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happening; instance; reason; cause; deceased; old
(double-edged) sword
trad. (故劍)
simp. (故剑)
Literally: “the old sword”.


From the story of Emperor Xuan of Han, as recorded in the Book of Han:

Before Emperor Xuan of Han ascended to the throne, he was married to Xu Pingjun, the daughter of Xu Guanghan (an assistant to Prince He of Changyi). After he became the emperor, Xu Pingjun was initially created an imperial consort. When it came time to create an empress, the officials at the time favoured him to marry Huo Chengjun, the daughter of the regent Huo Guang, and make her empress. Upon hearing this, the Emperor issued a decree to seek out the old sword that he owned as a commoner. Getting the hint, the officials recommended Consort Xu Pingjun as empress instead.
(Empress Xu was later murdered by poisoning, by Huo Guang's wife, Xian.)




  1. (literary, figuratively) the first wife of one's humble days; one's former wife

Derived termsEdit