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In Chinese history, there is no story more tragic and heroic than 楊門女將.

Just think of it.

Three generations of widows, 12 women risked their life to save the country, even the only remaining male in the big family -- the grandson -- had to put on the armor to fight on the battlefield.

As a male, I feel ashamad after watching 楊門女將. Indisputably this story is the harbinger of women's liberation movement in ancient China. :oops:

Correct me if I were wrong. Unlike Water Margin or Romance of Three Kingdoms, there has been no novels on 楊門女將.

I was first exposed to the story in Beijing Opera which renowned Mainland actress performed and made into movies in the 1950s.

I was very fascinated by the story even when I was a kid.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here are some introduction:

Beijing Opera: Generals of Yang Family

In the Song army, there was a family of generals named Yang, who fought hard and victoriously in many a battle against the invading enemy. However, they were either sabotaged by the capitulation wing of the Song Court or distrusted by the Song Emperor whose only concern was to keep himself from harm's way at whatever cost. Eventually, the Yang army was defeated by the Liao with tremendous losses: all but three of the eight brother generals perished. One of the survived quit fighting and became a monk; another was captured by the enemy and became the Liao's first son-in-law. Yang Yanzhao was the only male of his generation to lead the Yang Family army and therefore made its Commander-in-Chief. Except for a couple of very young sons, the positions of the generals missing in action were now filled by all the women of the family: Yanzhao's mother, his wife, his two sisters, and three of his brothers' widows. Together, they are known to the Chinese as the "Women Generals of the Yang Family."

Li Chongshan (1940-), a native of Beijing. In 1952 he entered Beijing Traditional Opera School, specializing in lao sheng. After graduation he was assigned to the Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe. Later he joined the Experimental Beijing Opera Troupe of Beijing. In 1961 he took Tan Fuying as his tutor. His repertoire has included Mount Dingjun, a Register of Clean Officials, Four Newly Appointed Officials, Fa Men Temple, the Orphan of Zhao Family, Song of Righteousness, etc.

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