You never know what you’re going to come across when you are doing research for a book. Case in point: today an idea came to me about how to fix something that wasn’t working in my latest manuscript. And if I don’t get this sucker done soon I am going to kill myself, figuratively speaking. Literally, I will probably put on another five pounds from frustration and sitting at my computer trying to get this stupid book done while consoling myself with chocolates. Because we all know that next to diamonds, chocolates are a girl’s best friend. And much cheaper. But much more fattening. Of course, you’re not going to get many diamonds if you eat too many chocolates. I think Aesop said that. Or maybe it was Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Where was I?
Oh, yes. Research. For reasons too boring to go into (unlike those above) I needed to find out the history of the Chinaman’s Queue. Here’s what I discovered from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So take it for what it’s worth.
The Manchu hairstyle signified Han submission to Qing rule, and also aided the Manchu identification of those Han who refused to accept Qing dynasty domination. The hairstyle was compulsory for all males and the penalty for non-compliance was execution for treason. In the early 1910s, after the fall of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese no longer had to wear the Manchu queue. While some, such as Zhang Xun, still did so as a tradition, most of them abandoned it after the last Emperor of China, Puyi, cut his queue in 1922.
But I just love that picture of the elderly man with a queue running almost down to his feet. If it were me, I would get it caught in all sorts of stuff. Or have it covered in chocolate. Because that is my fate.