Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Traditional shoes in China

Traditional shoes in China

The origin of lily feet is not very certain. It is often said that it appeared during the Five Dynasties (907–960). According to legend, a king asked a lady-in-waiting named Ruiniang to bind her feet and dance on a golden lotus flower, so it was called three-cun lily feet. After that, the custom of foot-binding emerged. But this custom ceased after the founding of New China, and shoes for lily feet entered the museums. There is another story about lily feet. The king of the Sui Dynasty (581–618) was immoral. When he traveled along the river, he did not want to use men to tow his boat, so he chose 100 beautiful women. A blacksmith’s daughter, Wu Yueniang, was one of them. She bound her feet and hid a small sword inside. She wore very beautiful small shoes with lotus flowers which attracted the king’s attention. When the king came closer to look, Wu Yueniang drew out the sword and stabbed the king’s arm. Wu Yueniang failed to kill the king; then she jumped into the river and killed herself. From then on, women began binding their feet to memorialize Wu Yueniang. (Source: Chinese Shoe Culture Museum)

Fashion in japan1 Traditional shoes in China

Fashion in japan2 Traditional shoes in China

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  1. avatar comment-top

    Horrible…I’ve heard of this before and find it pretty disgusting. I can’t believe these women mutilate their feet to fit into these shoes.

  2. avatar comment-top

    wow, you a pretty ill informed. the binding of feet in china is pretty much a form of domestic abuse, the womens feet are bound as it was thought to be more attractive. e.g. the smaller the feet the better the woman.

  3. avatar comment-top

    I dont care if they think that, I find this disgusting!!, unaceptable!

  4. avatar comment-top

    Wow I have a size 9 1/2 to 10 foot. When I was a kid I used to ask my mom if we could bind them cause I have always had big feet. After seeing this MY BIG MONSTER FEET ARE SMEXY!! lol

  5. avatar
    magnetictheory Says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    I’m not sure what PasserBy is so well-informed about, since Chris clearly said they’d heard of it before, as has everyone else. If you’ve not been locked away in a cave for 20 yrs then this is not news. Thx for the history lesson, idiot. It’s not esoteric. What possible contribution did you think you could make on the internet verse the power of Google? Choke already.

  6. avatar comment-top

    Mike: they didn’t have a choice. They were forced, as young girls (from age 4 or 6), to do it. Often by female family members.

  7. avatar comment-top

    I’ve read about this before. Andy is right as young girls from the age of 3 were forced to binding their feet by their mothers. This wouldn’t be the first time women went to great length for fashion, though.. At least nobody died in the process.

  8. avatar comment-top

    I think they were forced by the society in the past.
    If one day people think “fat” is more beautiful people will eat as much as they can.

  9. avatar Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    I can’t imagine how painful this must have been. The pix. you show are hard to look at.

  10. avatar
    anonymous Says:
    May 17th, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    jen,it’s not about fashion,i’s about customs with results that men appreciate;probably a man wouldn’t marry a girl without money or with big feet;women were taught and tamed to do this;in the same way are the muslim women;they can’t see past their living conditions…they haven’t seen better.they have been raised like that

  11. avatar comment-top

    First of all judge not yet ye be judge. I would also like to point out that the practice of feet binding has been banned for over 80 years and actually some girls did die and those who didn’t were generally crippled later in life. That being said a century ago in China the pro’s of having one’s daughter’s feet bound still far out weighted the con’s of not doing so. In a era where men and women never met before they were married, a woman’s small feet size was relied upon as a symbol of beauty, health, and most importantly fertility. It went far beyond simply fashion it was cultural because girls who did not have their feet bound were not considered worthy of marriage. In short, foot binding was in preparation for marriage and not simply fashionable. Yes, the girl’s feet were bound at a young age but so also were their marriage contracts signed years in advance.

  12. avatar
    Anonymous coward Says:
    February 16th, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    I personally feel that EVERY parent who forced this custom on a child should have been tried for crimes against humanity.

    Funny that a symbol of attractiveness can in reality be hideous….it is VERY unattractive, and must be horribly painful.

    Any man that required this of his arranged bride should have been required to have his testicles removed via his anus to fulfill an equal contract….

    The fact that they didn’t know any better is not an excuse. If something just seems wrong, that it bothers you, even when everyone else goes along with it….it probably IS wrong. People are usually just too insecure and afraid to stand up to the status quo. It is how evil persists….

    For those who think it has been outlawed for 80 years now: it STILL goes on in rural areas, just like forced abortions, and the forced sterilization if Tibetans. China is a beautiful country, rich in resources, and culture, but they need to be more socially responsible. Of course, communism never wants THAT….IT IS COUNTRY FIRST, then province, then village, then community, then closest neighbors, then family, and finally self. Funny thing is: what is good for the self IS good for everyone else.


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