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A version of 千載難逢 would later appear in the Letter of Gratitude by a Chaozhou Prefect by the Tang Dynasty writer Han Yu (768-824). Han Yu had caused offense and was demoted by Emperor Xianzong and exiled to Chaozhou. His daughter died on the way. Despite all of these hardships, he wrote, on arriving in Chaozhou, the letter to the emperor, expressing his regret for having caused offense. Han Yu is known as one of the “Eight Giants of Tang and Song prose,” and in the letter he praised the emperor’s achievements and the splendor of the Tang dynasty, writing 當此之際,所謂千載一時不可逢之嘉會 (the present time is one of greatness not achieved in 1,000 years) to describe the heights the dynasty had ascended. He wrote that the emperor’s achievements, if written down, could be favorably compared to those of the sages described in the ancient classics the Book of Documents and the Book of Poetry, and expressed regret that, in his exile and with his failing health, he would no longer have the opportunity to record the emperor’s great achievements for posterity.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

I don’t see him very often, to be honest: Perhaps once in a blue moon.

(老實說我並不常見到他,大概是久久一次。)

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