“Gentleman on the Roof Beam”


If anyone is ever in doubt as to the existence of the midnight thief, spy, assassin or Ninja-like figure in Chinese history and culture, just type the following into a Chinese translation service or google - 樑上君子,

This is the return,

liáng shàng jūn zǐ
lit. the gentleman on the roof beam
fig. a thief

So engrained is the image of the enigmatic masked figure in the Chinese culture, that there is even a specific definition for this type of stealthy thief! In fact, this is a Chinese idiom. The idiom story goes something like this;

One day a well-to-do man noticed a thief in the rafters of his house. He summoned his young family to explain that the person in the roof was actually in an unfortunate financial situation and probably didn't want to be doing such things...

Below is a video of this little story in Cantonese dialect;

Posted in General.