Cen Can, Cen Shen, Cen Jingzhou

Cen Can or Cen Shen, 岑參, (715–770).

Cen Can’s father died when he was ten. When he was 20, he moved to Chang’an where he passed the Jinshi (imperial) examination in 744.

For about ten years, Cen Can served in the military as a subordinate to generals Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing. They were responsible for defending the the Tong Pass against the rebel An Lushan. The rebels defeated the loyalists which directly led to the capture of the Tang capital at Chang’an. The two generals were subsequently executed for cowardice and corruption.

Cen Can would survive the rebellion and serve in various administrative capacities, including prefect of Jingzhou, for which he also became known as Cen Jingzhou.

Cen met and became good friends with Gao Shi and Du Fu, as well as Li Bai.  Li Bai would compose a poem mentioning Cen, Bring in the Wine (將進酒). The pinyin is “jiāng jìn jiǔ” leading one to wonder if Li Bai was joking around with his friend Cen Jingzhou.