Encyclopedia: Bao Chu

Bao Chu (Wencai); Pao Ch‘u (Wên-ts‘ai); 鮑出 (文才)

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Bao Chu (Wencai) 鮑出 (文才)

Lived: AD c.160–c.245

None Available

Served: Miscellaneous

Saved his mother and sister-in-law from bandits. Invited to office for his actions, but he refused.

Officer Details

Wade-Giles: Pao Ch‘u (Wên-ts‘ai)
Simplified Chinese: 鲍出 (文才)
Pronunciation: Bao4 Chu1 (Wen2cai2)
Cantonese (Yale): Baau Cheut (Man-choi)
Cantonese (Jyutpin): Baau Ceot (Man-coi)

Birthplace: Jingzhao

Family and Relationships

Lady Bao (Mother)

Literary Appearances

Sanguozhi: Wei 18


Historic (Confirmed)

Bao Chu, styled Wencai, was a son of Lady Bao. As a young man Bao Chu behaved as a knight errant. In the 190s while Bao Chu and his brothers were foraging for food, some bandits invaded their home and took Lady Bao captive. Upon discovering this Bao Chu’s brothers were frightened and ran, but Bao Chu, outraged at their cowardice, gave chase alone.

When Bao Chu caught up with the bandits he attacked, killing several. He withstood their counter-attack and continued to press them until one of the survivors asked what he wanted. Lady Bao was returned to him, and Bao Chu attacked again, freeing another woman who he took in as his sister-in-law.

Later Bao Chu took his mother to Jing province. In AD 200 their homeland started to seem more secure, he returned with Lady Bao. Lady Bao could not walk and his brothers wished to construct a carriage. The idea seemed rough to Bao Chu, and instead he fashioned a basket and carried her on his back.

Prominent families of the region admired Bao Chu for his dedication and he was invited to office by both the commandery and the provincial administration, but he declined both, considering himself too humble to endure the trappings of an official.

Lady Bao died around AD 235. Though more than seventy years of age himself, Bao Chu carried a full mourning for her. Bao Chu lived another ten to twenty years, and is said to have retained the physique of a man into hits fifties and sixties. (1)

1) de Crespigny, Rafe; A Bibliographical Dictionary of the Later Han to Three Kingdoms (AD 23–220)



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April 10, 2023