Wu Song

The story of Wu Song 武松. In 188 sections, oral performance by Ren Jitang and other performers; written documents.

The Water Margin saga Shuihu relates the adventures and exploits of a bandit group from Shandong province during the late Song period, around 1120. The group had its stronghold in the Liangshan mountains and the surrounding moors and marshlands that have given name to the saga. The leader of the bandits, Song Jiang, belongs to Chinese official history, and banditry was widespread at the time, but none of his one hundred and eight men seem to have any background in historical fact. They are part of the Chinese folklore pantheon of gods and heroes, well known to everybody. The stories performed here are all related to one of the most famous heroes of the marshes—Wu Song.

Qian Sanguo

The story of the Three Kingdoms, Sanguo 三國. In 51 sections, oral performance by Fei Zhengliang 費正良

After the break up of the Han dynasty (206bc-220ad) China entered a period of division and civil war, the Three Kingdoms’ period. The military strategies and campaigns of this chivalrous era provide the setting for the Three Kingdoms saga, characterized by a rich person gallery and intricate plot development. The sequence of events is roughly based on historical fact, and most of the characters can be verified in historical sources. From the north, Cao Cao, a former Han minister, tries to unify China under his own leadership. His main opponent, Liu Bei, a direct descendant of the Han imperial family, is based in the southwest. In the following episodes we meet these and other heroes of martial and intellectual genius: Guan Yu and Zhuge Liang.

Zhong Sanguo

The story of the Three Kingdoms, Sanguo 三國. In 121 sections, oral performance by Gao Zaihua 高再華

Xiyou ji

The story of the Journey to the West, Xiyou ji ⻄遊記. In 105 sections, oral performance by Dai Buzhang 戴步章

In the early Tang dynasty a Chinese monk, Xuan Zang, travelled from 629-645 on a pilgrimage to India in order to bring home the original scriptures of the sacred Buddhist canon for translation into Chinese. The expedition was extraordinarily difficult in those times, and upon his return Xuan Zang was given much attention by the Chinese emperor who bestoved on him the honorary name San Zang or Three Treasuries of the Buddhist canon, usually rendered in its Indian form: Tripitaka. The journey gave rise to a flora of folk tales, drama as well as the fantasy novel Journey to the West Xiyou ji by Wu Cheng’en (1506-1582). Master Tripitaka is in folklore and fiction joined on his mission by three disciples, two of them of superhuman character - half man, half animal - the Monkey King or Sun Wukong, and Pigsy or Zhu Bajie. The third, Friar Sand or Sha Heshang, is a somewhat shady figure.

Qianlong huangdi xia Jiangnan

The story of Emperor Qian Long Going South, Qianlong huangdi xia Jiangnan 乾隆皇 帝下江南. In 12 sections, oral performance by Ren Dekun 任德坤