Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese God of War

Chinese God of War

Guan Yu
Guan Yu is one of the best known Chinese historical figures in Asia. He was titled as the Chinese God of War. His deeds and moral qualities have been idolize by the Chinese communities for over thousands of years after his death. Lord Guan is a red faced warrior with red ruddy complexion, standing at 7 feet tall with long lush beard of 2 feet in length. Lord Guan is described as a very impressive and majestic looking individual.

Guan Yu according to the historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”
Guan Yu’s legend started when he met with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei. The trio soon took the Oath of Fraternity in a Peach Garden to be sworn brothers. At the time of oath taking, Guan Yu was a wanted fugitive for killing a villain in his town.

Guan Yu first got famous by demonstrating his skills. He killed the fierce general Hua Xiong when everyone who had tried but failed. Guan Yu later on served under Cao Cao for a short period of time. He had accomplished a lot of deeds for Cao Cao but more notably for slaying Yan Liang and Wen Chuo. It was a remarkable feat as Yan Liang and Wen Chou have killed a dozen of Cao Cao’s generals.When Guan Yu found out of his brothers whereabouts, he bided farewell to Cao Cao and rode off with his sisters - in laws to re united with them. When travelling across Cao Cao’s territories, he was met with obstacles. He is forced to break his way through the five gates holding him while protecting his party. Guan Yu killed six of Cao Cao’s general in the process. Soon Cao Cao met Guan Yu in the battlefield as enemy. The badly defeated Cao Cao pleads Guan Yu for mercy. Guan Yu couldn’t bring himself to capture Cao Cao due to past relationships and thus release Cao Cao. By sending Cao Cao off, he had committed a death penalty. After much dissuasion by Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, Zhuge Liang had decided to spare Guan Yu’s life for a chance to redeem.

After a series of victories, Guan Yu continues his mission to capture Fancheng. He was not only a skillful warrior but was also a military genius. He succeeded in capturing Fancheng using tactics by flooding the entire seven armies defending it. During this expenditure, he was wound by a poisonous arrow on his arm. A famous physician Hua Tuo had offered to treat Guan Yu’s wound. Upon Guan Yu request to apply the fastest method to treat his wound, Hua Tuo cut open Guan Yu’s fresh and scraps the poisons off the bone on the spot without anesthesia. Hua Tuo left without charging any thing as he was very impressed to met a person who can resist the pain.

Guan Yu’s final battle was with Sun Quan, the emperor of Wu Kingdom. When Guan Yu was in Fancheng, he left some generals to guard Jingzhou. Sun Quan took the opportunities to lead a sneak attack on Jingzhou. Most of Jingzhou’s territories were surrender to Sun Quan before engaging in battle. This has stopped the resources line of Guan Yu’s army in Fancheng. Many soldiers desert Guan Yu’s army and returned Jingzhou to reunite with their family. Guan Yu was captured by Sun Quan on Jueshi Mountain where he had only a hundred soldiers left. Sun Quan wants to win Guan Yu over but his officers had dissuaded him from doing this by relating with the history when Guan Yu was with Cao Cao. Sun Quan's officers also reminded him that Guan Yu held high ethics and moral values, he will never summit. After much failure attempts, Sun Quan finally execute Guan Yu and his officers.

Liu Bei and Zhang Fei immediately led the entire Shu Kingdom army to start war with Sun Quan. After Liu bei had captured Jingzhou, he performed special rituals, ceremonies and offering to all the soldiers and their family that have stay with Guan Yu until death. He executes all the generals who surrendered the territories of Jingzhou to Sun Quan and placed their head as an offering in front of Guan Yu’s tomb. The terrified Sun Quan immediately sends Guan Yu’s head to Cao Cao as a decoy. Cao Cao buried it with full honor and proper ritual.

Guan Yu’s spirit was seen roaming on Sun Quan’s territories crying out, “Return my head!” Many officers of Sun Quan were falling sick one after another. Lu Meng, a general of Sun Quan was rumored to be possessed by Guan Yu’s spirit and had threaten to kill Sun Quan. Guan's spirit soon met with the Buddhist monk Pujing on Yuqian Hill. Pujing had enlightened Guan Yu’s spirit and the spirit manifests around the hill to protect the people from dangers.

Guan Yu's legendary Weapon - The Green Dragon Crescent Blade
According to Romance of the Three Kingdom, after taking the oath of fraternity in Peach Garden, the three brothers forged weapons for themselves to prepare for battle. The Green Dragon Crescent Blade or Guan Dao was invented and used by Guan Yu. The Guan Dao weight at 18.04 kg. Modern day Guan Dao weigh from 2 to 10kg. It is an unpopular weapon in the modern day due to the amount of skills required to weld it effectively. Most martial artist today required both hand to welds it. Legends said that Guan Yu could weld it effortlessly and effectively in single hand. A 50kg Guan Dao is displayed at the Purple Cloud Temple in China today. The priests in Purple Cloud Temple claimed that the displayed Guan Dao was once held by Guan Yu.

The 'Red Hare' was another popular procession of Guan Yu. It was the speediest horse on land. The original owner was Lu Bu. After Lu Bu’s death, Cao Cao held ownership to it and offer it as a gift to Guan Yu hoping that Guan would stay loyal to him. Guan Yu kneel down to Cao after accepting the gift. Cao Cao asked Guan Yu, “Why are you kneeling?” Guan Yu replied, “Lord, because now I could ride swiftly to reunite with my brothers when I learn of their whereabouts.” When Guan Yu leaves Cao Cao, the Red Hare is the only gift he carried with him from Cao Cao.


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