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    Homepage - Chinese Allegories - wàng shì jù bèi, zhǐ qiàn dōng fēng 万 事 俱 备, 只 欠 东 风
  

Chinese proverbs 

wàng
shì
bèi,
zhǐ
qiàn
dōng
fēng
 万
事 
俱 
 备,
 欠
 东
 风

 Everything is ready except the east wind.

paraphrase

In the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the allied forces of the Kingdoms of Wu and Shu withstood an attack by Kingdom of Wei’s army led by the famous strategist Cao Cao. Zhou Yu of the Kingdom of Wu schemed to send fire ships to burn Cao Cao’s fleet. But it was winter all that time, and Zhou Yu’s fleet was in the east, on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, while Cao Cao’s fleet was in the west, on the upper reaches. Everything was ready for the attack except for an east wind, needed to blow the fire ships toward Cao Cao’s fleet. This proverb, derived from the above story, means that everything is ready except what is crucial.

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