Saturday, 30 October 2010

關羽和赤兔馬: General Kwan and his horse

I am currently discovering the Chinese literary epic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, through the excellent and dramatic Mainland TV series adaptation. (although I suspect that these excellent and dramatic qualities are largely due to the original book's intricate and engaging plot than the talents of the series' screenwriters.)

As the story unfolds, I am learning about the historical and literary origins of the mythical Guan Yu, a second century Chinese general serving under Liu Bei, one of the story's central characters. Guan Yu is famous for his superhuman loyalty to Liu Bei. This character trait has led him to be revered by gangsters and (ironically) policemen in temples and shrines dedicated to him around Hong Kong.

In a recent episode, Guan Yu was offered an equally legendary horse, Red Hare, by the principal villain, Cao Cao. This horse stands outside the Guan Yu shrine at the very unique "six temple temple" in Shau Kei Wan. Although I am little more than a quarter of the way through the story, so cannot know for sure, the presence of this life-size painted statue suggests that the horse is going to have an important role to play in the story.
Right now, I don't dare to research more about the Romance of the Three Kingdoms or its characters for fear of spoiling my enjoyment! You can see another statue of General Kwan here.

No comments:

Post a Comment