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"Let me tell you again, I am the one that you can't buy no matter how much money you spend."
—Shan Cai to Dao Ming Si[src]

Dong Shan Cai (Chinese: 董杉菜; pinyin: Dǒng Shāncài) was a former student at Ying De Academy. She was the only child of her father and mother. Shan Cai worked part-time at a bakery with her best friend, Xiao You. At school, she became acquainted with the F4. She later fell in love with F4's leader Dao Ming Si, despite hating him initially.


Early life[]

"Well, she and I have been classmates since elementary school. She's someone who will never let anybody bully her. Neither will she let anybody bully her friends. Once in middle school, she was beaten up by a big bad girl for standing up for a friend. But she did not even shed a tear."
Qing He describes Shan Cai to Si[src]

Shan Cai was born around 1982,[2] about a year after her mother and father were married.[3] She became friends with Chen Qing He, while attending elementary school. Shan Cai would often drink Qing He's milk for him. During middle school, Shan Cai was beat up by a girl after standing up to her for bullying a friend.[6] She met her best friend, Xiao You, while attending the same high school. Shan Cai defended Xiao You and her other friends from bullies, which eventually created a pleasant environment.[3]


Shan Cai's mother wanted her to the prestigious Ying De Academy, partly to find rich men. She grew to dislike the school due to her rich classmates and the bullying that went on because of the tyrannical F4. Despite being against the F4's behavior, Shan Cai did nothing and tried her best to stay out of their way. She befriended Li Zhen, another student of a more similar background.[3]

Meeting the F4[]


Shan Cai argues with Si after he gives Qing He a red slip

"Pigs' Brain Four! Listen good! Don't think I'm terrified of you! From now on, I'm declaring war on you!"
—Shan Cai stands up to the F4[src]

After coming back winter break, Shan Cai witnessed a student leaving after receiving the F4's red slip. That night, she asked about leaving Ying De but her mother became upset. The next day, Li Zhen dropped a box on the F4's leader Dao Ming Si. When he refused to accept her apology, Shan Cai stood up for her which caused her to get a red slip instead. The next day, she declared war on the F4. Later, she was nearly assaulted by two guys at school. Hua Ze Lei ordered them to let her go, despite them claiming it was Si's orders. The day after the incident, she punched Si. She then went to thank Lei, who acted gruffly though she was not put off by it. Si later had Shan Cai kidnapped and brought to his home, where he asked her to become his girlfriend. She refused his offer and told him that she could not be bought.[3]

Later, a rumor about Shan Cai being a delinquent and having had two abortions was written on the class blackboard. She believed Si to be behind it and confronted him. Shan Cai later found her classmates, Bai He and Qian Hui, erasing the message. They invited her to a party. However, the girls turned out to be the ones responsible for the rumor. Shan Cai was able to humiliate Bai He before leaving the party. The next day, the girls told Shan Cai about the girl Lei loved, Teng Tang Jing, to get back her. Meanwhile, Qing He transferred to Ying De. She worried that he would became a target because of her. Si later sent him a red slip. She confronted him, but he claimed that it was "[her] fault." After being chased by bullies, Lei saved Shan Cai which angered Si. Jing then helped her clean herself up[1]

The next day, Shan Cai stayed home with a fever and Si paid a visit. He offered to pay for her to go on the spring break trip. She refused, having decided to go on a cruise with Qing He. On the day of the cruise, they learned that Si had bought the ship. At Jing's urging, Shan Cai and Qing He tagged along anyway. That night, after borrowing a dress from Jing, Shan Cai danced with Lei at the party. The lights turned off, causing Shan Cai to accidentally kiss Si. The next day, she was devastated when she witnessed Lei tell Jing his feelings. She was cheered up by Si and Qing He when they started an impromptu dinner. Back at school, Shan Cai was invited to Jing's birthday party by Lei. After he had left, she was attacked by an angry Si. He kissed Shan Cai and ripped her clothes, but stopped once she began to cry.[6]

Growing close to Si[]


Si asks Shan Cai on a date

Shan Cai: "Have you ever liked someone? If you like someone, you should curb your feelings and set the person free. Let them do what they want. Maybe with time the feelings will fade away and it will end."
Si: "Don't be stupid! Isn't that as good as not having the feelings in the first place? What if you died tomorrow? Won't you have regrets? I would go all out to fight for happiness! Why did you ask me such a stupid question?"
— Shan Cai asks Si a question, which is actually about Lei[src]

Before Jing's party, Shan Cai asked Xiao You to attend it with her and Qing He. Shan Cai felt awkward seeing Si and ended up having too much to drink with Mei Zuo. Jing then announced her plans to return to France. The next day, she asked Jing to stay for Lei but she had made up her mind. Lei became angry with her for interfering. At the airport, Shan Cai and the F3 said goodbye to Jing at the airport. Lei then showed up and Shan Cai yelled at him to go after Jing. He thanked her before leaving. Si later asked Shan Cai to go on a date, which she failed to understand at first. She ended up showing up four hours late and offered to treat him as an apology. However, while arguing, the two suddenly realized they were trapped in a stairwell. Shan Cai helped make Si comfortable after noticing that he had developed a fever.[7]

The morning after, photos of Shan Cai and Si were taken by an anonymous person and posted on the school's noticeboard. Everyone acted nice towards Shan Cai, believing she was dating Si. Bai He and Qian Hui took Shan Cai and her friends dancing that night. Shan Cai passed out drunk at the club and was brought to a hotel by a DJ named Thomas. In the morning, she had no recollection of the previous night. She later met Thomas again and he revealed that nothing had happened. The following day, photos of Shan Cai going into the hotel with Thomas were spread around school. She begged Si to believe her. He allowed the others to bully her again, but eventually saved her. Si brought her to his house, where he confessed his feelings and kissed her. He later took revenge on her bullies, but Shan Cai stopped him.[8]

Lei returns[]


Shan Cai and Lei at the beach

Shan Cai: "I forced myself to stop thinking of you, but I couldn't do it. You are always on my mind. Why can't you find happiness?"
Lei: "Why aren't you the one I'm in love with?"
— Shan Cai finds herself drawn to Lei[src]

When Lei returned from France, Si claimed that he and Shan Cai were dating though she denied it. Lei was now acting very flirty, which confused Shan Cai. Later, Si found the address of the person who took the photos of her and Thomas. Shan Cai was saddened to learn that the culprit was Li Zhen, who then transferred out of Ying De. Si later took Shan Cai on a trip to Okinawa. She and Si shared a room, though he slept on the couch. On the first night, she went for a walk and met Lei at the beach. He asked her to hold him and talked about Jing. The next night, Shan Cai met Lei again and he kissed her. Si witnessed this and became enraged. Shan Cai attempted to apologize, but Si refused to listen to her. Back home, she went on a date with Lei but she found herself thinking of Si the whole time.[9]

Si soon announced his intention to have Shan Cai and Lei expelled. She initially was indignant but offered to quit on her own to appease him. However, his sister Dao Ming Zhuang instead suggested a basketball match to determine their fates. Shan Cai's team consisted of Lei and Qing He. They practiced for much of the night. She met Si near her home and he promised to cancel the match if she said she loved him. Shan Cai remained silent, feeling "unworthy." The next day, the match ended in a draw after Si quitted. That night, Xi Men and Mei Zuo locked Shan Cai and Lei into the Dao Mings' guest room. He admitted to sort-of using her to forget Jing. Shan Cai had "no regrets." Sometime later, she heard Si was moving to New York. Lei asked her if she was going to stop him, but she choose not to.[10]

Xiao Shun incident[]


Shan Cai tied up after being kidnapped

Shan Cai: "What has it to do with Dao Ming Si?"
Xiao Shun: "That's the crux! Just because my friend made a mistake at Ying De and offended Si, he was kicked and punched until his organs ruptured. I decided to avenge him."
Xiao Shun reveals his hatred for Si after kidnapping Shan Cai[src]

About two days later, Shan Cai found Si waiting for her outside her house. Her mother insisted for him to come inside and spend the night to recover from his jetlag. In the meantime, her father had lost his job and the family had moved into a small apartment. Her father then borrowed money from a loan shark. Shan Cai asked Si for the money and promised to repay, though he only asked her to meet him later. That day, she was forced to babysit a neighbor's child. The "date" went well, until Shan Cai asked a question that annoyed Si. Looking for a second job, Shan Cai went to a model tryout, which turned out to be sketchy. She was rescued by Xiao Shun, who got her a job at a fast food place. They became fast friends, making Si incredibly jealous.[4]

After Shan Cai modelled for a magazine with Xiao Shun, Si confessed her feelings for her again. She did not answer him. Some days later, Shan Cai was kidnapped and brought to a warehouse. Xiao Shun revealed himself to be the ringleader and explained his grudge against Si. Shortly later, Si came alone and allowed himself to be beat up in order to protect Shan Cai. Shan Cai woke up in the hospital after having a nightmare about Si. Xiao Shun visited to apologize to Shan Cai. She told him that it was "too late" and he left. The F3 later encouraged Shan Cai to date Si. In embarrassment, she claimed that he was like a "little dog" to her. After being released from the hospital, Shan Cai struggled to figure out her feelings for Si. He later invited her to his birthday party with intentions to introduce her to his mother.[11]

Befriending Xiao Zi[]


Xiao Zi comes to visit Shan Cai at work

Lei: "Didn't you want Si to treat Xiao Zi better? Isn't this a load off your mind? Why are you so quiet? Does their kiss have such a big impact on you?"
Shan Cai: "Of course not! Isn't this good? It's exactly what I want. I feel as great as getting an incredibly long holiday! My joy is beyond description. I'm as jubilant as a man making his first trip to the moon!"
— Shan Cai pretends to be happy about Si and Xiao Zi kissing[src]

At Si's birthday party, his mother Dao Ming Feng attempted to embarrass Shan Cai by asking her to play an instrument. She, however, was able to play a song. Si then declared his feelings for Shan Cai, before fleeing the party with Shan Cai. The next morning, Si's mother came to Shan Cai's home to bribe her to leave Si alone. Shan Cai's mother refused the offer by pouring flour on her head. Shan Cai was impressed until her mother told her to marry Si to get all of their money. Feng later had her secretary bring Shan Cai to her hotel, where she introduced Si to his fiancée, He Yuan Zi. Shan Cai was incensed, believing that Si already knew Xiao Zi. The next day, she met Xiao Zi at school. They ended up spending the day together and became friends. Later, Shan Cai ended things with Si and encouraged him to date Xiao Zi.[12]

Later, Shan Cai congratulated Xiao Zi after Si agreed to date her. Xiao Zi began coming to her for advice, which made her uncomfortable. Shan Cai later asked Lei to tell Si to be nicer to Xiao Zi, but he felt that they "should stay out of their affairs." They then saw Si and Xiao Zi kissing. Shan Cai refused to admit that she was bothered. After school, she joined Lei at a café. By coincidence, Xiao Zi and Si arrived a few minutes later. She invited them to stay at her family's villa. Shan Cai passed out in the hot spring and Lei carried her to their room. That night, she went to investigate some noises and caught Xiao Zi on top of Si. The next morning, Shan Cai learned that her parents were moving to a fishing village while she remained in Taipei. Xiao Zi visited a few days later to reveal that she and Si had broken up.[13]

Dating Si[]


Si surprised after Shan Cai kisses him

Si: "Shan Cai, let's date officially."
Shan Cai: "What if my love for you is only one-tenth of your love for me? I feel that it's better to make things clear from the start. Because I have no confidence in loving you as much as you love me."
Si: "All right. When we're together, I'll try my best to make-up for the nine-tenths."
Si asks Shan Cai to date him[src]

Shan Cai was later visited by Lei, Mei Zuo, and Xi Men. Feng arrived shortly and blamed Shan Cai for Si's and Xiao Zi's engagement ending. Shan Cai stood up for herself and told her to leave. That night, her landlord gave her two hours notice to move out. She wandered around the city until Si found her and brought her to his home. Since Feng had gone to London, Ms. Yu allowed Shan Cai to stay if she worked as Si's personal maid. The following day, Si asked Shan Cai to meet him around midnight. She was nervous, but Si only wanted to show her a meteor shower and give her a necklace. He then asked her to start dating him on a two month trial basis. Shan Cai agreed and later asked Si to go on a double date with Xiao You and her boyfriend, Zhong Ze. The date was a disaster, ending with Si punching Zhong Ze.[14]

After seeing Zhong Ze with a girl, Shan Cai punched him, while Xiao You ran away. Shan Cai then called Si for help finding her. He informed her that Xiao You was with Xi Men, before the two made up. Later, Shan Cai learned about Xi Men and Xiao You going on a date and tried to convince Si to follow them. Si sent someone to tail them instead and the person reported that they were at a hotel. Shan Cai demanded to go rent a room and the two accidentally ended up having a romantic dinner. After leaving in a huff, Shan Cai glimpsed Feng for a second. She rushed home to pack, but was caught by Feng anyway. Yu Sao stopped Feng from throwing her out by threatening suicide. The next day, Si suggested for him to move out, but Shan Cai disagreed.[15]

Leaving Taipei[]


Shan Cai with her co-worker Ah Song

Shan Cai: "Dao Ming Si, your mother said unless I break up with you, both Xiao You's and Qing He's fathers will lose their jobs. I've decided to have a clean break with your family. I've made up my mind to stop seeing you."
Si: "I can't accept it! Is that why you're leaving me? How can you do this? Shan Cai, have you ever loved me? Putting aside my mother, my family and all else, tell me whether you've loved me."
Shan Cai: "I've never loved you. Otherwise, I wouldn't be leaving like this."
— Shan Cai breaks up with Si[src]

Si's mother ruined Qing He's and Xiao You's families financially to hurt Shan Cai. She then made a deal with Feng and agreed to break up with Si. That night, Shan Cai ended her relationship with Si. When Si asked "have you ever loved me?", she answered "never." However, she revealed that she was in love with him to Yu Sao, before moving in with her parents. By this time, her parents were in debt and often bragged about having a "rich son-in-law". Shan Cai did not have the heart to tell them about her break-up. The first night, Shan Cai met Ah Song, who drunkenly mistook her for his ex-girlfriend. They met again the next day at her new job, but he did not remember her. The co-workers became friends.[5]

The townspeople soon confronted Shan Cai's parents about their debts. After deciding to face the music, Lei and Qing He arrived to pick up Shan Cai. Lei paid off their debts and Shan Cai returned to Taipei with them. Shan Cai was given a place to stay from Lei and re-enrolled at Ying De. Si later told Shan Cai, "from now on, we'll go our separate ways." Shan Cai agreed and returned her necklace, which Si threw into a fountain. She ran into the water and was able to find it with Lei's help. Shan Cai and Lei then began spending much of their free time together. One night, Lei walked her home and told her that she would regret "giving up" her relationship with Si. When they reach her home, they found lights strung up in the shape of her necklace.[16]

Meeting Ya Men[]


Ya Men scares Shan Cai

Ya Men: "You're sure you won't regret it?"
Shan Cai: "I'm not sure if love will fade, so I'm going to find out."
— Shan Cai decides to be with Si again[src]

The following morning, Lei left for Japan. Xiao Zi talked Shan Cai into meeting several blind dates the next day, including Qing Yong. He later claimed to be Si's cousin. When she tried telling Si about him, he became upset, thinking she was making up an excuse to avoid talking. Si later apologized, after learning he did have a cousin. In the meantime, Qing Yong and Shan Cai became friends. He tried telling her he was not Si's cousin. She did not believe him, until Si confirmed it the following day. Qing Yong then revealed that he was hired by Feng to seduce her. Shan Cai wanted to confront Feng, but was unable to since she was in New York. Shan Cai, having calmed down, then asked Qing Yong his real name, which he answered, "Ya Men."[17]

After talking to Ya Men, Shan Cai decided to stay away from Si and ignored him at school. Ya Men later invited her over to his apartment, where he scared her by forcing a kiss on her. The next day, he apologized for his actions, before walking her to work. They were then accosted by Si, who begged Shan Cai not to go with Ya Men. She got onto a bus with Ya Men, but soon disembarked to go after Si. She embraced him and they began dating soon after. She requested to keep it a secret because of his mother. Si, despite being mad at first, agreed. He later rented the home next to Shan Cai's, after her home was broken into.[18]

Dating Si again[]


Shan Cai speaks to a captive Si

Shan Cai: "Dao Ming Si, we agreed on a time limit. If we still can't get along, we will give up. And you will accept your family's plans. Remember?"
Si: "Why must we give up? If I could give up, I would've done so the first time we broke up. I don't want to think about it. We will definitely be together."
Shan Cai: "I get it. We will definitely be together."
— Si convinces Shan Cai to continue fighting[src]

 Meanwhile, Xiao You moved to Canada and told the news to Shan Cai by phone. Shan Cai grew lonely without Xiao You and Si, who rarely went to his new home. He later revealed to her that he had been spending only a few hours a night there. They went on a date, which turned to a "commoners' date" when all of Si's credit cards were declined. They made plans to meet at lunch the next day. However, Si did not show up. Mei Zuo and Xi Men went to Si's home and found out that a wedding between Si and Xiao Zi was being arranged. Lei returned from Japan and helped orchestrate a plan to save Si. After the failed rescue, Xiao Zi asked Shan Cai to convince Si to start eating again.[19]

Feng allowed Shan Cai to speak to Si on the condition that she would end things with him. She attempted to do so, but was persuaded by Si to keep fighting for their relationship. Shan Cai began waiting for him outside his home and also stopped eating. In the meantime, Si's sister Zhuang arrived in Taiwan to put a stop to her mother's plans. Zhuang's words combined with Feng watching Shan Cai wait in the rain eventually lead Si's mother to leave the couple alone. In the morning, Shan Cai collapsed from exhaustion after seeing Si. A few days later, Shan Cai and Si went on a date. Much to his happiness, Shan Cai finally voiced her feelings for him.[20]

Physical appearance[]

Shan Cai had an overall likable appearance, despite some of her rich classmates calling her "plain". She had a round face with symmetrical features, including her almond-shaped, dark brown eyes. Her most distinct characteristic was her long, black hair, which Jing described as "straight and silky". She wore her hair in a variety of ways, including leaving it down, braiding it into pigtails, and putting it up into a ponytail or bun. Shan Cai also wore a variety of hair-clips. Her wardrobe typically consisted of casual and simple clothing, such as t-shirts, jeans, and long skirts.

Shan Cai had her ears pierced, but usually wore just one earring in her left ear. She also had three tattoos, one on the back of her neck of a six-pointed star, the other on her left hand of a flower, and another small one on her left ankle.

Personality and traits[]

"Well, she and I have been classmates since elementary school. She's someone who will never let anybody bully her. Neither will she let anybody bully her friends. Once in middle school, she was beaten up by a big bad girl for standing up for a friend. But she did not even shed a tear. That's what she was like."
Qing He praises Shan Cai to Si[src]

Before university, Shan Cai was generally well-liked and popular among her peers. Qing He described her as kind, cheerful, and courageous, as well as the kind of person that always stood up for her friends. At Ying De, Shan Cai's kindness was lost on her rich, spoiled classmates who only seemed to care for money and status. Her courage was diminished after witnessing the way the F4 controlled the school and bullied other students. However, she became disgusted with herself for "playing it safe." Shan Cai was able to regain some of her old self after standing up to the F4.

In some matters, Shan Cai was naïve especially when it came to relationships or love. For example, it took her a while to realize her own feelings for Lei and then a much longer time to understand Si's feelings for her.


Shan Cai (杉菜) is the transliteration of her manga counterpart's given name. In Japanese, it means "horsetail" which is a type of plant.[22] In Chinese, Shan (杉) means "fir"[23] and Cai (菜) "vegetable," "greens."[24] In the narrative, her name is described as "a kind of weed which no matter how trampled upon, it will still grow."[3] Her family name, Dong (董), is a common surname from China.[25] It means "to direct" or "supervise".[26] The name comes from the actor who portrayed Shan Cai's father.

Behind the scenes[]

Boys Over Flowers Wiki has 110 images related to Dong Shan Cai.


See also: Category:Tsukushi Makino portrayals

Character notes



See also[]

Meteor Garden (2001-02) characters
Main characters

Dao Ming Si | Dong Shan Cai | Hua Ze Lei | Mei Zuo | Xi Men | Ye Sha

Supporting characters

Ah De | Ah Lun | Ah Mei | Ah Song | Ah Yuan | Aisa | Bai He | Chen Qing He | Da Xin | Dao Ming Feng
Dao Ming Zhuang | He Yuan Zi | Li Zhen | Mi Mi | Sha Ge | Shan Cai's father | Shan Cai's mother | Teng Tang Jing
Qian Hui | Xi Men's father | Xi Men's mother | Xiao Geng | Xiao Shun | Xiao You | Xin Xin | Ya Men | Yi Lin
Yin Xiao Qiao | Ms. Yu | Zhang Xiao Hong

Minor characters

Ah Shu | Ah Xiang | Ah Yan | Aisa's mother | Dao Ming Cheng | Feng's sister | Fortuneteller | Gao | Jing's parents
Landlady | Lei's date | Lei's father | Liu | Liu Shu Hao | Mai | Mei Jia | Mei Zuo's date | Mei Zuo's mother | Principal
Professor | Qing Yong | Si's grandfather | Shan Cai's boss | Thomas | Wang Xiao Long | Xi Men's date | Xiao Nan
Xiao Shun's friend | Xiao Touh | Xiao You's father | Xiao You's mother | Xu Shao Yang | Yu Tian | Yuan Zi's father
Yuan Zi's mother | Zhong Ze | Zhuang's ex-boyfriend | Zhuang's husband