.


During the Qing dynasty they're several shades of yellow that were restricted. The most important shade of yellow called Ming Huang was the most prestigious color and was reserved for the Emperor as well the Empress on certain occasions. Beneth Ming Huang was Almond Yellow which was officially reserved for the Crown Prince(although the Qing dynasty had only one true Crown Prince Yin Reng son of the Kangxi Emperor) and was essentially a lighter shade of Ming Huang. There were also Golden Yellow(essentially Orange), and greenish yellow that were given to favored subjects and consorts.

Getting back to the question of the riding jacket I managed to find a little bit of information on the chinese wikipedia site.

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/黃馬褂

According to site there were three types of yellow riding jackets. The first was worn by officials and retainers when the Emperor made trips outside the palace, and could only be worn for such a occasion. The second version may be given during the Emperor's annual hunts, and was awarded to archer with great skills and hunters who offered prized animals to the Emperor. Again the jacket can be only worn during these hunts.
The third type was given to people who have offered great service the nation and could be worn any time that such as jacket would be normally worn. According to the site this type only appear during Daoguang's era and probably did not exist prior to this time.

#6 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 01:56 AM

Was imperial bestowed clothing items such as Huáng Mă Guà 黄马褂 (Imperial yellow riding jacket) unique only to Qing Dynasty or were other equivalents in other dynasties? (马褂 was unique to Qing, but I am thinking perhaps of other robes in other dynasties).

Did the wearer merely enjoy an honour or did it grant the wearer special priviliges or protection or power over others?


Zunjing de Snowybeagle Xian Sheng,

Hmm, you have raised a very interesting topic!

I know that Huang Ma Gua was unique to the Qing Dynasty; however, I would assume that there were equivalences in other dynasties. I am not certain about the historical validity of this, but I remember seeing a Judge Bao series where Judge Bao was bestowed a special sword by the Emperor, which enabled him to execute murderers without having to present the issues to the Emperor first. Also, were not the wives of great generals in the Song Dynasty bestowed a golden dragon cane, which symbolized power and authority even over the Emperor? In addition, did not some Emperors award their most loyal subjects with a “death exempt” medallion?

If you have some answers, then please help me out!

Of course, the wearer enjoyed the honor, and was granted special privileges, protection, and power as well.

Huang Ma Guan was a great honor bestowed upon a person, who had rendered exemplary service to the Empire or the Emperor. The wearer was exempted from kneeling to anyone besides the Emperor. In addition, it was mandatory for others to kneel in front of the wearer since the Huang Ma Guan symbolized the Emperor through the color yellow.

I recall watching a TV series where Emperor Yong Zheng granted the great General Niu with a yellow jacket. However, I don’t believe this yellow jacket was called Huang Ma Guan, but since the series I have seen was Vietnamese-dubbed, I am not so certain if the translations were done accurately or not. I really hope that you know what I am talking about. Hehehe!

Xie Xie,

#7 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 02:02 AM

During the Qing dynasty they're several shades of yellow that were restricted. The most important shade of yellow called Ming Huang was the most prestigious color and was reserved for the Emperor as well the Empress on certain occasions. Beneth Ming Huang was Almond Yellow which was officially reserved for the Crown Prince(although the Qing dynasty had only one true Crown Prince Yin Reng son of the Kangxi Emperor) and was essentially a lighter shade of Ming Huang. There were also Golden Yellow(essentially Orange), and greenish yellow that were given to favored subjects and consorts.

Getting back to the question of the riding jacket I managed to find a little bit of information on the chinese wikipedia site.

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/黃馬褂

According to site there were three types of yellow riding jackets. The first was worn by officials and retainers when the Emperor made trips outside the palace, and could only be worn for such a occasion. The second version may be given during the Emperor's annual hunts, and was awarded to archer with great skills and hunters who offered prized animals to the Emperor. Again the jacket can be only worn during these hunts.
The third type was given to people who have offered great service the nation and could be worn any time that such as jacket would be normally worn. According to the site this type only appear during Daoguang's era and probably did not exist prior to this time.


Zunjing de Wlee15,

I cannot believe that the Imperial family would be so meticulous in differentiating the different shades of yellow! Hehehe! Yup, the Qing Dynasty only had one true Crown Prince, Prince Yin Reng of Emperor Kang Xi. This Crown Prince set such a bad example that successive Emperors had made the decision to wait before automatically designating the firstborn son of an Empress as the Crown Prince.

Thank you for providing us with some information regarding the Imperial Yellow Riding Jacket! So, were these three types of yellow riding jackets in any particular order? Or were they all equal in value? Are you certain that these types of yellow riding jacket only started appearing during the Daoguang’s era and did not exist prior to that reign?

Xie Xie,

#8 snowybeagle

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:31 AM

Rong Qin Wang,

There is a thread on the questions you asked in http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=579

Seems those were mostly fictional products ...

#9 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 03:27 AM

Rong Qin Wang,

There is a thread on the questions you asked in http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=579

Seems those were mostly fictional products ...


Zunjing de Snowybeagle Xian Sheng,

Thank you so much for giving me the link to the old thread; it was very interesting!

I have two other questions. Do you have anymore information regarding Huang Ma Gua? Do you personally believe that these three “State Guarding Treasures” actually exist in real history? Or were they just fictional products of TV Series? I am just merely asking for your own personal opinion.

Xie Xie,

#10 snowybeagle

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 04:27 AM

Rong Qin Wang,

I have no other info on the huang ma gua other than those already posted.

As for the three treasures, perhaps I'll look up more when I have the leisure, but at the moment, there's nothing to indicate them existing outside fictional accounts.

#11 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 03:30 AM

Rong Qin Wang,

I have no other info on the huang ma gua other than those already posted.

As for the three treasures, perhaps I'll look up more when I have the leisure, but at the moment, there's nothing to indicate them existing outside fictional accounts.


Zunjing de Snowybeagle Xian Sheng,

Do you mind if I ask what inspired you to raise this question in a thread? I am just curious, so that I can find the material and read it myself.

Well, the Internet is the quickest and easiest way to look for new information; however, it is also the most unreliable way. I don’t have any books regarding the Song Dynasty in my house right now. So, I surmise searching on the Internet is my best bet. I really pity myself when it comes to being knowledgeable in Chinese History.

Xie Xie,

#12 snowybeagle

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 03:58 AM

Do you mind if I ask what inspired you to raise this question in a thread? I am just curious, so that I can find the material and read it myself.

You mean the three treasures? More appropriate if you ask this question in that thread itself.

The short answer is: they've been part of countless Chinese folklore, but those three (sword, staff, tablet) were specifically mentioned in a comic adaptation of Justice Bao 《包青天》 by Li Zhiqing (李志清), which did take blatant liberties with historical facts.

#13 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 05:32 AM

You mean the three treasures? More appropriate if you ask this question in that thread itself.

The short answer is: they've been part of countless Chinese folklore, but those three (sword, staff, tablet) were specifically mentioned in a comic adaptation of Justice Bao 《包青天》 by Li Zhiqing (李志清), which did take blatant liberties with historical facts.


Zunjing de Snowybeagle Xian Sheng,

Well, I was actually referring to the Huang Ma Guan; otherwise, I would have addressed the question in the other thread. I am so sorry for being sort of unclear the first time.

You are right; treasures and items representing the Emperor have always played a crucial role in countless Chinese folklores and TV Series. Well, even historical TV Dramas can present history in a major distorted way; hence, I really don’t believe that comic adaptations can have a lot of historical values.

Well, if and only if you have some more spare time, then you don’t have to just give me your short answers since I am always ready to read lengthy explanations of yours. Hehehe!

Hmm, by the way, the comic adaptation of Justice Bao that you have just mentioned seems quite interesting. Did it have an English translation?

Xie Xie,

#14 snowybeagle

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 09:27 PM

Okay, what inspired me to ask about the Huang Ma Gua?

I guess I was reviewing about all the things I thought I knew about Chinese history but actually only learned them from drama serials.

And I wanted to correct any misinformation I might have gotten.

Partly because I hope to write some books, some day ... probably fictions, but keeping it as historically accurate as possible, though I do recognise I might have to stretch some things ... for artistic licenses ;)

And partly because someday, I will be introducing my own children to Chinese history, and I want to be able to teach them not to accept everything they see on screen.

As for the particular Justice Bao comics, I don't think it has been translated to English yet.

Edited by snowybeagle, 04 December 2006 - 09:29 PM.


#15 Rong Qin Wang

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 03:18 AM

Okay, what inspired me to ask about the Huang Ma Gua?

I guess I was reviewing about all the things I thought I knew about Chinese history but actually only learned them from drama serials.

And I wanted to correct any misinformation I might have gotten.

Partly because I hope to write some books, some day ... probably fictions, but keeping it as historically accurate as possible, though I do recognise I might have to stretch some things ... for artistic licenses ;)

And partly because someday, I will be introducing my own children to Chinese history, and I want to be able to teach them not to accept everything they see on screen.

As for the particular Justice Bao comics, I don't think it has been translated to English yet.


Zunjing de Snowybeagle Xian Sheng,

Hmm, you have given me a very wonderful idea! I really should start making a list to review all the things that I thought I have learned regarding Chinese History through TV Series. After creating that list, I am sure I can differentiate between what is actual history and what is just there for entertainment purposes. Hehehe! Watching TV Series is one of the quickest and most interesting way to learn about history. However, it is a double end sword as it is also the most unreliable way to understand historical events.

Aw, you will be the author of some books someday? That is really cool. When you publish your masterpiece, can you please save the honor for me to be one of your first buyers? I promise I will pay you the adequate amount! By the way, do you already have a theme or a certain dynastic period in mind? Well, I think it won’t do any harm if you just stretch the truth, and not bend it. A good author won’t alter history, but would instead just go along with the facts and add more details to make everything more appealing. I am so certain that you have the capabilities of becoming a very successful author. You will have my support financially. Hence, if you need me to buy any of your books, please let me know.

Well, I am still very young right now. So, I really have not thought about having children anytime soon. In fact, I have never even experienced dating yet. Hehehe! However, If I have children, then I will certainly introduce them to Asian History!

By the way, can you please tell me where you got the information regarding Huang Ma Guan being unique to the Qing Dynasty?

Xie Xie,




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