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Guan Yu

In the Romance of Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu (關羽), with the courtesy names Changyun (雲長) and Changsheng (長生), was the most respected man in the ancient Three Kingdoms of China. He was affiliated with the Kingdom of Shu as the leader of the Five Tiger Generals. His is posthumously called Guan Gong (關公 lit. Lord Guan) or Guandi (關帝 lit. Emperor Guan though he never ruled).

He was sworn blood brothers with Zhang Fei and Lord Liu Bei. They each took this vow very seriously and stood by it till death.

Guan Yu was referred to as "the lord with the magnificent beard" (美髯公) because of his long, flowing beard and it was said that he was a match for 10,000 men

Guan Yu was separated from Liu Bei when Cao Cao captured him and made him a subordinate. Guan Yu made it clear though that when he found the whereabouts of his brother Liu Bei he would leave the Kingdom of Wei immediately. Cao Cao tried to win Guan Yu over with gold and other valuable prizes but Guan Yu would have nothing to do with them, as the second he found out Liu Bei's whereabouts, he left Wei to meet his blood bother. One prize Guan Yu did accept and keep was Lu Bu's horse "Red Hare" given to him by Lord Cao Cao of the Wei Kingdom as a prize for his amazing fighting skills.

Guan Yu gained fame for his attack on Fan. Thanks to flooding on the campaign he was able to defeat Yue Jin's seven armies and start a strong siege on Fan castle against Cao Ren.

Guan Yu was a loyal and great man, which caused his death. He personally insulted Wu and raided Wu supply depots. It was due to his actions, by attacking a Wu camp leaving Jing Zhou (荊州) unguarded, that Wu attacked Jing Zhou from behind and captured Guan Yu. Guan Yu was then told that he must swear to be loyal and fight for the Wu Dynasty. At that Guan Yu scoffed, and because of his refusal to break the law, he was executed. His head was sent to Cao Cao, who gave him a heroes burial.


There are numerous temples dedicated to Guan Yu, depicted with a red face and long beard, holding the Guan Dao, a sword with long handle which was named after him. He is also red-faced in Chinese operas.

In Hong Kong, a shrine for Guan Gong is located in each police station. Most Chinese policemen pay respect to him, and worship him. Members of the Triad worship him too.

People in jiang hu respects him because he symbolizes the Chinese concept of "Yi Qi" (義氣), which is a virtue these people seek among themselves. He is often referred to as "Yi Gor" (二哥 second big brother) for he was second to Liu Bei in their blood brotherhood. Guan Yu (styled guandi; also called Kwan Kung) is a Taoist saint.

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Background about Guan Yu

Guan Yu, was a farmer and when he heard of Liu Bei’s desire to help the Han, and because he was a relative of the Han emperor, Guan Yu, decided to join with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, they swore the famous oath of brotherhood in a peach garden. Guan Yu and his new brothers recruited a small force and decided to help the Han in their battles with the yellow turbans, during the battles Guan Yu made a name for himself and his brothers volunteer forces by quickly killing various yellow turban generals in one blow. After the yellow turban (or scarves) rebellion was squashed, and the alliance against dong zhou was formed Guan Yu and his brothers joined up under Liu Bei’s friend Gongsun Zan. During the allied assault on si pass, Sun Jian’s attack was repulsed by Hua Xiong and when general after general where sent against him Hua Xiong killed them all, when Yuan Shao enquired if they had no leader whom would fight Guan Yu spoke up saying that he would kill this Hua Xiong, when Yuan Shao asked who he was, Gongsun Zan replied that he was an archer and at this Yuan Shu, spoke out that they should beat him for speaking to them and Cao Cao argued that they should let him try and poured some wine and offered it to Guan who said to pour it and he will return shortly Guan Yu then rode out and kill Hua Xiong and returned with his head before the wine had cooled. Later after Cao Caos campaign against Lu Bu where Guan Yu had helped to save Zhang liao’s life, Cao Cao attacked Liu Bei’s lands and managed to make Liu Bei flee to Yuan Shao, and Cao Cao captured Guan Yu, Cao sent Guan’s friend Zhang liao out to meet with him and Zhang liao talked Guan Yu into serving Cao Cao. Cao Cao proceeded to heap gift after gift onto Guan Yu in a bid to get him to be loyal to Cao, when Cao Cao invaded north Yuan Shao’s great generals Yan Liang and Wen Chou proved too great for Cao Cao’s generals to beat and at this Guan Yu rode forth and cut a path straight to Yan Liang and slayed him, due to this effort Cao Cao rewarded Guan Yu with the Red hare and the title of Marquis of Han Shou. Guan Yu showed great emotion upon receiving Red hare, and when Cao Cao grew angry and asked why he was so pleased with this gift but refused the other gifts, Guan Yu replied that with Red Hare he could reach his Brothers in a few days. After this Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao to enquire about Guan Yu’s feelings and Zhang Liao told Cao Cao that Guan Yu wouldn’t leave until he had rendered a great service for Cao Cao so Cao Cao decided to take Guan Yu out of his van so that he could not render this service, but upon Cao Cao’s army meeting with Yuan Shao’s army under Wen Chou, Cao Cao was forced to send Guan Yu out once again and he again Slaughtered Yuan Shao’s general and troops. Upon rendering this deed Guan Yu prepared to leave taking with him only Red Hare and his Sister’s in-laws and after he had left Guan Yu undertook one of the greatest deeds of his life where he defeated six generals through five passes a deed that lasted unmatched for years. After this Guan Yu found himself in the presence of his brother Zhang Fei, and Zhang Fei did not trust Guan Yu and told him to go and slay the last of Cao Cao’s generals that were pursuing him, which Guan Yu did. After this feat Guan Yu participated in many battles including the battle at Bo wan Po where he and others used Zhuge Liangs plots to destroy the Wei army lead by Xiahou Dun. Following this battle Guan Yu had a leading role in Liu Bei’s campaign for Jing, where he stayed as the governor until his death. During his time in Jing, Guan Yu was approached by Wu to have his daughter marry into the Wu family as Liu Bei had done, Guan Yu refused and this lead to great hostilities between the two states of Wu and Shu which culminated in Lu Xun’s and Lu Meng’s invasion of Jing in which all of the governors of the cities in Jing gave the cities to Wu and left Guan Yu alone with his Son and loyal follower to battle Wu, eventually Guan Yu and his son where captured and taken to Wu, where Sun Quan Tried to get Guan Yu to join his kingdom at which Guan Yu responded with insults which lead to Guan Yu being executed. Guan Yu died age fifty eight in the year 219 A.D