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John Leighton Stuart, an American Considering Himself More of a Chinese 2017-05-11
John Leighton Stuart who was American by nationality actually considered himself Chinese. He was born and raised in Hangzhou where his father and mother were both leading missionaries. The Stuarts, an eminent Presbyterian missionary family, arrived in China in 1868 and made a great contribution to Sino-American Cultural and spiritual communications. John Linton Stuart, Leighton’s father, is one of the first three ministers to have been sent to China by the Presbyterian Church in the United States where he spent forty years as a leading missionary in Hangzhou. Leighton’s mother, known affectionately as ‘Mother Stuart’ in Hangzhou, founded the Hangzhou School for Girls, one of the first institutions of its kind in China. John Leighton Stuart had three brothers, the youngest died at an early age and the other two were also missionaries in China.

John Leighton Stuart (the third from the left) and his parents and brothers

John Leighton Stuart, one of the ‘West Lake Celebrities’, is closely connected with China, especially Hangzhou and its West Lake. He was born near the West Lake and spent his first 11 years in Hangzhou where he learned to speak the local dialect fluently. In 1946 he was declared Honorary Citizen of Hangzhou, the only foreigner to have been granted this title along with his only son Jack who was also born in Hangzhou.

John Leighton Stuart spent 50 years in China, of which 14 were devoted to Hangzhou. He showed great love to Hangzhou, which can be seen in his memoirs Fifty Years in China. In the book he describes the Hangzhou dialect as “unique in all of China...” “It seems to me to have a musical lilt and expressiveness lacking in all others ...” He loved West Lake, “Hangchow is one of the most historic and beautiful cities in all china. The environs of the city, with the exquisitely lovely West Lake encircled literally by 'temple hills' ... have long been famous in Chinese literature and art.” "... the unusually graceful pagodas around West Lake at Hangchow, and the location of temples in beautiful natural surroundings ... ", “I have fairly vivid and colorful memories of … riding in sedan chairs of pleasure boats on the West Lake ...”, “I remember excursions to the scenic spots of Hangchow, picnic lunches, hunting for wild strawberries, the hills ablaze with azaleas in the spring, summering in a dank old temple on a hilltop ...”

Statue of John Leighton Stuart Erected in its Former Residence

So that West Lake would accompany them forever, John Leighton and his family were all buried in cemeteries near to the West Lake.
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The Art of the Guqin2017-11-21
Guqin, is a traditional Chinese musical instrument with a history that spans at least three thousand years. Ranked first in the following top four traditional Chinese arts – Guqin, Chess, Calligraphy and Painting, Guqin has long been considered as the symbol of elegance and has been the long-chosen musical accompaniment for singing ancient scholars. To know or to master the art of the Guqin, then the following influential places in Hangzhou are a good place to start.
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Hangzhou, Soaked in Traditional Chinese Medicine2017-11-21
Traditional Chinese medicine has a time-honored history. As early as ancient times, through the process of struggling with nature, traditional Chinese medicine was created. When searching for food, it was discovered that plants could relieve symptoms, which is the origins of traditional Chinese medicine; hot rocks or sand and earth wrapped up with furs or tree barks eased pain when warming oneself by a fire, which is how moxibustion came into being. It is also during the process of producing tools, that the ancient Chinese discovered the stabbing of some parts of the body can ease the pain of some other parts of the body, and that is how acupuncture come into being.
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