Fourteen Saints in Ancient China.

February 10, 2009

There are 14 but I’m sure most of us are familiar with one in particular – Guan Yu or to most, General Kwan.


Guan Yu, Master of Martial Arts

Guan Yu is a famous general at the end of East Han Dynasty. He emphasizes personal loyalty and is good at martial arts. Later generations respect him as “Master Guan or Guan Di”.

Guan Yu had many official positions in his life. When he served Cao Cao, he was appointed as Shouting Regional Inspector, Xiangyang Prefecture Governor, and Superior Governor in Jingzhou; when he followed Liu Bei, he was then positioned as Doukou General and Honorable Herald General, and designated as one the five most excellent generals of Shu State. In the 41st years after his death, Liu Chan, the new emperor of Shu after Liu Bei, offered him another tile Zhangmu Governor. That year (260 AD) happened to be the 100 anniversary of the founding of Shu State. In fact, Guan Yu received more and more admiration from the start of the Southern and Northern Dynasties to the end of Qing Dynasty. There he became well known at home and abroad, and memorized as one of the most favored idols in history.

Today Guan Yu and Confucius are reputed together as “Two Masters of Wen and Wu”; Wen and Wu here in Chinese respectively refer to culture and martial arts.

Guan Yu is famous for his allegiance, personal loyalty, braveness, and excellent martial arts. Emperors of each feudal dynasty need such figures to safeguard and consolidate its regime. Therefore they emphasize and even exaggerate the character of Guan Yu so as to encourage more of their liegemen to serve and contribute to the regime as loyal as Guan Yu.

More about the other saints.

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