Han Wo (c. 842–844c. 923) was a Chinese poet of the late Tang dynasty and Min dynasty. His courtesy name was Zhiyao, or possibly Zhiguang or Zhiyuan, and his art name was Yushan-Qiaoren. He was a native of Jingzhao, in or near the capital Chang'an. An anthology of his poems, the Xianglian Ji survives.

Han Wo
Traditional Chinese韓偓
Simplified Chinese韩偓
Courtesy name: Zhiyao
Traditional Chinese致堯
Simplified Chinese致尧
Art name: Yushan-Qiaoren
Possible alternate courtesy name: Zhiguang
Possible alternate courtesy name: Zhiyuan



Chapter 183 of the New Book of Tang gives a short biography of Han Wo.[1]

Birth and early lifeEdit

He was born in either 842 or 844.[a] He was a native of Wannian, Jingzhao (modern-day Xi'an, Shaanxi Province).[2] His father, Han Zhan (traditional Chinese: 韓瞻; simplified Chinese: 韩瞻; pinyin: Hán Zhān; Wade–Giles: Han2 Chan1) took the imperial examination in the same year as Li Shangyin, who was also connected to Wo's family through marriage.[3] The young Wo supposedly was recognized for his poetic genius by Li, who praised him.[3]

Political careerEdit

In 889 (Longji 1) he passed the imperial examination, receiving his Jinshi degree.[4] He became a scholar at the Hanlin Academy[4] and a low-ranking official at the Central Secretariat,[5] eventually becoming Vice-Minister of Defense (兵部侍郎).[6] He earned the trust of Emperor Zhaozong,[3] working with him against the eunuchs,[7] and was recommended for the position of chancellor, but he was disliked by Zhu Quanzhong (later to become Emperor Daizu of Liao) and was therefore exiled to Pu Prefecture (modern Fan County, Henan).[5]

Later life and deathEdit

Following his exile, Han did not return to government, and spent his last years in the Min Kingdom.[3] He died around 923,[b] having never returned to the capital.[7]


Courtesy nameEdit

His courtesy name was either Zhiyao[2] or Zhiguang,[5] or possibly Zhiyuan.[8]

The New Book of Tang, as well as a work by Han's contemporary Wu Rong [ja], refer to him as Zhiguang, but the Liexian Zhuan associates the character used in his given name Wo with the second character of Zhiyao, lending support to the idea that Zhiguang would have fit his given name better.[8] Both the Tang Cai Zi Zhuan and the Tangshi Jishi (唐詩紀事) give his courtesy name as Zhiyao.[8] The theory that his courtesy name was Zhiyuan relies on the Tiao xi yu yin cong hua [zh].[9]

Art nameEdit

His art name was Yushan-Qiaoren.[3]


In literary history, Han is generally considered a poet of the so-called late Tang period, which spanned the early-ninth century to 907.[10]

An anthology of his poems, the Xianglian Ji (traditional Chinese: 香奩集; simplified Chinese: 香奁集; pinyin: xiānglián jí; Wade–Giles: hsiang1-lien2 chih2), survives.[11] His poetry is noted for its sensual beauty, with the Xianglian Ji having given its name to xianglian-ti (traditional Chinese: 香奩體; simplified Chinese: 香奁体; pinyin: xiānglián tǐ; Wade–Giles: hsiang1-lien2 t'ih3), a style of poetry associated with him.[7] His poems of other types are collected in the Yushan-Qiaoren Ji (Chinese: 玉山樵人集; pinyin: yùshān-qiáorén jí; Wade–Giles: 4shan1-ch'iao2jên2 chih2).[7]


His poetry influenced the work of the fourteenth-century poet Yang Weizhen.[12]


  1. ^ Ueki, Uno & Matsubara (1999, p. 148) give "842?", while Noguchi (1994), Arai (1998) and Daijirin (2006) give 844.
  2. ^ Noguchi (1994), Arai (1998) and Daijirin (2006) all give 923 as the year of his death, while Ueki, Uno & Matsubara (1999, p. 148) give the same date with a question mark.


Works citedEdit

  • Arai, Ken (1998). "Han Wo (Kan Aku in Japanese)". World Encyclopedia (in Japanese). Heibonsha. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  • Chen Fumika. "第一章 韓偓の事蹟に關する再考證" [Chapter 1 Reconsideration of Han Wo]. 森春濤の香奩體詩受容と漢詩創作 ―― 韓偓の香奩詩から森春濤の艷體詩へ [Acceptance of incense poetry by Haruo Mori and creation of Chinese poetry--From Han Wo's incense poem to Moriharu's poem] (PDF) (Thesis) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-22. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  • "Han Wo (Kan Aku in Japanese)". Daijirin (in Japanese). Sanseidō. 2006. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  • Kawai, Kōzō (1975). "Kan Aku (844-923): Shin Tō Sho kan 183". In Ogawa, Tamaki (ed.). Tōdai no Shijin: Sono Denki. Tokyo: Taishūkan Shoten. pp. 612–625.
  • Noguchi, Kazuo (1994). "Han Wo (Kan Aku in Japanese)". Encyclopedia Nipponica (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  • Ueki, Hisayuki; Uno, Naoto; Matsubara, Akira (1999). "Shijin to Shi no Shōgai (Kan Aku)". In Matsuura, Tomohisa (ed.). Kanshi no Jiten 漢詩の事典 (in Japanese). 1. Tokyo: Taishūkan Shoten. pp. 148–149. OCLC 41025662.
  • Wixted, John Timothy (2001). "Chapter 19: Poetry of the Fourteenth Century". In Mair, Victor H. (ed.). The Columbia History of Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10984-9.

Further readingEdit

  • Upton, Beth Ann (1980). The Poetry of Han Wo (844-923). Berkeley: University of California Press.

External linksEdit