Prof. Nan Huai-Chin
Yao Jen Xiang didn’t do this in pursuit of riches and glory, but instead to show how things most people overlook are in fact major, essential parts of Chinese living. Her efforts are most commendable!
Zongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Author Yao Jen Xiang provides us with the full picture of the wisdom of Chinese living in a way that’s easy to understand and appreciate. This extensive work on the culture of Chinese living is a timely publication.
I say she’s like a journalist covering the subjects of “living” and “Chinese.” And just as in doing scholarly research, she personally experiences and analyze each topic before reach her conclusions. The result is this stunning map of life.
Prof. Pai Hsien-yung
This is a beautiful encyclopedia. She highlights our traditional culture amid the splendors of daily life, recording them in words and capturing them in pictures, preserving them forevermore. …for each item, she gathered ample information, carefully screened it, then clearly categorized it with detailed diagrams, and lastly supplemented the textual comments with elegant imagery. The volumes Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter are as distinct as the four seasons….
Prof. Chiang Hsun
Yao Jen Xiang has brought her “innate wisdom” into this life, with which she informs her friends about many things. For the most part, Yao’s innate wisdom seems not to be about big things; instead, she concentrates on the little things: the trifling details of daily life such as food, clothing, shelter and transport. … I believe that what Inheritance of Tradition: The Art of Chinese Living conveys is indeed such “innate wisdom”: i.e., wisdom accumulated from past lives. And having been steadily amassed over many lifetimes, it’s therefore a sound source of providence and wisdom in this human realm.
Prof. Yu Guangzhong
Ms. Yao Jen Xiang, the daughter of Peking Opera diva Ku Cheng-chiu and wife of internationally renowned architect Kris Yao, follows her own tender path of reminiscence. She is worthy of the titles “scholar of the art of living” and “aesthete of household culture.”
Prof. Lung Ying-tai
It turns out that this set of books by Yao Jen Xiang has two layers. On the surface, it’s about the basic necessities of life, the four seasons, and the five elements. Deeper down, it’s about an attitude toward life: it’s a vehicle of culture; it’s a collection of the deepest, freshest, most tangible and most listenable voices and faces of this era. A Sesame Seed, an Era. I see Yao’s prudence and reverence.
Prof. Lin Hwai-min
Replete with creativity, elegance and intrigue, Yao Jen Xiang’s book covers important living customs in Chinese culture. Interested parents and teachers should keep a copy on hand.
Yao Jen Xiang interconnects the content of the entire set of books from the perspective of a daughter, a wife, and a mother. With a lively style, she recounts the cultural facets of Chinese living, and complements her writing with painstakingly designed pictures, introducing the cultural assets of the Chinese people in a systematic way. The content is profound yet clearly explained, and her writing style fluid and easy to read. This is a set of teaching material for the culture of living.
Prof. Daisy L. Hung
Initially, I thought I would complete the preface of this book within ten days, but after reading it twice, I was so moved that I didn’t know where to begin. In this book, all 270,000 words were written by her. There is neither parrot, cut and paste of others opinions, flowery words nor make a fuss about anything. I saw a mother educating her children constantly on their path of life. I saw a scientist seeking truth from facts: when she talks about farming vegetables, she grew vegetables in wine crates at her balcony; when she talks about eggs, she narrates how she has farmed native free-range chickens in comparison to broiler chickens. Her writing is all about her actual personal experiences. Nowadays, very few people do that anymore.
Yao Jen Xiang makes use of her keen senses to gather folk knowledge and the wisdom of the ancients, which she incorporates into modern life in a powerful way. In this way, Inheritance of Tradition: The Art of Chinese Living is a fresh and dynamic bridge giving modern Chinese people access to the life wisdom of our ancestors.
Yao Jen Xiang has named this expert book “Inheritance of Tradition: The Art of Chinese Living. “She has no idea how much money or time she spent on it, but she knows the word “impossible” is not in her dictionary. She spent years avidly noting down her ideas and any wisdom on Chinese living wisdom she could gather. She wanted to leave all of this to her three children studying in America, and also give it to parents everywhere.
Kris Yao, architect
What’s even more over the top, when she wrote about eggs, she raised chickens and would wake up when the rooster crowed, calling me out of bed at 4:30 in the morning for meditation. When she wrote about mushrooms, a log covered with mushrooms appeared in the corner of the yard. When she wrote about vegetables, she turned the quiet terrace outside my Buddhist shrine into a vegetable garden. When making fermented tofu, she ground soybeans and prepared the cultures herself. I worry that one day, if she ever decides to write about milk, I might come home to find a cow in the yard.