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Home History & Culture Hangzhou Normal University Anthem & Li Shutong Introduction

Hangzhou Normal University Anthem & Li Shutong Introduction


The anthem of Hangzhou Normal University used to be the school song of Zhejiang Provincial No.1 Normal School. This song lasts today, and was written by Xia Mianzun(夏丏尊), a famous educationist and litterateur, and was composed by Li Shutong(李叔同), a great spiritual soul of modern China. The melody is elegant and peaceful, and the line with a great artistic conception is refreshing, inspiring and meaningful. They both were the teachers of university and promoted the art education and personality education. Their personal influences are large and wide, and they were highly respected by their students. Feng Zikai(丰子恺), one of their students and a famous painter and educationist of modern China, took them as his parents. From the anthem, we can understand the highlights and notion of university management, and are mainly embodied in three aspects – aspiration, encouragement and edification.

The audio show of the anthem or school song of Hangzhou Normal University

This is the original words of school song:


This is an inaccurate translation hereinafter:

* Man, our men, generation to generation, never stop together waking the new men.
* We may we can cultivate the spirit and nurture the heart & body through morality.
* My dear schoolmates, shouldering this heavy but sacred responsibility, must encourage and support each other.
* It has been five years we together to study and grow, and will strengthen the root of our life and soul.
* The leaves are so exuberant, and the woods are so flourishing. The green phoenix trees are unfolding their innumerous new twigs.
* On the west Zhijiang River and the side of West Lake, the peaches and plums bloom in spring

Who was Li Shutong?

Hong Yi (1880–1942) also well known as Li Shutong, was a Chinese Buddhist monk, artist and art teacher. He also went by the names Wen Tao, Guang Hou, and Shu Tong, but was most commonly known by his Buddhist name, Hong Yi. He was a master painter, musician, dramatist, calligrapher, seal cutter, poet, and Buddhist monk. By the way, he was one of four most famous Buddhist masters in modern China. Today, his influence has been reached the whole East Asia. In Hangzhou Normal University, there is an themed academic institution named Master Hong YI . Feng Zikai Research Center in memory of Li Shu Tong and his famous student Feng Zikai.

The oil painting of Master Hong Yi's profile

He was born in Tianjin to a banking family originating in Hongdong County, Shanxi, that migrated to Tianjin in the Ming Dynasty, though his mother was from Pinghu, Zhejiang province.

In 1898 Li moved to Shanghai and joined the "Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Association", and the "Shanghai Scholarly Society" while he was attending the Nanyang public school. In 1905 Li went to Japan to study at Tokyo School of Fine Art in Ueno Park where he specialized in Western painting and music, and met a lover by the name of Yukiko who was to become his concubine. In 1910 Li returned to China and was appointed to Tianjin's Beiyang Advanced Industry School. The next year he was appointed as a music teacher in a girl's school in Shanghai. He went to Hangzhou in 1912 and became a lecturer in the Zhejiang Secondary Normal College. He taught not only Western painting and music but also art history. By 1915 Jiang Qian hired him as a teacher at Nanjing Normal College (renamed in 1949 to Nanjing University), where he taught painting and music. He also taught at Zhejiang Secondary Normal School, the predecessor of the famous Hangzhou High School.

During these later years, Li’s reputation grew, as he became the first Chinese educator to use nude models in his painting classes, not to mention as the first teacher of Western music in China. Some of the students, like Singapore artist Chen Wen Xi whom he personally groomed, went on to become accomplished masters of the arts in their later days. Li Shutong himself was also an accomplished composer and lyricist. Many of his compositions are still remembered and performed today.

In 1916, Li underwent a 21-day fast at a temple in Hangzhou, and experienced the benefit of a spiritual life. The following year, he took refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism. After spending another year there, Li began a new chapter in his life by choosing to be ordained as a monk, and thus began a holistic life dedicated to propagating Buddhism and its code of conduct. After becoming a monk he practiced only calligraphy, developing a simple and unadorned, yet unique style, which was treasured by everyone who received a sample. He became known to all as Master Hong Yi. In 1942, Master Hong Yi died peacefully at the age of 63 in Quanzhou, Fujian Province.

The video show of Farewell Song jointly created by Li Shutong and J.P.Ordway

The most famous work he created and sung by people in the world is Farewell Song (送别歌):

长亭外, 古道边, 芳草碧连天. 晚风拂柳笛声残, 夕阳山外山.
天之涯, 海之角, 知交半零落. 一斛浊酒尽余欢, 今宵别梦寒.
长亭外, 古道边, 芳草碧连天. 晚风拂柳笛声残, 夕阳山外山.

* Beyond the long pavilion, near the ancient route, beautiful grass connecting the sky,
* The evening wind comforts the willows with the wave of a Chinese flute play, the setting Sun beyond the mountains.
* On the brink of the sky, in the corner of the sea, there are only a few knowing friends,
* We enjoyed the remaining happiness after a cup of translucent wine, please do not dream cold tonight.
* Beyond the long pavilion, near the ancient route, beautiful grass connecting the sky,
* The evening wind comforts the willow leaves with the remainder of a Chinese flute play, the setting Sun is beyond the mountains

(Source: with a partial reediting and extension)

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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