A classical Chinese term for giving indirect advice, used in the context of jesters for the humorously indirect way they get their point across. Occasionally, the jian (諫) meaning ‘remonstrance’ or ‘to admonish or remonstrate with’ is combined with the you of ‘jester’ (優) to form something like ‘jester’s remonstrance’ (youjian 優諫).

A corollary is jianguan (諫官) referring to a ‘remonstrating official’, one who loyally speaks out even if it might be dangerous or against their own interests.

We will add examples as we dig them out of the archives.

In modern Chinese, feng means ‘to satirize or mock’ as well as to ‘chant or intone’.  It is used in the compound fengci (諷刺), ‘to mock or satirize’.  A fengcihua (諷刺畫) is a caricature or cartoon.

 

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