Learn About Traditional Chinese Medicine with Da Zhai Men
- Have you ever wondered if Traditional Chinese Medicine is real?
- Are you curious about TCM?
- Or maybe you have heard of the pharmacy chain Tongrentang (同仁堂 tóngréntáng).
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then this blog is just for you!
Check below for our complete review of 大宅门 dàzháimén, The Grand Mansion Gate.
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Brief Introduction
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Behind The Scenes
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Star Studded Cast
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Tongrentang Chinese Medicine
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Beijing Dialects & Opera
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: Where To Watch
大宅门 Da Zhai Men: FAQ’s
大宅门 : Brief Introduction
The story of this TV show starts during the Qing dynasty, when Emperor Guangxu is six years old (the 1880s). A baby boy is born and the strange thing is that the baby is not born crying, but born laughing instead.
He was then given a name by his grandfather: Bai jingqi (白景琦 bái jǐng qí), 琦 qí here means strange or magic.
The family own a pharmacy, the capital’s most famous “Pharmacy Herbs Hall” (百草厅 bǎi cǎo tīng).
The show tells a story about the male lead Bai jingqi (白景琦báijǐngqí) from his childhood right up to his old age.
In the TV series, we can witness that the medical family suffer ups and downs together alongside key elements of Chinese history from the late Qing dynasty, the Eight-Power Allied Forces invading Beijing (1900), the Qing dynasty being overthrown (1911) and the Lugou Bridge Incident (1937) etc.
A Bite of China 舌尖上的中国 🏆 Best Chinese Food Show Ever!
A Bite of China Review – It is called 舌尖上的中国 (shéjiān shàng de zhōngguó) in Chinese. This literally means “China on the tip of the tongue”.
大宅门: Behind The Scenes
The director and the screenwriter of the drama Guo baochang (郭宝昌guōbǎochāng) is Le Jingyu‘s adopted son.
The protagonist of the TV series Bai Jingqi is actually based on Le Jingyu, and the “Pharmacy Herbs Hall” (百草厅) is based on Tongrentang (同仁堂).
The character of Li Tianyi is based on Guo Baochang.
Guo Baochang actually lived in the big family of Tongrentang for 26 years in real life.
He started to write the script when he was 16 in 1956, however, when he was 24, his script was considered to “monumentalize reactionaries and capitalists” so it was confiscated.
After this he rewrote the script again, but then he was criticised and denounced again.
He was afraid that the script could be used as proof against him so he decided to burn it.
Later, when he was released, he didn’t give up and finished the script. However, he encountered a marriage crisis and his wife burnt it.
After almost 40 years, in the mid 1990s, he finally successfully finished the script. He takes it as his life’s work.
Le Jingyu (乐镜宇 lè jìng yǔ), had the original name of Le Dacong (乐达聪 lè dá cōng). He was born in Peking (Beijing) and lived there 1872 – 1954.Like the line in episode 40. 不是越不叫我干什么吗？我偏要干什么 búshì yuè bú jiào wǒ gànshénme ma? wǒ piān yào gànshénme.
Although he was the 12th generation grandson of the Le 乐 family in Beijing Tongrentang, he was discriminated by his father and brothers since childhood. His uncle even told him that he was not allowed to touch the medicine business because he didn’t have the ability.
However, he proved them all wrong and founded a pharmacy as well-known as Tongrentang.
I will just do it on purpose whether you asked me to or not.
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大宅门: Star Studded Cast
It’s a TV series shot by a film director.
Even bit roles in the series are acted by well-deserved stars and big shots.
In fact, the actors are A-list celebrities who have made great achievements in other TV series or films.
They were willing to act a supporting role in this TV series and asked for no money in return.
Take Jiang wen姜文 for example, he acted the role of Magistrate of Jinan, an official of the Qing Dynasty.
Take Zhang Yimou (张艺谋zhāngyìmóu) for example, in order to play well the role he had his head shaved bald and acted the role of Li Lianying, the hottest eunuch besides Empress Dowager Cixi 慈禧.
Zhang Yimou (张艺谋 zhāngyìmóu), a hugely famous director in China and even abroad. His films Hero, Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou were all nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2003, 1992 and 1991.
Chen Kaige (陈凯歌chénkǎigē), is another famous director who directed the famous film Farewell My Concubine.
He had his temples shaved and said that he would be happy to act in any bit role Director Guo told him.
Another vivid character I’d like you to pay attention to is Third Master of the Bai family (白三爷 bái sān yé).
Check out one of his emotional lines:
“我这么大岁数了，福也享了，孽也造了，死而无怨”, wǒ zhème dà suìshule, fú yě xiǎngle, niè yě zàole, sǐ ér wú yuàn
“I am in this old age, with happiness and sins, I can die without regret.”
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If you are thinking about learning Chinese as a second language, watching Chinese films and TV shows are a great way to learn.
大宅门: Tongrentang Chinese Medicine
Beijing Tongrentang is a well-known brand in the national Chinese medicine industry.
Founded in 1669 (during the reign of Emperor Kangxi 康熙 kāngxī in the Qing Dynasty), it has been dedicated to imperial medicine since 1723, and has gone through eight generations of emperors over 188 years.
It has been awarded the status of Chinese national intangible cultural heritage.
According to its official website: The group has seven sub-groups, two institutes, many subsidiaries, and more than 2,400 retail points and medical organisations.
It has 36 production bases and over 100 modern production lines that can produce more than 2600 medicines and healthcare food in six categories and 20 types.
Many of its Traditional Chinese Medicines are household names, such as Cow-bezoar Bolus for Resurrection, Tongren Cow-Bezoar Sedative Bolus and Tongren White Phoenix Bolus of Black-Bone Chicke
Next time, when you go to Qianmen in Beijing, go to Tongrentang and have a visit.
大宅门: Beijing Dialects & Opera
The composer of the music in the series is an expert in Chinese traditional music and knows a lot about traditional Opera.
Please pay attention to not only the lines but also the sound of background music.
You will see lots of elements of Peking opera.
You will hear Bai Jingqi sing lines from opera a lot in the TV series The Grand Mansion Gate.The big reason why he sings this in the show is because the director’s adoptive father usually sings it in real life.
kàn qiánmiàn hēdòngdòng, dìng shì nà zé cháoxué, ǎn bùmiǎn gǎn shàng qián qù, shā tā gè gàn gānjìng jìng
Look at the black cave ahead, it must be the enemy’s den, I will go there, to eliminate all of them.
These four lines are from the Peking opera Transferring Iron Blocks 挑滑车tiǎo huáchē
Actually, in 2017, Guo Baochang also directed the opera The Grand Mansion Gate.
If you watch this show, you will find the strong Beijing accent. This is a good opportunity for you to learn not only Chinese but also Beijing dialects.
大宅门: Where to Watch
There are 40 episodes with each one lasting 45 minutes, with Chinese subtitles only.
When you type 大宅门 on YouTube, there will be a lot of options for you to choose from.
Do you think it is too hard for you? Comment below by telling us which your HSK level is and we are happy to write a suitable TV for you.
Can I watch Da Zhai Men on Netflix?
No, it isn’t available on Netflix right now.
When was Da Zhai Men released?
It was released on April 15th 2001, when the show made its debut.
Which level should my Chinese be to understand the show?
How many seasons of Da Zhai Men are there?
There are three seasons in total.
Is Da Zhai Men a true story?
Yes, it is based on a true story.
Edited by Katie Coy
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