Bai Juyi

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  • Born: 772
  • Died: 846
  • Other Names: 楽天 (C: Letian / J: Rakuten)
  • Chinese / Japanese: 白居易 (Bai Juyi, Bo Juyi / Haku Kyoi)

Bai Juyi, along with Du Fu, Li Bai, and Wang Wei, is considered one of the greatest Chinese poets in history. He is perhaps best known for authoring the "Song of Everlasting Sorrow" (C: Changhen ge, J: Chôgonka), a lengthy poem which tells the story of Imperial concubine Yang Guifei.

He was originally from Taiyuan in Shanxi province, and later led a successful career as a scholar-bureaucrat at the Imperial Court.

Bai was a staunch defender of Confucianism and critic of Imperial excess and ostentation; his poetry has been described as clear and intelligible, being written in a plain, accessible style.

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