Historical Drama

Wo Xin Chang Dan

IMDb:
2007
min

This drama takes place during the turbulent Spring and Autumn Period and tells the well-known story of the downfall and revival of Gou Jian, King of Yue. After his defeat, Gou Jian was captured and enslaved by King Fu Chai of Wu. Faking submission and loyalty while secretly planning revenge during his imprisonment, Gou Jian is eventually allowed to return to his native Yue. Upon his return to rule, Gou Jian strengthens the kingdom with the help of talented advisors and politicians like Fan Li and Wen Zhong while weakening Wu internally through bribery and strategic diplomatic dealings. “Wo Xin Chang Dan” is a phrase coined to depict Gou Jian’s perseverance and self-imposed hardships designed to constantly remind himself of the humiliations he withstood while serving Wu.


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The Ultimate Master of War

IMDb:
2009
min

Set during the Spring and Autumn Period, this drama revolves around famous historical figures of the era like Sun Wu, Wu Zi Xu and Wu Jiu as well as the victories and defeats of the individual kingdoms of Qi, Chu, Wu, Yue, Jin, et al. In a time of disorder and uncertainty, this is the story of how Sun Wu, author of The Art of War, came to prominence as one of the most renowned military strategists in Chinese history.


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The Story of Han Dynasty

IMDb:
min

The Story of Han Dynasty is a re-enactment of one of the most fascinating periods in the grand river of Chinese history, when, during the latter days of the crumbling of the Qin Empire, the Han armies led by warlord Liu Bang contended for supremacy against the more powerful forces led by Xiang Yu the Conqueror of West Chu. Mainland actor Hu Jun (Red Cliff) stars as Xiang Yu while this historical figure’s loyal concubine is played by the Hong Kong beauty Kristy Yang. Actors playing the leaders in the rivaling camp are no less captivating – the series features Xiao Rong Sheng and Jacklyn Wu Chien Lien as Liu Bang and his Queen. William Chang, famous for his artistic direction in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, designs the image of Xiang Yu and makes The Story of Han Dynasty all the more splendid!


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The Qin Empire

IMDb:
2014
min

In the mid-fourth century BC during the Warring States period, groundbreaking political changes occur in the Qin state in western China. Qin, weakened by poverty and internal conflict, is in peril of being annexed by the six other states in the east. Duke Xiao, the young new ruler of Qin, seeks to restore his state to its former glory and retake the territories lost by Qin in its earlier humiliating defeats by rival states. Duke Xiao recruits several talents to help him in his ambitious plans. The most outstanding one, a statesman called Shang Yang, cooperates closely with Duke Xiao on massive political and economic reforms in Qin that lasted two decades. The changes transform Qin into a powerful state, with legal and military systems that helped to lay the foundation for Qin’s eventual unification of China under the Qin dynasty nearly 200 years later in 221 BC.


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The Legendary Prime Minister – Zhuge Liang

IMDb:
1985
min

The Legendary Prime Minister – Zhuge Liang is a Hong Kong television series based on the life of Zhuge Liang (Cantonese: Chu-kot Leung), a chancellor (or prime minister) of the state of Shu Han in the Three Kingdoms period. Starring Adam Cheng as the titular character, the series not only incorporates stories about Zhuge Liang from Luo Guanzhong’s historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but also includes some elements of wuxia and a fictional romance between Zhuge Liang and Xiaoqiao (Cantonese: Siu-kiu). The series was produced by ATV and first started airing in Hong Kong on 9 December 1985. General Liu has 2 sons Liu Qi and Liu Zhong. Both sons are fine in war strategy, except that Qi is kind while Zhong is evil. Qi saves a beautiful maid, Zhi Lan. He likes her but his brother rapes her. Later Zhong ditches her. Qi gets worried when Zhi Lan has Zhong’s child and disappears. Knowing that his brother is the scheming type, he gives everything up and tries to look for her with Liang. They finally find her. Zhi Lan is touched by Qi’s love for her and finally marries him. Liang envies them and wonders when he will get to be with his love one day. Liu Bei seeks his help 3 times before he agrees to help him out. On his way to the camp, he meets Xiao Qiao who is beautiful and also intelligent. Both are interested in one another but Liang is disappointed to know that she is engaged to another general, Zhou Yu. Zhou Yu is angry to know that his fiancée has a change of heart and he demands to carry their wedding forward. Xiao Qiao seeks help from Liang but he ignores her. Zhou Yu is close on their heels. Out of desperation, she jumps off the cliff. Both men are alarmed upon seeing this. Liang tries to hold her hand but tears her sleeve instead. He also injures himself when both reach the bottom of the cliff. He tries to crawl close to the unconscious Xiao Qiao but Zhou Yu kicks him aside and carries her home. Xiao Qiao is sent to Huang Ying’s father for treatment. Zhou Yu never leaves her alone as Xiao Qiao may die any second. Huang Ying, however, pities Liang who stands outside the hut daily to check on Xiao Qiao’s condition. She starts to fall for him. Zhou Yu marries Xiao Qiao after her recovery. She is unhappy and Zhou Yu treats her coldly although he really loves her. Liang also marries Ying but he sets his mind to put his heart in his work to manage his master’s state to help his son. He gets along well with Kwan Yu and Zhang Fei. He thinks of very good war strategies to control the other states. Being a martial arts expert himself (can you believe it?), he is also a master of traps. He finds Qi but Qi declines to help as he is happy to settle in a village with his family and son. In the meantime, Zhong joins Cao Cao’s army. The Wei state thus becomes the strongest among the three. Zhou Yu and Liang often see each other and they often have verbal attacks. Cao Cao is glad to see this and he plans to grab the other 2 states when he gets the chance. After all these years, the other people have aged, except for Xiao Qiao. Why? To save her life, Ying’s father has to give her a valuable drug that keeps her youth all along. Ying is amazed to see how Xiao Qiao remains the same all these years while she ages so much. She can see how much Liang still loves her and feels inferior of herself. She finally dies miserably, urging Liang not to give Xiao Qiao up. Zhou Yu helps his master, Sun Quan, after the elder ruler Sun Che dies. Being younger and inexperienced, he always listens to Zhou Yu’s advice. Liang also helps Liu Bei’s son, Ah Dou, who is a stupid man. He ages so much as he takes charge of everything in the war after his masters’ death. Zhou Yu fails in several attempts to seize Liu Bei’s state. He is seriously injured in an attack. However, he is very upset that Xiao Qiao doesn’t say that she likes him all these years. Even though she takes care of him, she doesn’t say these words even till the day of his death. Cao Cao also becomes an unhappy man after he causes his favourite son, Cao Zhi’s death. Cao Pi throws discord among them and he is remorseful over it. He starts to wonder the point of having wars and stops. Liang and Xiao Qiao are finally together. But Liang is dying too as he reveals too many predicted secrets. Xiao Qiao is upset but they decide to spend the remaining days happily together.


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The Last Restaurant (Saigo no Restaurant)

IMDb:
2016
min

Sonoba Shinogu is the owner and chef of a modern-day French restaurant called ‘Heaven’s Door’. He has topnotch culinary skills, but a flawed personality. Ever since he took over the restaurant from his late father, its turnover has declined. One…


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Tenka no goiken ban Knightly Advice

IMDb:
1962
min

“When an incident occurred at 7 a.m. on Jan. 2, 1629 in front of the main gate to Edo Castle it set in motion one of the most exciting stories ever told about the early days of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Just one day earlier, the Shogun’s relatives and high ranking Daimyo lords had paid their New Year’s respects. The next day was for lower ranking lords and Hatamoto retained by the Shogun to do the same.

Lord Horio Inaba had just switched loyalties from the losing Toyotomi side to that of the Tokugawa and was rudely greeted by a detractor who threw the disloyal samurai and his palanquin into the Edo Castle moat.

What followed is a tale not to be missed. A true classic of Japanese history torn from the pages of time.” From japanesesamuraidvd.com

In the vein of the Lord Mito stories, Lord Okubo is an advisor to the Shogun. He was appointed by the First Shogun (Tokugawa) and now as an old man finds himself often screened from the young Third Shogun by some of the Shogun’s councilors. He uses a very unexpected method to right what he perceives as a wrong happening in the Shogunate.


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Royal Tramp

IMDb:
2008
min

The story centers on a witty and sly protagonist, Wei Xiaobao. He makes his way from his hometown in Yangzhou to Beijing, where he is kidnapped into the Imperial Palace and he impersonates a eunuch. Wei Xiaobao meets the young Kangxi Emperor by chance and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Through sheer luck and cunning, Wei Xiaobao manages to accomplish a series of seemingly impossible tasks that would affect the future of the Qing Dynasty.


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Kumamoto Monogatari

IMDb:
2001
min

Kumamoto Monogatari is a 2002 DVD release which included three short historical films directed by Takashi Miike, depicting the lives people who lived in Kumamoto, each of which is set sometime in the past.

The first story revolves around a young woman who summons a magical being to defeat an invading army, a typical example of how sexual rolemodels tie in to national pride: the girl becomes the Heroine by sacrificing herself ultimately to the masculine destiny of the nation and its Boys, Husbands and Heroes.


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