王見川、蘇慶華、劉文星編。2010。《近代的關帝信仰與經典 : 兼談其在新.馬發展》。臺北市 : 博揚文化。
Duara, Prasenjit。Superscribing Symbols: The Myth of Guandi, Chinese God of War’, The Journal of Asian Studies 47:4 (11/1988) 。中譯版：杜贊奇。〈刻劃標誌：中國戰神關帝的神話〉。載於韋思諦編，陳仲丹譯。2006。《中國大眾宗教》，頁93-113。
The Holy Emperor Guan(關聖帝君), Guan Yu(關羽), is also known as Guandi(關帝) or Guan gong(關公) . Guan Yu as a historical figure was a great general in the Three Kingdoms(三國時期,190-280). He fought for his Sworn brothers Liu Bei(劉備). Today, Guan Yu is an important deity not only in popular religion but also in Buddhism and Taoism. He is called Qienlan shen(伽藍神), the tutelary deity of Buddhist monastery. In popular religion, he is Enzhu gong(恩主公). He even gets promotion recently. Some groups of popular religion in Taiwan announced he is Jade Emperor today. The original one abdicated and gave the crown to him, an index corresponding to the era of democracy. He is also the tutelary deity of merchant, army, police, and even the gangs. It is no doubt that Guan Yu is one of the Chinese popular deities.
The life of Guan Yu is written in Records of Three Kingdoms(三國志). He was born in Shanxi(山西), by the end the Eastern Han. Then, the Yellow Turban Rebellion (黃巾之亂) burst out. All the autonomy in the Eastern Han empire organized their own armaments to defend themselves under a leader. Guan Yu’s sworn brother, Liu Bei, is one of them. Liu Bei belongs to the imperial family, who was poor and tiny family. However, Liu Bei, Zhang Fei(張飛), and Guan Yu were sworn brothers and waved the Han orthodoxy flag calling people joining them. As a result, they only organized a small autonomy armed group which could not against Cao Cao(曹操)’s group. Cao Cao defeated them and Guan Yu was captured as a captive. Guan Yu fought for Cao Cao briefly as ransom. Finally, Guan Yu rejoined Liu Bei’s group again. Liu Bei’s group was founded their own kingdom Shu(蜀) and Guan Yu became marshal and garrisoned Jing Zho(荊州). Because his powerful arm forced, the other two kingdoms, Cai Wei(曹魏) and Wu(吳), made a conspiracy to defeat Guan Yu. Guan Yu was fail and beheaded by Wu. Guan Yu’s death also caused his two sworn brothers Liu Bei and Zhang Fei being died soon. Both of them were failing the revenge action against Wu. The Shu was also defeated by Wei(魏). The history of Three Kingdoms was rewritten by Luo Guanzhong (羅貫中) as novel, titled with Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In this novel, the character of Guan Yu was shaped as a powerful marshal and full of faithfulness and passion.
Not long after Guan Yu was dead, the temples dedicated to him were funded at his birthplace, Shanxi, and the place where he failed and beheaded, Jing Zho. It was speculated that the starting point at Jing Zho according to studies. It was also said his ghost had be reveal himself in front of the Buddhist monk, Zhi Yi(智顗
, 538-597) and asked his lost head. Zhi Yi smoothed the ghost’s angry and made him becoming the tutelary deity of Buddhist monastery. According to the inscription on steles, it was not late by Middle Tang Dynasty, Guan Yu had became Buddhist tutelary deity. In Sung Dynasty, Guan Yu also became Taoist deity. Taoist Wang Qinruo(王欽若) described Guan Yu as a ghost was summoned by the Celestial Master Zhang(張天師
) to expel the ghost of Chi you(蚩尤), the enemy of Huang Di(黃帝). As a result, Emperor Zhen Zhong(真宗) decreed Guan Yu as Chongning Zhenjun(崇寧真君). By the end of Song Dynasty, Guan Yu was titled as King Yingji(英濟王). Under the influence and propagation of Taoism and Buddhism, plus the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, moreover, the political promotion, Guan Yu already became a national wide deity. The temples dedicated to Guan Yu were established in every county. His title became more longer, as the Holly Emperor Guan of Royal, Overwhelming and Spiritual Beneficence(忠義神武靈佑關聖大帝). As a result, Guan Yu as a deity is almost everywhere where Chinese reside today. He even becomes the main deity of religious Confucianism.
In Taiwan, there were eight temples dedicated to Guan Yu at least in Ming Dynasty. When it was under Japan reign, the belief on Guan Yu was restricted because of Guan Yu relating to identity of Chinese. When the Japanization movement (皇民化運動) began in 1937, there were about 57 temples dedicated to Guan Yu abolished. A number is half of total. After 1945, the number rose again. It was estimate 192 temples in 1959.
Not only the temples dedicated to Guan Yu gather much people, but also the influence runs deep and wide. For example, Hsing Tian Kong(行天宮), a temple dedicated Guan Yu, funded in Taipei, 1932. It’s popularity in not beneath another ancient and famous temple, Mengjia Longshan Temple(龍山寺), a temple dedicated to Kuanyin(觀音), funded in 1738. Another vivid example is there is a Guan Yu’s temple funded in the Dongsha Islands(東沙島, Pratas Islands). The island is about 400 kilometers from Taiwan and only resided by army. Besides, the believer organized an national association as well, named The Mission Association of the Holly Emperor Guan in Chinese Taoism(中華道教
The Holy Emperor Guan, Guan Yu, Hsing Tian Kong
1.王見川、蘇慶華、劉文星編。2010。《近代的關帝信仰與經典 : 兼談其在新.馬發展》。臺北市 : 博揚文化。
2.Duara, Prasenjit。Superscribing Symbols: The Myth of Guandi, Chinese God of War’, The Journal of Asian Studies 47:4 (11/1988) 。中譯：杜贊奇。〈刻劃標誌：中國戰神關帝的神話〉。載於韋思諦編，陳仲丹譯。2006。《中國大眾宗教》，頁93-113。