As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Where there is love, there is life”. Just take a look around, and you will realise love is all around us. In fact, as the quote opines, it is the very essence of life. As the season of love approaches, we bring to you some of the most romantic historical Asian love stories that are guaranteed to fill your hearts and make you swoon this Valentine’s Day. From tales of undying young love to valiant bravado, here are five of the greatest love stories ever told.
1. Song of Everlasting Regret
The poem was originally written during the Tang dynasty by the famous Chinese poet Bai Juyi and chronicles the love story of Emperor Xuan Zong and Lady Yang. The charming Lady Yang enters the imperial palace and beguiles the Emperor with her beauty. The two fall deeply in love and as the poem goes, they take a bath together in the Hua Qing Pool. A love affair soon ensues and the two avow to love each other forever.
However, their love affair is soon interrupted by a rebellion waged by the Emperor's general who was disgruntled with the Emperor who had fallen so in love with Lady Yang that he had begun to neglect his state duties. The Emperor and Lady Yang hurriedly try to escape but were stopped by ministers who believed that Lady Yang’s brother was the one who had instigated the rebellion and insisted on killing Lady Yang to save the country. Cornered by his soldiers, the Emperor had no choice but to watch the love of his life take her last breath under the bleak moonlight.
The death of his one true love grieved him so much that he ultimately abdicated the crown and passed on his title as Emperor to his son.