Why did the old mandarins come to the adoration meeting with a 'table of tablets'?

The solution behind this “card” will surprise you!

When watching movies and TV shows about Chinese history, the audience often sees the officials in each meeting of the king lined up neatly on both sides, each holding a “table of tablets”.

Why did the old mandarins come to the adoration meeting with a 'table of tablets'?

“The tablet” is usually made of bamboo, wood, ivory, jade… and is respectfully held by the officials with two hands. On the “table of tablets” record what the mandarins want to tell the king and the king’s orders down (to avoid forgetting).

In addition to being used for taking notes, “the tablet” was also used as a court ritual. The power of the old emperor was supreme, more than ten thousand people per person, so the officials were not allowed to straighten their backs to look at the emperor’s face. Therefore, the mandarins would use “the tablet” to cover their faces, always looking at it to avoid the eyes of the emperor.

Under the Tang and Ming dynasties, this item also had another function of distinguishing the ranks of the mandarins in the court. The “table tablet” made of ivory represents the highest mandarin, made of jade is the middle mandarin, and in the lower position is made of wood or bamboo.