Mar 29, 2013

There are several different versions about why there is a white crescent shape mark on his black forehead. One saying goes that a big horse stepped on Bao's face and left him a crescent shape scar as a mark on his forehead when he slept on the pasturing way in his childhood.

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Blue Lord Bao

Another saying says that Bao had an extraordinary ability. He could settle a lawsuit in this world in the daytime and decided cases in the hell at night, and this crescent mark particularly meant that he was able to decide cases in the hell. And still there is another saying, which has been extended in its meaning. It says that in the world of the past, there were so many evil people that even in the day time, people still had strong feelings of living in the darkness, so some honest people deliberately light a candle in the daytime, but Bao as a justice, he rose a crescent with his candid spirit to his forehead to light up the dark in the world.

Most of the scenes about Xiang Yu in Beijing Opera are performing the failure of his in the final battle. There are three “wan” (Chinese Characters) on the head of Xiang Yu (left, right, and the eyeholes in the middle). What does the character “wan” imply?

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Crying Xiang Yu

There is a Chinese slang saying “the character ‘wan’ never gets to the end”. The one who originally designed the facial make-up of Xiang Yu probably implied this meaning, considering that Xiang Yu did not hold on his wish to the last but failed in the halfway.

Zhang Fei's face mask in the Chinese Opera is painted like a butterfly, funny and cute. In many styles of Chinese Opera, Zhang Fei is a figure in comedy, so the mask shows his typical character. However, in the story of Two Generals, which is about a fighting between Zhang Fei and Ma Chao, Zhang Fei is brave and reckless not funny at all. So Shang Heyu, a famous actor, designed another mask of Zhang Fei for this drama.

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Funny Zhang Fei

There is another drama in Beijing Opera named Making White Robes. Guanyu was dead in the battle with Dong Wu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei vowed painfully to revenge for Guan Yu. The actors playing Zhang Fei in the Making White Robes always use the same smiling masks, which is obviously funny. It seems that it is necessary to redesign a crying mask for Zhang Fei.

SOURCE : Confucius Institute Online

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