Shu, the ancient Sichuan, was described as the blocked place with high mountains around and steep paths in the ancient books.Wang Yang,constituted as the feudal provincial of Yizhou, resigned his job and returned to home when he saw the difficult road to Shu, saying that he should take no adventure for his parents and leaving a strory called “Wang Yang fear the road ”to the later ages. The story basically makes everyone know the hardship of passing Shu’road.And when Wang Zun came to Shu and passed by the road that Wang Yang once passed by,he said that Wang Yang was a dutiful son and Wang Zun is a loyal minister and he left without hesitation.Whether to go to Sichuan or not became a tangled question.However,there were still many literary men come to Shu even the road to it was extremely dangerous.
When you open a map of China, you will find that the south-west part of China, Sichuan,is the most blocked but also the most resource-rich area.Min River coming from the western Sichuan plateau to the Chengdu plain gave Sichuan abundant fishing resource from ancient ages.The ancient started to control water from the age of Duke Shu Du Yu.In 256 BC,Li Bing, the feudal provincial of Shu, built the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
Since then,Shu became the so called Land of Abundance with rich water and food. Therefore, every government in every generation regarded taking Sichuan as the beginning of taking the central power, which means if they occupied the basin, they will occupied China,if not,they would be blocked in Shu.That’s why Shu was always the first place to be taken in wars form Qin dynasty to Yuan dynasty. And when the war happened in the Central Plain,Shu was always the shelter for not only the kings,the queens and royal families but also for normal governors,citizens and literary men.They would live there, thrive there.And when the war came to an end,Shu would became one of the most affluent places throughout the whole country.It is said that besides the rich Jiangnan,Shu is the busiest place in Tang dynasty. Shu’s people who lived in such a comfortable place,addicted to the pleasure of living there.No matter in the war time or peace time,they never forgot to relax.The literal men who came to Shu did not have to struggle for life and hide from the war.Thus, they did have higher spirit of traveling and composing.Life became so easy in Shu that they just have to find some good friends and drink some top tea which would give them the inspiration of writing the best poem.
In the period of Tang dynasty and Song dynasty, despite those volunteers, the Chinese civil service sent many literary men to Shu. In these tow generations, especially after the Song government moved to the south,Shu became an indispensable spot of the literary men from the capital.And its importance also showed in the military field. Once accident happened there, it would affect the situation of the whole country let alone it was a rich and peaceful place.Thus, only the ministers who won the trust of the Majesty could be constituted to Shu. In Tang dynasty and Song dynasty,the positions of literary men and governors were equal under the civilian polity.Especially in Song dynasty,the literary men who were sent to Shu had basically participated the Imperial Examination and many famous sentences in the poems were written by those traveling ministers.
In 725 BC, Li Bai, a 24 years old literary youth, left his home Jiangyou, stayed at The Little Three Gorges In Meishan for days and took on the ship to Yuzhou in Banqiao River,Leshan. And he started his drift.
The route that Li Bai went out from Sichuan, is the way which is alone the Min River and reach the Yangtze River at Yibin.The so called Chuan River, refers to the upper reach of Yangtze River between Yibin,Sichuan and Yichang,Hubei.And it got its name since it is mostly in Sichuan. Min River, Jialing River and Tuo River branch and flow in Chuan River.The water volume of Chuan river is many times larger comparing to that of the upper Jinsha River.Therefore, the rapids which is good for shipping makes there one of the most important place of going out of Sichuan.And Yibin, the city situated in the southern Sichuan was named as The First City of Yangtze River.Many poets chose to buy boats in Yibin to go east form Qingshen,via Meishan and Leshan.
However,Yibin is not the only post on the way out of Sichuan.After 40 years Li Bai left form Yibin, 54-year-old Du Fu and his family left their home and headed to south.They went to Hunan along Min Riber and arrived at Rongzhou in June. A feudal provincial named Yang hosted Du Fu enthusiastically with good food and wine, just at the Donglou around Donglou Street, Yi Bin.Facing the stunning landscape of Rongzhou, the ancient Yibin, Du fu forgot his old age and all the hardship he had been through and fell into the happiness.He was impressed by two things in Rongzhou: the Spring Wine and the litchi and he highly praised them in his poem. He called the Spring Wine the dark green since its color, and the local changed the name of the wine according to his poem.The litchi there has not only large output but also has good quality.And eating litchi can also be healthy for people.
Many literary men visited Rongzhou when they went south,and tried the Speing Wine and the litchi eagerly one after another. When Huang Tingjian was demoted to Rongzhou, he chiseled the rock and made a pool named Liubei Pool.He usually invited his friends to sit around the pool and enjoy poetry and wine, probably the Spring Wine.There is a distinguished family live on the Bijia Mountain opposite to the Jinsha River in Anbian Town,Yibin.And there are two rare Green Litchi trees.Once Huang Tingjian wrote a poem after he tried a cup of Spring Wine made by the green litchi to praise its delicacy.
Although Shu is a comfortable place to live in,Yizhou is not Bianzhou and everyone should face the reality.They all had to go back to the east because every war would come to and end and their families were waiting for them.