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According to the research of a scholar named Meng Fanren 孟繁仁, Diaochan 貂蟬 had the surname Ren 任 and the name Hongchang 红昌, and was born in Mu'er 木耳 village in Jiuyuan 九原 county, Bing province 并州. At the age of 15, she was selected for the imperial harem, and was put in charge of the sable (diao) headdresses of the court officials, and was thus renamed Diaochan. At the end of the Han, court politics was thrown into chaos, and Diaochan left the harem and became an adopted daughter of Prime Minister Wang Yun 王允. Soon, Dong Zhuo 董卓 became the dictator of the imperial court. Wang Yun manipulated the lust of Dong Zhuo and Lü Bu 呂布 by getting Diaochan to make them both fall for her. Finally, they caused Lü Bu to kill Dong Zhuo, rendering a great service to the dynasty. After that, Diaochan became Lü Bu's concubine. At Baimen Tower, Lü Bu was executed, and Cao Cao used the same trick to try and get Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei to kill each other. He gave Diaochan as a gift to Guan Yu. So as not to bring disaster to the three sworn brothers, Diaochan asked Guan Yu to behead her, but Guan Yu spared her and let her become a nun. Cao Cao found out about this and sent men to capture Diaochan. She then threw herself onto a sword and committed suicide.

Diaochan's tomb in Muzhi Village

Diaochan's supposed tomb in Muzhi village.

Meng Fanren also claims to have found Diaochan's birthtown through his research. It is Muzhi 木芝 village 村, 3km southeast of Xinzhou city (Shanxi province), on the road from Taiyuan or Xinzhou to Yuwangdong. Muzhi village was originally called Mu'er village because it produced many edible black fungi (called mu'er in Chinese). Later, a valuable medicinal lingzhi fungus was found under a pagoda tree in the village, and the village was thus renamed Muzhi. A legend in the village tells that 3 years before Diaochan was born, the apricot trees in the village stopped flowering, and even today the apricot trees have difficulty surviving - this is because Diaochan's beauty surpassed that of the flowers. In the village, there used to be a memorial arch dedicated to Diaochan, a Wang Yun street, a Diaochan opera stage, and a Diaochan tomb.

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