Chinese Idiom Stories

The Host of The East

During the Spring and Autumn Period, the kingdom of Chin was planning to collaborate with kingdom of Ch'in to attack the kingdom of Cheng. Duke Wen of Cheng was sure that he didn't have a chance against these two large kingdoms, and very afraid. So, at the suggestion of one of his official, the duke sent his minister Ju Jr-wu to Ch'in to try to convince the king not to attack Cheng.

Upon arriving in Ch'in, Ju Jr-wu was stopped by a soldier on duty and not allowed into court. When he saw the sun set in the west, he began to cry, at which point he was taken to see the king to find out why he was so upset. Ju replied, "Cheng is to the east of Ch'in, and Ch'in is to its west. If Ch'in were to take over Cheng and expand its border, Ch'in would also be in danger. I am crying for the kingdoms of Cheng and Ch'in." The king agreed that Ju Jr-wu had a point, and Ju Jr-wu continued, "If Ch'in does not attack Cheng, Cheng will be the host of the east, willing to entertain anyone from Ch'in who goes there." The king of Ch'in was finally persuaded, He withdrew his troops, and relieved Cheng's crisis.

Today, anyone who acts as a host can be referred to as "the host of the east."




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