Real Guan Yu in history: as tall as Yao Ming and Cao Cao competing for beauty

Spread the love



Guan Gong was upgraded to the “God of wealth” and widely worshipped by merchants.

Interesting solution to Guan Erye’s extraordinary holiness and Immortality

With a bare face and heart, riding a red rabbit to chase the wind, you will never forget the Red Emperor when you drive

Qingdeng views the history of the Qing Dynasty, fights against the green dragon and Yanyue, and the faint place is worthy of the blue sky

This couplet comes from the 77th episode of the romance of the Three Kingdoms, “the Duke of Yuquan mountain shows his holiness, and Cao Cao feels God in Luoyang City”. Here the author makes a comprehensive summary and evaluation of Guan Yu’s appearance, mount, weapons, hobbies and moral characteristics. Since then, people’s understanding of Guan Yu’s external image and internal personality has almost been condensed in these 34 words.

But in recent artistic creation, more and more people want to subvert Guan Yu’s deep-rooted perfect image in the eyes of the world. In the film “Guan Yunchang”, Donnie Yen played Guan Yu no longer red faced and green dressed, no longer holding long beards, and even talked about feelings. For this new interpretation of modernization and the so-called humanization, it seems that more people are not very grateful. What is Guan Yu like in history? His image can’t be changed by later generations? The reporter interviewed Qi Shoucheng, a researcher and folklore expert of Shenyang Institute of literature and history on this issue.

On the appearance of a beautiful man with Danfeng eyes whose height is comparable to Yao Ming

We often say “red faced Guan Gong, white faced Cao Cao”. Red and white are a concrete expression of loyalty and treachery in opera. Why do we describe Guan Yu as red faced? Folklore experts analyzed that since ancient times, red has the meaning of avoiding evil spirits in witchcraft culture, and red expresses the awe of gods. Since then, red is a symbol of loyalty and loyalty, which is the so-called “loyalty”. In addition, Guan Yu is also described in the romance of the Three Kingdoms: “he is nine feet long, his beard is two feet long, his face is like jujube, his lips are like grease, his eyes are red phoenix, and his eyebrows are lying silkworm. He is handsome and majestic.” In ancient times, lying silkworm eyebrows, red phoenix eyes and long beards were all important symbols of beautiful men. The green brocade robe Guan Yu wore was a sworn Keepsake given to him by Liu Bei. Qi Shoucheng said that the green robe should also be an acquired process for future generations to cooperate with his red face.

Data shows that the “one foot” of the Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period is about 24.2 cm today. In other words, Guan Yu’s “height of nine feet” should be about 2.17 meters after conversion. We are familiar with basketball star Yi Jianlian who is 2.13 meters tall and Yao Ming who is 2.26 meters tall. You can imagine Guan Gong’s power from this.

Similarly, it is estimated that Guan Yu’s long beard should be more than 40 cm long. No wonder Cao Cao once gave Guan Yu gauze as a bag to protect his beard. “Annals of the Three Kingdoms: Lu Bu Zang Hong Zhuan” wrote: “cloth has a good horse, which is called red rabbit.” Later, the exaggeration of the red rabbit Sutra “the romance of the Three Kingdoms” became a BMW that traveled thousands of miles a day, crossed water and climbed mountains like walking on the ground. After Guan Yu’s death, the red rabbit horse also “died without forage for several days” in the eastern Wu, becoming a righteous horse, which also strengthened people’s respect for Guan Yu. In the romance of the Three Kingdoms, the red rabbit horse has been working hard since Dong Zhuo entered the court in 189 AD until the death of Guan Yu in 220, and served for nearly 30 years. In fact, the average life span of horses is generally 30-35 years. The period of causation is generally 3-15 years, up to 20 years. The red rabbit horse has been used as a war horse for so long, which is actually artistic exaggeration.

On the evolution from general to God of wealth

The ancients said, “Shandong literary sage, Shanxi martial sage.” The sage of literature refers to Confucius and the sage of martial arts refers to Guan Gong. The two go hand in hand, which shows the position of Guan Gong in China’s folk beliefs.

There are thousands of famous generals in ancient China. In terms of martial arts, it is said that Lv Bu, Ma Chao, Dian Wei and others are all above Guan Yu. But only Guan Yu realized the upgrading from “military general” to “loyal ministers and righteous men” to “God of wealth” to “Guan shengdijun”. Obviously, he did not rely on “martial arts” but “Virtue”. Guan Yu embodies the ethical virtues advocated by the Chinese people, such as courage, loyalty, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, and faith.

After his death, Guan Yu was posthumously named “Zhuang Miao Hou” by Liu Chan, which had little influence on the people. From the Tang Dynasty, folk began to offer sacrifices to Guan Gong. By the middle of the Song Dynasty, Taoism had incorporated Guan Gong into its own divinity system, and Guan Gong’s belief had been upgraded. “Guandi Temple” has also increased in the folk since the Song Dynasty. In the 42nd year of Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1614 AD), Zhu Yijun, the God Pope, granted Guan Yu the title of emperor, and granted him the title of “the great demon subduing emperor of the three realms, whose divine power is far from shaking the heaven, Guan shengdijun”, and honored him as the God of protecting the country and the people; In the first year of the Shunzhi reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD), Guan Yu was named “the loyal God and martial god Guansheng emperor”; Emperor Kangxi paid a visit to the Guandi temple and wrote the plaque “righteousness Bing heaven and earth” on his West tour through Jiezhou; Emperor Yongzheng made Guan Yu’s grandfather and father Duke; Qianlong, Jiaqing and Daoguang successively increased the titles of Guan Yu, and finally became “the great Guansheng emperor, who was loyal to Xuande, who sincerely appeased Yizan and defended the country and the people”.

Whether it is the recognition of the ruling class or the belief of the masses, the core of Guan Yu’s spirit is “loyalty”. When he was a minister, his loyalty was respected by the rulers of all dynasties, and he used this to promote the idea of loyalty to the king. When he let Cao Cao go, his attitude of benevolence and gratitude also made his image of “loyalty” deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. Therefore, it is popular among the people that Guan Gong protects the loyal and righteous people, and such a creed is an essential virtue of people in any culture, so Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and other religions worship it as a God, which makes Guan Gong’s image more prominent.

In addition, there is a legend that pointing the statue of Guan Gong towards the gate can not only attract money into the house, but also guard the door and block external evil. After a long time of deification, the name of “God of wealth” spread like wildfire. In fact, the merchant worships Guan Yuxiang not to seek “a wide range of wealth” as he worships the God of wealth, but to be respected as the protector of business, which shows that gentlemen love money and get it right. In doing business, young and old people should be honest, righteous and trustworthy.

Playing subversion, is Guan Gong close to women?

The film “Guan Yunchang” also inserted a love story for the hero Donnie Yen, completely overturning Guan Yu’s image as a girl, which is likely to become the most controversial topic after the film’s release.

In fact, the “exploration” of Guan Gong’s emotional history has attracted more and more attention in recent years. At a Guan Gong international seminar in 2004, Yin Yungong, director and researcher of the Institute of Journalism and communication of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that “Guan Yu not only likes beautiful women, but also competed with Cao Cao for beautiful women”.

In the book of Shu and the book of Wei in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, such a historical fact is recorded: Cao Cao and Liu Bei led the army to besiege Lv Bu in xiapi, and Lv Bu sent Qin Yilu out of the city to ask for help from the Hanoi governor Zhang Yang. Guan Yu heard that Qin Yilu’s very outstanding wife, Du Shi, was still staying in xiapi City, so he repeatedly asked Cao Cao, “wife has no children, go to the city, and beg for Yilu’s wife.” Unexpectedly, Cao mengde was also a lecheron. Seeing Guan Yu’s eagerness, he suspected Du’s unusual beauty. After the city fell, Cao Cao summoned Du personally. As expected, it was a national beauty, “it was self acceptance”. Guan Yu hated Cao Cao deeply for this matter and wanted to kill Cao Cao while Liu Bei was hunting with Cao Cao. Later, Liu Bei stopped him. From this, Yin Yungong came to a conclusion: “it is false that Cao Cao sent Guan Gong beautiful women; it is true that Cao Cao and Guan Yu fought for beautiful women.”


Traces left by Guan Gong in Shenyang

Located between the Forbidden City and the middle street of Shenyang, the central temple is a famous building in the central block of the ancient city of Shenyang in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Since the Qing Dynasty, there have been many legends about this temple among the people in Shenyang, among which the legend about Guan Gong escorting the emperor in the central temple has spread widely. It can be seen that the custom of respecting Guan Gong was indeed quite popular in Shenyang in the Qing Dynasty. According to the records of Shenyang county annals in the early Republic of China, there were 43 imperial temples within a 50 mile radius of Shenyang, more than any other type of temple, most of which were established in the Qing Dynasty.

Guan Gong can also be seen in another historical site in Shenyang, the marshal Zhang’s mansion. Zhang zuolin built a family temple in the northeast corner of the Shuai mansion, and the main hall is dedicated to the statue of Guan Yu. Some people say that the reason why the zhangjiajia temple is not for other gods, but only for Guan Gong, is related to Zhang zuolin’s lifelong pursuit of martial arts. But in fact, Zhang zuolin’s respect for Guan Gong is also related to his emphasis on loyalty, righteousness, benevolence and courage. Zhang zuolin took this idea as a spiritual pillar to maintain the entire Fengxi group. This family temple is the temple in Zhang zuolin’s heart. According to the memories of the old people who worked in the Shuai mansion, the Guandi temple is not open at ordinary times, and there are worship activities on New Year’s festivals. It is also attended by people from Zhangjia, and outsiders are not allowed to enter. No one except Zhang zuolin himself is allowed to offer incense in this temple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *