XIRAN, Chinese History Memer
@XiranJayZhao
Fri Oct 09 23:24:44 +0000 2020

ALL RIGHT BY POPULAR DEMAND HERE WE GO: Everything culturally right and wrong with Mulan 1998, the thread -

(Disclaimer: This movie never marketed itself on authenticity, so I'll only be nitpicking for educational purposes) https://t.co/Aa7XJSmbPD

The movie immediately lets you know IT'S VERY ASIAN, YOU GUYS by referencing classical Chinese landscape paintings, which were very minimalist and used tons of white space. It was all about achieving a certain VIIIBE instead of realism, which shouldn't be the end goal of all art https://t.co/e7OAQdqYXR

these inkbrush paintings were very technically demanding because literally one wrong stroke or a stray drop of ink anywhere could ruin the whole thing. so classical Chinese artists were presumably in full *sweats* mode whenever they painted https://t.co/shWHYARzm4

If you're gonna do a movie about China then of course THE GREAT WALL makes an appearance. They obviously referenced the modern Great Wall, though that was only built to look like this ~500 years ago in the Ming Dynasty, while Mulan's legends take place ~1k-1.5k years ago https://t.co/Tgpy6YzPOD

This movie actually does a better job than a lot of C-dramas when it comes to hairstyles. Basically all adult males have their hair in topknots, which was indeed how it was. Han Chinese didn't cut their hair because it was seen as disrespectful to the body their parents gave them https://t.co/wV53JM8Pm1

The Great Wall's main purpose was indeed to relay military messages very quickly like this. These fires in watchtowers are called "wolf smoke" in Chinese, because they were lit by burning wolf dung https://t.co/N5gp3QMw4f

also throwback to this legendary tumblr post right here https://t.co/kFqXWFCvGy https://t.co/FT9sWbDtwZ

now when are they gonna kiss

I MEAN, they're clearly not specifying a specific dynasty for this to make their lives easier, but if they did, they'd put the dynasty's single-character name on the flag instead of a dragon. like 魏 https://t.co/M4Rj5tXzFa

The scrolls above the throne dais are a reference to classical Chinese art scrolls, but THERE'S NO WAY THEY WOULD BE THIS BIG. I'm a former theatre kid, I know how much it costs to weave fabric THAT size!!!

(and no way this would be paper) https://t.co/jYMNFarUZf

Making the enemies the Huns was this movie's biggest blunder. Ignoring the debate about whether the Huns = the Xiongnu, China fought the Xiongnu in the Qin and Han dynasties, several centuries before Mulan's era. The live action movie fixed this by making them the Rouran https://t.co/FHCDTOQgWW

PLENTY OF NOMAD TRIBES GOT THROUGH THE GREAT WALL IN THIS ERA LMAOOO

LITERALLY SO MANY THAT THE GOVERNMENTS STOPPED CARING ABOUT MAINTAINING THE WALL FOR SEVERAL CENTURIES https://t.co/nUb6bE8Xd9

Chi Fu's name is apparently a reference to Qifu 欺负, the Chinese word for Bullying. Though later in the movie it's written as 其福. It's very odd sounding, but it COULD be a legit name https://t.co/c9WGvQsn9t

SHAN YU'S NAME THO...it's a reference to the actual title of the Xiongnu leader, Chan Yu 单于, but if you showed this pinyin to a Chinese speaker they're gonna be like SHAN YU 山芋?! YAMS?! https://t.co/W7TSTikIui

This shot...THIS SHOT LMAOOO

The characters are written vertically and right-to-left like classic Chinese should be (they match the virtues Mulan is listing), but the way they're placed on the bamboo scroll is completely wrong. They should be DOWN the slips, not across https://t.co/NgkvglOg7Q

The placement of Mulan's hand suggests she's also writing in the correct direction, but she's left-handed?? interesting

And yes, this is indeed how you hold an inkbrush. https://t.co/f7I2iciATg

About this, I don't think I've ever seen "punctual" listed as a feminine virtue in ancient china though lmaoo. Most of them were in the house 24/7. They ain't got anywhere to be. https://t.co/S5adj459xf

THIS is the proper size of an art scroll. Most Chinese families have one hanging on their wall. And the random plant is accurate too lol https://t.co/49mTIC5S2J

COMPUTER,ENHANCE

The strings of chilis and garlic ARE very Chinese, but chilis weren't brought to China until the 1600s. Native Americans didn't spend thousands of years cultivating crops like it, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes just for us to pretend like they were there all along https://t.co/1jul7E4x1T

Moon gates are an iconic element of Chinese gardens. They're meant to make things super serene by making it so only one person can enter at a time (possible social distancing tool?) https://t.co/FT6zUJDq3p

This ancestral temple confuses me in SO MANY WAYS

Why is it in a gazebo? Why are they using the FLOOR instead of an offering altar? Why is he burning the incense SIDEWAYS in a dragon dish the Fa family should not be allowed to have when they're not royalty?! https://t.co/b0KZheFuF8

I saw in a Behind the Scenes that they designed this shrine during their trip to China after seeing people pay respects to their ancestors' tombstones. But the team clearly never went inside an actual house, or they would've seen that family shrines should have wooden tablets https://t.co/lLS5NJklvH

Here, the tea is possibly herbal medicine, which was the main way of treating illnesses in ancient China. The doctor gives you a list of herbs and you go to the pharmacy and they gather everything on the list from these tiny drawers https://t.co/oWy9a15xIF

This shot shows a diverse variety of the various modes of transportation in ancient China. A rickshaw for normies, a palanquin for nobles, what I'm assuming is a messenger on a horse, and laborers pushing carts. https://t.co/MUic857tsn

There's no way her mom's name is Fa Li. Chinese women don't change their family names after marrying. If that's her mom's actual family name, then she wouldn't have been allowed to marry Fa Zhou. It'd be considered incest. https://t.co/XlrttpqtjK

She could potentially be called Aunty Fa, which is basically referring to her as a wife of the Fa family, but this wouldn't be her name

Also, since this movie went for the Mandarin pronunciation of Mulan, the family name should've been Hua. "Hua Mulan" means Flower Magnolia.

if they would've copy and pasted grandma into the 2020 movie space jam style i would've forgiven the whole thing https://t.co/LkYODByvOw

Mulan getting everywhere on a horse is accurate. This was the peak era for women riding horses. Though she probably wouldn't have done it in a dress like this?? https://t.co/UTgDarY4fS

Folding screen and wooden bathtub are accurate!

BUT THIS ENTIRE MATCHMAKING SEQUENCE IS NOT

I find it very unrealistic that Mulan would have to go to the matchmaker's place, instead of the matchmaker coming to her house https://t.co/fAjYIP7Xu1

She also goes to like 3 different locations for various parts of her makeover?? Why...Feels like there should be a single all-inclusive place

This short furniture she's kneeling on is accurate for the era though. Tall-legged furniture weren't fully a thing yet in China. https://t.co/NuUzVnPIn8

The background ladies have much more accurate hair and clothes compared to mulan lol https://t.co/Td35pU3Jyd

the kids' hairstyles are spot on. kids were allowed to have their hair cut because...well, it was their parents doing it for them lol https://t.co/Gt69yokLpT

COULD'VE MADE IT MORE CHINESE BY HAVING MULAN USE LIPSTICK PAPER https://t.co/RaE2qReZYF

Pale face powder (usually made of ground-up rice) is accurate, but her eyeshadow wouldn't be this dark. It'd be more of a peach color https://t.co/rwYFSvEoJW

the spit curl Mulan insists on doing is her equivalent of the neon streak that Asian female characters have in their hair in non-historical movies made by white people https://t.co/1evCbtQ101

yes, it's accurate to put a whole comb in your hair as an accessory. hey, combs are a great way to hold a GREAT HAIRDO together https://t.co/NDvfagu6XL

I JUST REALIZED THE APPLE FOR SERENITY IS A PUN LOOOOL

APPLE IN MANDARIN IS "Ping Guo". It's the same sound as "Serene Fruit" https://t.co/KiIuVs0L7l

idk why g-ma is putting the pendant IN Mulan's waist sash when usually these pendants are worn proudly outside of it but all is forgiven because

BEAAAAAADS OF JAAAAAAAADE FOR BEEEEAAAAAUUUUTTTTTYYY

https://t.co/9vbrZydPBo https://t.co/mYmbYe9a7e

also how did Mulan eat an apple without smudging that lipstick wtf Mulan what brand do you use https://t.co/DT4HJQGm6b

this decision will not impact Mulan's future in any foreseeable way whatsoever https://t.co/ztDpYiQty7

Technically Mulan's family tree is already uprooted because she has no male siblings lol. It doesn't matter who she marries, this branch of the Fa family is DONE

This is why they wanted sons so badly in ancient china smh the game was rigged https://t.co/pcDGsWuD0N

HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT GIRLS WOULD LINE UP LIKE THIS TO GO "AUDITION" FOR THE MATCHMAKER

Matchmakers were like real estate agents. They brokered the terms of the marriage, like the bride price. Would you audition for a real estate agent? no. https://t.co/HZheUqlcQ2

Also unlikely that Mulan would meet the matchmaker alone. Marriages back then were a family-family business, not individual-individual. The 2020 movie did this more accurately by having her mom there. https://t.co/qurKyh7yxk

omg we are only at like 10 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE AND I'VE ALREADY RAMBLED THIS MUCH WTF @ ME

What a matchmaker would actually do during a meeting is get Mulan's shengcheng bazi 生辰八字, the year, month, day, and time she was born, and then match it to a list of boys also seeking marriage. If their shengcheng bazi were a good match, she'd try to make it happen https://t.co/6jXBNs9xPr

this is grounds for a lawsuit, mulan (which COULD have happened in ancient China! the legal system has been robust for like 2k years now). should've let her butt stay on fire. https://t.co/0bewAwfPUO

when u try to present as a different gender then the one you were assigned at birth for the first time https://t.co/iEgWZUSYDn

THIS SONG AWAKENED SOMETHING IN EVERY QUEER KID I KNOW IT https://t.co/7e35TmNx84

The ancestral tombstones are carved in Seal Script, considered the Super Prestigious Fancy Script after the First Emperor of China made everyone learn it https://t.co/xG5pb9bM7P

this scene with her dad was nice because it showed he ultimately didn't care THAT much about her messing up in front of the matchmaker

unlike the 2020 movie where it was just him trying to get her to hide her superpowers lol https://t.co/r30Qwk5MS0

drum towers were at the center of every city to announce time, kind of like the big ben https://t.co/QNpygkeOei

It's unclear what Chi Fu's job actually is that he would simultaneously work so close with the emperor yet come deliver a conscription notice to a random town. but they were probably just keeping the number of characters low https://t.co/TssrbTWNtY

soldiers in ancient China usually did have to bring their own stuff bc most of them were just farmers who'd only fight after getting conscripted. governments were super stingy lol https://t.co/Y9yCTG2Iqv

low table is accurate, but what is with Mulan's family eating LITERALLY NOTHING BUT RICE AND TEA??? They would at least have a plate of veggies to share https://t.co/IrmnUoTJQc

also forgot to bring this up earlier but LOOK AT MULAN COMMITTING THE ULTIMATE CHOPSTICK SIN

(Putting your chopsticks straight up like this in a bowl looked like the incense offering to the dead so you were basically cursing the person in front of you to die) https://t.co/ifinbeeiw6

IT'S HAPPENING!!!!!! (if you keep ignoring the baffling incense dish)

#MulanIsGenderqueer2020 #ShangIsBi2020 https://t.co/bjtkQNz72e

This haircut scene got left out of the 2020 movie because, again, you weren't actually allowed to cut your hair unless you became a monk or something. It represented the ultimate severance of your ties with your family. https://t.co/NGtP4ei8q8

g-ma gets a Raven Symone vison of mulan leaving. everything becomes very sad in a way that is much more effective than the 2020 movie. https://t.co/O34CQWJBnH

GEORGE TAKEI!!!

Note: George Takei is dressed like a Daoist Immortal, so he has reason to let his hair down i guess. there were religious exemptions for the topknot rule lol https://t.co/V7h3w7ABCc

MUSHU IS HERE

the 2020 movie claims it took Mushu out bc the Mainland Chinese audience didn't like how he was "disrespectful" as a dragon. I don't think Chinese people care that much about dragons lol. I think they just didn't get Eddie Murphy's humor https://t.co/J1eUYimBQ8

as far as I know, animal guardians for specific families weren't a thing. even if they were, Mulan's family wouldn't have a dragon because again, they aren't royalty. It would be blasphemous https://t.co/m0S7jWNsg7

this dude is holding an abacus, used for math in ancient China, so he was probably an accountant or merchant https://t.co/oY4fQ9MQVn

this is the equivalent of MY CHILDREN ARE ALL DOCTORS in ancient china lol

except doctors back then weren't paid that well unless you got to the royal physician level

(Also idk what the hell Mushu is reading. It says...Beijing Military Code Tiger??) https://t.co/vBLGZeM7Qk

IT TOOK ME UNTIL THIS MOMENT TO REMEMBER THIS STATUE IS A DRAGON INSTEAD OF A LION?? It's way too compressed to be a realistic dragon statue. At least 3 sine wave curves in its body or go home. https://t.co/PO9ZCQynsR

THE HUNS ARE SO EVIL EVEN THEIR HORSE HAS AN EVIL LOOK

they did central asians so dirty in this movie lol https://t.co/0AGa7Ym1yE

SO IT WAS THIS LITERAL EMPEROR THAT BUILT THE GREAT WALL?!

Right: The First Emperor of China in his massive mausoleum full of mercury, upon hearing this line https://t.co/170VKseSuS

I appreciate them acknowledging that Chinese dragons are based on snakes, not lizards

but then they've also considered that Chinese dragons are creatures of water, not fire https://t.co/2Bh7xLou9H

in this scene Chien-Po and Yao weren't "muttering gibberish," but an actual Buddhist mantra, Nanwu emi tuofo 南无阿弥陀佛

if you've seen Journey to the West then you would've heard it coming outta Tang Seng's mouth https://t.co/Oy2s8SlDEO

the three-legged porridge pot here is based off of ancient bronze food vessels called Ding 鼎. Though it must not be made of bronze in the movie, because it'd be shiny yellow then. Bronzeware artifacts only look dull because they've been oxidized for thousands of years. https://t.co/nH8rSOWzIB

the monopoly pieces on maps here come up a lot in historical c-dramas https://t.co/58mIHaUlhu

BISEXUAL LEGEND LI SHANG IS HERE AND HE IS SUCH A NERD AL;SFDKJAS LOOK HOW PLEASED HE IS WITH HIMSELF ABOUT GETTING A PROMOTION https://t.co/lFPiEaMS8d

mulan tries to pass by invoking toxic masculinity

(GOD WHY COULDN'T THEY HAVE AT LEAST MADE MULAN FUNNY IN THE 2020 MOVIE) https://t.co/DdwrDiZWYS

there's also a legendary tumblr post about how this would've made her name Hua Ping, meaning "vase," slang for "gay"

this is true. other slang include Cut Sleeve, Shared Peach, Comrade https://t.co/D7wPIhN49o

anyone else get a flashback to that 锄禾日当午 poem your Chinese teachers or parents drilled into your head to make you stop wasting the rice in your bowl https://t.co/bGMogDzZQ0

the shoes and socks in this movie are randomly spot on too. these shoes were made of black canvas and you always see them in historical c-dramas https://t.co/R153vR7NgK

MUSHU!!! NOT THE STRAIGHT UP CHOPSTICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(also there probably wasn't bacon that looked like this) https://t.co/fmXC6TzZW1

all villain stans be like https://t.co/KdZ9TB5H3t

there is only male fanservice in this movie...amazing....thank you bisexual legend Li Shang https://t.co/SbFr15x07I

if Shang had just inclined his head about 15 degrees down this movie would've been 50 minutes shorter https://t.co/R8N4EsaE2r

Fireworks were indeed invented in China!! ...But only in the Song dynasty, at least a hundred years after this

Before that, Chinese people threw bamboo into fire to make loud cracks to scare off evil spirits https://t.co/7im0BnTqv9

IT IS DEAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND HE IS FIRING MULAN AND HE STILL DOESN'T HAVE A SHIRT ON https://t.co/Gljj5po7F8

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH THIS MOMENT!!!!!

Note: the weights look like ancient Banliang coins, AKA Earth Kingdom coins. The round exterior represents the sky and the square hole represents the earth. And made it easy to string these coins together, of course. https://t.co/Y3DgvPFpe3

AFTER MULAN KICKS HIS ASS HE GIVES HER THE SAME LOOK NALA GIVES TO SIMBA

SHANG IS BISEXUAL CONFIRMED

#ShangIsBisexual2020 https://t.co/Ks3DsyXkUv

Shan Yu is so evil he randomly commits environmental damage before sniffing a little girl's doll https://t.co/WEAZqYIUkZ

THE HUNS DEDUCE THE LOCATION OF THE IMPERIAL ARMY BY THE SHEER FORCE OF SNIFFING https://t.co/DwQhWVomxk

i appreciate how mushu covered his eyes with his ears like that lol he is a true ally https://t.co/FoRZcLXRHe

obviously the underwear here is a joke, but i feel the need to mention that ancient Chinese people definitely wouldn't have worn underwear like this

No, for most of history their pants were OPEN CROTCH

THAT'S RIGHT. THOSE PRETTY BOYS IN C-DRAMAS? SWINGING FREE UNDER THEIR ROBES https://t.co/WR3RseiDDm

ARTIFACT FOR PROOF https://t.co/FMZq2PCPCw

The Chinese in this single shot is actually legit. It says something like "Dedicated to honorable brother Chi Fu on the [Ancient Chinese day format] of a spring month" https://t.co/nencaguyHJ

BUT THE LETTER MUSHU AND CRI-KEE WRITE TO MOBILIZE MULAN'S BATTALION? CHINESE TAKEN FROM A TAKE-OUT MENU https://t.co/Fn3UgdTJjb

pretty sure trying to ride a panda nowadays would land you life in jail https://t.co/ksh2QrcoR7

here the production team showed off the landscapes they saw during their trip to china!! Like the mountains of Guilin and the statues of the Longmen Grottoes https://t.co/0u6tkKXGQj

and then comes one of the best cinematic transitions of all time 😔 https://t.co/t6WUUOzw5K

Shang just lost his dad and yet he kept composed and continued leading his troops toward the imperial city...we really could not stan any harder https://t.co/AAazFRKq9C

never forget that Mulan is the Disney princess with the highest body count

and she is proud of it. https://t.co/hHgKDEt4J7

Chien-Po really came in CLUTCH https://t.co/bxn9MUk7uO

#ShangIsBi2020 pass it on https://t.co/vG2W8oZON0

i don't know where they found this doctor in the middle of the snowy mountains but his look is legit lol. Traveling doctors carried medicine in cases and gourds https://t.co/Kdm6L87tIu

THE DRAMATIC MUSIC WHEN HER BOOBS ARE REVEALED ASD;FLKJSALFJSDA https://t.co/gRqg9YIgXp

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, DIDN'T MEAN FOR IT TO GO THIS FAR

WHAT WAS 'TOO FAR'

EXPLAIN, MULAN https://t.co/1HtGgPwVLf

this implies Mulan carried around dumplings as military rations which would be HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE https://t.co/fFajTIPz3j

shan yu yells so loud Mulan is alerted of his presence https://t.co/I7ZZepWAvZ

y'all have no idea how utterly loud these instruments (suona 唢呐) are

They're usually blown at weddings or funerals https://t.co/PqVLL7yHXt

The imperial palace is based off the Forbidden City...which was built early Ming dynasty, "only" 600 years ago https://t.co/QvFGxRPXju

yes, these "Fan Holders to Make the Emperor Look Badass" were real jobs https://t.co/OzSynBM8OZ

this shot makes the palace look TINY, when in reality, it should be exactly what it's named after - a city. Palaces in ancient China were self-contained cities, not a single fancy building https://t.co/lcVNoYtrnw

............😔 https://t.co/4lGNDKx4me

These lil animal statues on the roof were also ripped directly from the Forbidden City https://t.co/05WXLb3Gle

draw the squad https://t.co/nyIybgPqb9

when it comes to stone lion guardians, usually only one of them is supposed to have the ball under the paw to represent that they're the female of a male/female pair

you know what this means...

THEY'RE LESBIANS https://t.co/S8nrfgzO03

the squad tries and fails to break down the door with the lesbian lion https://t.co/J5u0eQH2k3

thankfully, nothing happens to the emperor in the time it takes for them to get into full drag https://t.co/53fgYMkSbU

but this scene is actually really offensive because WHY IS SHANG NOT IN DRAG?????? https://t.co/aClOvAgyVe

i just know some of you sinners are gonna ship the emperor and shan yu https://t.co/hUzSTrfqhU

fun fact: there is absolutely nothing Mongolian about Mongolian barbecue. It was invented in Taiwan in 1951 by comedian Wu Zhaonan. https://t.co/vTwckgcl1p

when the drag queens win a war with their pads https://t.co/NOFqsOtxcN

SHANG IS SUCH A NEEEEEEEERDD LOOOOOOOOOL HE LITERALLY PUT HIS CAPE BACK ON AFTER TAKING IT OFF 5 MINUTES EARLIER https://t.co/UKMRzWWSop

YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/JGmV6Y1r7j

i heard somewhere that this is a real martial arts technique but i am too lazy to research https://t.co/REPSVt7olj

the Chinese on this says DANGER https://t.co/0DdxUZG8ng

in true disney fashion they killed a man and then never spoke of him again https://t.co/TcmFEkHMWz

mulan is the new emperor now, thanks everyone for following this thread!! https://t.co/mvzcJtms1P

im kidding i got a few more things to explain smh, the Chinese on Chi Fu's clipboard is like "General Li Report“ https://t.co/fcm0bquZQu

in the original ballad, the emperor does indeed offer Mulan a position in the court, but she turns it down to go back to her family https://t.co/nGw8Q5q5aV

she is definitely not but we don't care https://t.co/boUOBs4nJU

S H A N G

YOU NERD https://t.co/oh7Z0lc4Ir

you can't out sass an emperor actually https://t.co/UX1mkaoola

peak asian grandma is Mulan saving the whole country and her chief concern is still Mulan not having a boyfriend https://t.co/UASBBEaErZ

WHOO! SIGN ME UP FOR THE NEXT WAR!!!!! https://t.co/fhWcgeX1j0

HE CAME ALL THE WAY TO HER HOUSE AND STILL COULD NOT FLIRT

MULAN IS PULLING ALL THE WEIGHT IN THIS RELATIONSHIP SMH https://t.co/N5jH6cDB0k

George Takei finally accepts Mushu, the ancestors have a disco dance party, AND SO ENDS THE QUEEREST DISNEY MOVIE EVER https://t.co/yzNVBlPnmw

Thank you to everyone who read this ENTIRE THREAD LOOOL

My Chinese history tweet collections: https://t.co/4sZwhxAazp

My book, a Pacific Rim x The Handmaid's Tale retelling of China's only female emperor, out Fall 2021: https://t.co/0maa4qQFgc

My Ko-Fi: https://t.co/xQqzIa6eps https://t.co/TvyuN22Wpq

Sat Oct 10 03:18:10 +0000 2020