Cultivation, Martial Arts, & Historical Chinese Terminologies?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by InkRaven87, Apr 6, 2024.

  1. InkRaven87

    InkRaven87 Active Member

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    So... I'm writing a Reincarnation Cultivation-Martial Arts-Historical Novel in my free time, to relax. As I am not Asian or of Asian-descent, I have no intentions of profiting from this novel. I will not commit cultural appropriation. The Novel will be posted Anonymously on Archive of Our Own. That said, I'm having some difficulties remembering the correct usage of cultivation and historical Chinese terminologies. If someone could help me out, I'd be much obliged. I am even willing to accredit the individual as an editor or co-author.

    Story Summary: An uncontrolled freight train ploughed through a rest station just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, killing me, the locomotive driver, and several other travelers. The survivors of the horrific accident were thereon traumatized, disfigured, or disabled. You would think that would be the end of my story, but it was only the beginning. I’ve heard of being transmigrated into books to fulfil a significant role, but never realized that I could be reincarnated into a book as a no-name cannon fodder. If a rather intelligent and talented one. I was a male doctoral student in an Ivy League college when I died. Then I regained my consciousness and memories as a toddler. This world is vastly different from my original one. A world similar to the trashy Danmei Novels about Cultivation, Cultivation Sects, and tyrannical Emperors, I read at the urgings of my younger sister and then later to waste time.

    NOTES: The Story will be written in first-person from the perspective of the protagonist. The Protagonist is a white male of the United States. This is a BL/Danmei novel.

    A. Historical Chinese Terminologies:
    1. (Forgotten Term): A County Official who manages the Judicial/Enforcement duties in the area? They have armed guards who carry out punishments and arrest criminals.
    2. (Forgotten Term): Armed Guard who obeys County Judicial Official?
    3. (Unknown Classifications): The historical Chinese literati have a number of level-titles earned through extensive testing. What are these titles (in order of importance, descending)?
    4. (Suggestions?): The forces of the Emperor's Court are usually described as the Literati, the Eunuchs, the Hereditary Nobles, and the Imperial Harem. What would you suggest I include?
    5. (Unknown Classifications): What is the Hierarchy of the Chinese Noble titles and their names? (in order of power/prestige, descending).
    6. (Forgotten Term): When an Individual is recognized for their contributions to the Dynasty/Empire, they are given a plaque and other materials. What is this ceremony called? What are the items?
    B. Cultivation Terminologies:
    1. (Forgotten Term): Title for Cultivation Aunt?
    2. (Forgotten Term): Title for Cultivation Uncle?
    3. (Forgotten Term): Title for Cultivation Senior Female Student?
    C. Martial Art Terminologies:
    1. (Unknown Classifications): In someone Cultivation novels, Martial Artists are separated from Cultivators. I intend to follow this plot direction. Does anyone know the common titles and levels of Martial Artists depicted in fantasy novels?
    Suggestions? Does anyone have suggestions for me?
     
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  2. 3db

    3db Did your boots stop workin'?

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    I don't know about the nobility stuff, but these are terms I've seen used,
    Cultivation Uncle: Uncle-master (But Aunt-master doesn't seem right when it rolls off my tongue lol)
    Cultivation senior female: Senior sister

    Martial arts terms- there are two types iirc one goes something like mingjin, anjin, huajin.... (don't recall the rest :p)
    and the other one is acquired, innate, master, grandmaster, god of war or something.
    The specific terms of this you may have to google further but having some of these to start with may help.
     
  3. Kuchka Kiwi

    Kuchka Kiwi Member

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    Do you know the site Immortal Mountain? It's a glossary of cultivation novels terms.
    The local official is usually translated "magistrate" or "judge" - in Chinese 县令 /xiàn lìng/. This term is often used in novels but in fact it belongs to Ming period (if I am not mistaken). I different dynasties there were different systems of officials so you should decide where you are with your story.
    Xiangling's place is 衙门 yámén (local court/ office/ town hall). His assistant is 幕友 mùyǒu (= general's friend) - but this is during Ming and Qing.
     
  4. Foodiemonster007

    Foodiemonster007 Foodie is hungry. Feed Foodie.

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    A. Historical Chinese Terminologies:
    1. Magistrate: A County Official who manages the Judicial/Enforcement duties in the area? They have armed guards who carry out punishments and arrest criminals.
    2. Constable: Armed Guard who obeys County Judicial Official?
    3. Nine-rank System: The historical Chinese literati have a number of level-titles earned through extensive testing. What are these titles (in order of importance, descending)?
    4. Three Departments and Six Ministries: The forces of the Emperor's Court are usually described as the Literati, the Eunuchs, the Hereditary Nobles, and the Imperial Harem. What would you suggest I include?
    5. See link: What is the Hierarchy of the Chinese Noble titles and their names? (in order of power/prestige, descending).
    6. Inconsistent so write whatever you want: When an Individual is recognized for their contributions to the Dynasty/Empire, they are given a plaque and other materials. What is this ceremony called? What are the items?
    B. Cultivation Terminologies:
    1. Senior Aunt/Junior Aunt or just Master Aunt: Title for Cultivation Aunt? Depending on whether said aunt is older or younger than the master.
    2. Senior Uncle/Junior Uncle or just Master Uncle: Title for Cultivation Uncle?
    3. Senior Sister: Title for Cultivation Senior Female Student?
    C. Martial Art Terminologies:
    1. (Unknown Classifications): In someone Cultivation novels, Martial Artists are separated from Cultivators. I intend to follow this plot direction. Does anyone know the common titles and levels of Martial Artists depicted in fantasy novels?
      A: Classical martial arts novels have no "level" classification system, only relative strengths using a famous person for comparison. Modern classifications systems generally follow the trend: Third-rate, Second-rate, First-Rate, Peak, Supreme Peak, Transcendent
    Suggestions? Does anyone have suggestions for me?
    A:
    The ancient Chinese government system is ridiculously complex and bureaucratic and changes every dynasty, even between different Emperors within the same dynasty. In general, officials were given titles based on their roles rather than their ranks, but they need the appropriate official rank (refer to nine-rank system) to fulfill that role. There are more than 10 types of princes and princesses depending on their order of birth, whether they're the child of the empress or a concubine or are adopted, and whether they're of imperial lineage or married into the family. We typically translate all of these to the standard Prince/Princess and stop thinking because there is simply no English equivalent. Go read a book on Chinese history or a novel with a similar setting (Duke of Mount Deer, Joy of Life), and also novels with a not-so-strict setting (The Apothecary Diaries, Saiunkoku Monogatari) and use them are a reference.