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Qin Er Shi, the son of Shi Huang Di of Qin Dynasty was not a bright king. Zhao Gao, the prime minister wanted to replace Er Shi as king. To test the loyalty of the officials, Zhao presented a deer (Lu) to the king, calling it a horse (Ma). Er Shi laughed and rebuked Zhao, saying that it was a deer. Zhao turned towards the officials, asking for their opinion. Most of them looked away from Zhao and did not answer. Some tried to curry favor with Zhao and said it was a horse. There was a small number of officials who told the truth. Zhao remembered all those who favored the king and have them executed.
Applications: This term is commomly used to describe someone who is unreasonable, forcing his opinion on others. Note that the Japanese has a term called 'Baka' which originated from this story. 'Baka' means someone who is stupid; can't tell a horse from a deer. However, Zhao Gao, the master of all 'Bakas' was not stupid at all. He was shrewd and crafty instead! (Zhi means to point; Wei means is.)