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Chinese Shubi

Shubi is also named as Zhi, including "Shu" (comb) and "Bi"(fine-toothed comb) and was one of eight hair-styles in ancient China. It has a history of more than 1,500 years since it became popular in Wei Jin and North-south dynasties.

Legends of Shubi

It was said that after the death of the Yan Emperor (a legendary emperor in the early days of Chinese history who is said to be the inventor of agriculture and herbal medication), Chi You raised troops for revenge. Like many other people, Hao Lian, a craftsman, was forced to fight. In the Zhulu War, Xuan Yuan Emperor defeated Chi You, while Hao Lian was captured and placed in prison and condemned to death. A warder, Huang Fu, learned that Hao Lian could make combs, and advised him to make a comb overnight as a way to escape death . It was presented to Luo Zu Queen.

However, an amnesty order was too late, and Hao Lian was executed before it issued. Emperor Xuan Yuan felt very sad and appointed Huang Fu to lead craftsmen to make combs based on the model Hao Lian left behind. Since then, Hao Lian and Huang Fu have been esteemed as the founders of the comb trade.

The inventor of fined-toothed comb was Chen Qizi. During the Spring and Autumn Period (722 - 481 BC), an official, Chen Qizi, was put into prison after being found guilty . Living conditions in prison were so bad that lice reproduced on his head and the itching was intolerable. One day, after he had been heavily thrashed by jailors using bamboo planks, Chen Qizi found that the bamboo plank split into strips. He packed them up to clear away dirt and the lice cleared. This was the original fine-toothed comb.

It was also said that from then on on February 18 and September 28 of each lunar calendar year, a memorial ceremony for the comb and fined-toothed comb trade would be held for the founders, and practitioners could pray for flourishing future business.

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Changzhou Shubi
Changzhou is Shubi's hometown. In Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD), the Jinghang Grand Canal crossed through Changzhou city. At that time, all streets and alleys on both banks of the canal were jammed with comb workshops, and won titles of Mushu Street (Wooden Comb Street) and Biji Alley (Fine-toothed Comb Alley).
Manufacture of Shubi
The manufacture of combs and fined-toothed combs is a complex and exquisite folk craft.
Special Status
Since ancient Chinese times, Chinese people have used combs and fine-toothed combs to maintain their health since doctors believed combing ones hair each day is an important need in traditional medicine.

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