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The Culture of Imperial Examination

Cicheng has nourished 519 imperial scholars, including 5 first place scholars (4 liberal arts scholars and 1 martial scholar), 1 second place scholar and 3 third place scholars. The estimated imperial scholars of all the past dynasties were merely a total of several thousands; yet a small place like Cicheng has taken such a large portion. Most notable is the “aristocratic family ranked in the Imperial Examination”. Yang Jian, “Mr. Cihu”, Yang Ming and Yang Shouqin were all successful candidates in the Imperial Examination.

The academic prosperity of Cicheng was attributable to three local schools: Derun School, Cihu School and Baofeng School.

Kan Ze and Derun School: Kan Ze the prime minister of State Wu in the period of Three Kingdoms founded a temple where he gave lectures. Later, Li Chuchen, the county governor in the later Tang Dynasty succeeded to Kan Ze’s career and founded Derun School, the earliest school of the time in China.

Yang Jian and Cihu School: a famous learned man in the Southern Song Dynasty, Yang Jian (alias “Mr. Cihu”) was regarded as the “Four Enlightened Masters” together with Shen Huan, Yuan Xie and Shu Lin. Founded in the 7th year of Xianchun in the Song Dynasty, Cihu School was an important school in South China.

Zhao Xie and Baofeng School: Zhao Xie, the disciple of Yang Jian, was called “Mr. Baofeng”, who founded Baofeng School under Dabao Mountain at the west of the town. Among the students were the author of Romance of Three Kingdoms Luo Guanzhong, the author of The Story of Pipa Gao Ming, and the country governor of that time.