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Historical Figures of Hu'nan

    A large number of figures of outstanding talents have emerged in the history of Hu'nan province, so Hu'nan enjoys the reputation of “The Kingdom of Chu, the unique home of talents people, The Province of Hu'nan, the very cradle of all”. In 105 A.D., Cai Lun, who was from Leiyang of Hu'nan, improved papermaking technology and produced the first piece of paper from multiple plant fibers, which has been honored as one of “Four Great Inventions” in ancient China. Zhou Dunyi, the founder of the Confucian school of idealist philosophy in the Song and Ming Dynasties was from Yongzhou of Hu'nan. Wang Fuzhi, an outstanding thinker of China in 17th century, was from Hengyang of Hu'nan. During the 79 years from the Opium War and the May Fourth Movement, Hu'nan province witnessed the appearance of many important figures in Modern Chinese history, such as Wei Yuan, Zeng Guofan, He Shaoji, Zuo Zongtang, Tan Sitong, Chen Tianhua, Huang Xing and Song Jiaoren. 83 people from Hu'nan in this period are listed in the Dictionary of Historical Celebrities in China, accounting for 10.9% of the total numbers of celebrities listed in the book. From May Fourth Movement to the New Democratic Revolution or even to the socialist revolution and construction period, a great number of Party leaders, government officials and military figures emerged from this province, the outstanding representatives of which are Mao Zedong, Cai Hesen, Ren Bishi, Liu Shaoqi, Peng Dehuai, He Long, and Luo Ronghuan. Meanwhile, a large group of geniuses of literature, arts, science and education came forth, such as Qi Baishi-the great master of Chinese painting, Tian Han-the playwright, Shen Congwen-the litterateur, Zhou Libo-the writer, and Chen Guoda-the founder of Geodegression Theory.

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