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The Ballad of Mulan

Mandarin 11 Cultural Project
by

Michaella Yun

on 24 May 2016

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Transcript of The Ballad of Mulan

The Ballad of Mulan
Ballad of Mulan
The original poem is written in the form of a singing ballad called "Yuefu" by an anonymous author in Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 A.D.) and later was collected in the Song anthology of lyrics, songs, and poems. This legend is passed on from generation to generation, and has been taught to be memorized by Chinese students. In 1998, this ballad became the theme for a new Disney animated movie,
Mulan
. It was the first time that Disney has ever picked an Asian story for making animated features, and Disney's touch has made Mulan's story a global legend.
Vocabulary
More Vocabulary


remember, reflect upon
memory
Theme
Bibliography
朝辞爷娘去,
暮宿黄河边。
不闻爷娘唤女声,
但闻黄河流水鸣溅溅。

旦辞黄河去,
暮至黑山头。
不闻爷娘唤女声,
但闻燕山胡骑声啾啾。

万里赴戎机,
关山度若飞。
朔气传金析,
寒光照铁衣。

将军百战死,
壮士十年归。
归来见天子,
天子坐明堂。

策勋十二转,
赏赐百千强。
可汗问所欲,
“木兰不用尚书郎,
愿借明驼千里足,
送儿还故乡。”
At dawn she bids farewell to Father and Mother,
In the evening she camps on the bank of the Yellow River.
She doesn't hear the sound of Father and Mother calling for Daughter,
She only hears the Yellow River's flowing water cry jian-jian.

At dawn she bids farewell to the Yellow River,
In the evening she arrives at the summit of Black Mountain.
She doesn't hear the sound of Father and Mother calling for Daughter,
She only hears Mount Yan's nomad horses cry jiu-jiu.

She goes ten thousand miles in the war machine,
She crosses mountain passes as if flying.
Northern gusts carry sound of army rattles,
Cold light shines on iron armor.

Generals die in a hundred battles,
Strong warriors return after ten years.
On her return she sees the Son of Heaven,
The Son of Heaven sits in the ceremonial hall.

Merits are recorded in twelve ranks
And grants a hundred thousand strong.
The Khan asks her what she desires.
"Mulan has no use for a high official's post.
I wish to borrow a ten-thousand mile camel
To take me back home."
Ode to Mulan
唧唧复唧唧,
木兰当户织。
不闻机杼声,
唯闻女叹息。

问女何所思?
问女何所忆?
“女亦无所思,
女亦无所忆。

昨夜见军帖,
可汗大点兵。
军书十二卷,
卷卷有爷名。

阿爷无大儿,
木兰无长兄。
愿为市鞍马,
从此替爷征。”

东市买骏马,
西市买鞍鞯,
南市买辔头,
北市买长鞭。

Ji-ji, again ji-ji,
Mulan faces the door, weaving.
You can't hear the sound of the loom's shuttle,
You only hear Daughter's sighs.

They ask Daughter who's in her thought,
They ask Daughter who's on her memory.
"No one is on Daughter's thought,
No one is on Daughter's memory.

Last night I saw the army notices,
The Khan is calling for a great force.
The army register is in twelve scrolls,
and every scrolls has Father's name.

Father has no adult son,
Mulan has no older brother.
Wish to buy a saddle and horse,
and serve in Father's place."

In the East Market she buys a steed,
In the West Market she buys a saddle and saddle blanket,
In the South Market she buys a bridle,
In the North Market she buys a long whip.



爷娘闻女来,
出郭相扶将;
阿姊闻妹来,
当户理红妆;

小弟闻姊来,
磨刀霍霍向猪羊。
"开我东阁门,
坐我西阁床;

脱我战时袍,
着我旧时裳";
当窗理云鬓,
对镜帖花黄。

出门看火伴,
火伴皆惊惶。
同行十二年,
不知木兰是女郎。

雄兔脚扑朔,
雌兔眼迷离。
双兔傍地走,
安能辩我是雄雌?
Father and Mother hear Daughter is coming
They go outside the city wall, supporting each other.
When Older Sister hears Younger Sister is coming
Facing the door, she puts on rouge,

When Little Brother hears Older Sister is coming
He sharpens the knife, quick, quick, for pig and sheep.
"I open the door to my east room,
I sit on my bed in the west room,

I take off my wartime gown
And put on my old-time clothes."
Facing the window she fixes the cloud like hair on her temples,
Facing a mirror she dabs on yellow flower powder

She goes out the door and sees her comrades.
Her comrades are all shocked.
Traveling together for twelve years
They didn't know Mulan was a girl.

The male rabbit's feet kick up and down,
The female rabbit's eyes are bewildered.
Two rabbits running close to the ground,
How can they tell if I am male or female?
jījī
唧唧
to pump water
(onomatopoeia)





Mùlán
木兰
Magnolia

jìng

mirror; lens

Jūn

army
juàn

scroll
Kè hán
可汗
Khan
(emporer)

Zhuàng

Strong


rabbit, hare
sòng

to deliver; to carry; to give (as a present); to present (with); to see off; to send
http://people.wku.edu/haiwang.yuan/China/tales/mulan.htm

http://www.yellowbridge.com/onlinelit/mulan.php

http://legendofmulan.blogspot.ca/2007/05/legend-of-mulan-analysis.html

http://family.lovetoknow.com/chinese-family-values

http://chinesehouse.blogs.wm.edu/2012/03/20/%E6%9C%A8-%E5%85%B0-%E8%BE%9E-ode-of-mula/

http://www.britannica.com/topic/Wei-dynasty
Michaella Yun
Mandarin 11
Filial Piety
In Confucianism, filial piety is the important virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one's parents and elderly family members.
A special term for filial piety in Chinese is Xiaoao:
supporting and caring for one's parents
reverence and obedience
continuing the ancestral line
glorifying the family name
mourning and ancestral remembrance
Tradition vs. Freedom
Family Priority vs. Individual Priority
Gender discrimination
vs. Feminism
Summary
Mulan is filled with hopelessness because her elderly father has been drafted in a war fighting against the invaders, Huns. Since her father is too old to fight and she does not have a older brother, Mulan disguises herself as a man to join the army in her father's place. Traveling 10000 miles to fight the enemy in numerous battles, Mulan fights courageously for 12 years before revealing her identity. At the end of the battle, the Emperor thanks the soldiers by granting them wealth, title, and land. Mulan requests for a camel, on which she journeys back home safely. Upon her arrival, she discards her warrior outfits and puts back on her female attires. Her former military comrades are shocked to find out that she is a woman. The ballad ends with a metaphor about two different-gendered hares.
Mulan is a perfect example of a filial daughter. Rather than safeguarding her country voluntarily, Mulan joined the army for the sake of her father and her family, practicing her filial piety and love. Mulan misses her parents wherever she goes. After her military service, she yearns for her parents and wants to resume her responsibility of taking care of her parents.
Reflection
Chinese culture is unique, influenced by the ideologies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Coming from a Korean background, I am able to connect to different cultural components such as filial piety.


Mulan served in the military against her society's rule that only men could defend their land. I admire Mulan's bravery, but also her modesty. When she returned home, she declined an offer to be moved to high office to be with her family. She did not forget about her roots. Lessons I learned from this ballad include that of how war affects everyone, not just men, and when necessary, a woman can fight as just as hard as any man. This poem also taught me to be selfless, humble, and to keep close to my loved ones.
In the last passage of the poem, there is a metaphor about two hares. Both hares are running as fast as they can. I think this scene is explaining if both genders can perform the same, then why does it matter to label its gender. In the midst of war, soldiers do not distinguish between sexes. Mulan's male comrades were shocked to discover Mulan's gender since they fought together being treated equally. Instead of being defined by her gender, Mulan was known for her actions and her character in the army.
"The male rabbit's feet kick up and down,
The female rabbit's eyes are bewildered.
Two rabbits running close to the ground,
How can they tell if I am male or female?"
There are statues and shrines throughout China to honour (Hua) Mulan.
In the feudal society, women are considered inferior to men and must hold their tongues in men's presence. Mulan is a traditional Chinese woman who does chores such as weaving. She resumes her female gender upon arriving home by dressing up. In Canada, people pursue their distinctive personalities, and cherish freedom.
Chinese are mostly family-oriented, winning honour for families and ancestors to glorify their family name. Mulan returns home without hesitation when the war ends. In contrast, Canadians are more individual-oriented. We are unique individuals with independent thoughts and acts.
If Mulan is uncovered as a woman in the army, she will be punished by death according to the law against girls in the army. The hierarchical concept takes root in China traditionally and in the feudal society, feminism is moderate. In Canada, people believe "Everyone is born equal". Canadian women have struggled for equal rights politically, socially, and economically.
Cultural
Differences
Full transcript