Guan Yu's Second Name

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Guan Yu's Second Name

Unread postby Changes » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:10 pm

While reading Outlaws of the Marsh, another book Luo Guanzhong was involved in (to what extent is debatable) I came across a passage where three bandit leaders have declared their brotherhood similar (in legend) to Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei.

However they do not call Guan Yu Guan Yu, they referred to him as Guan Gong, why?
I do not recall Guan Yu ever being called that; his style name does not represent that either.

I am reading the Sidney Shapiro translation of the text if that helps.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:25 am

It's just a title. "Guan Gong" means "Lord Guan." Since this was after Guan Yu was deified, they simply called him "Lord Guan."
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Unread postby James » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:30 am

Guan Gong is also the name that was used in reference to him from pretty much that point on. When you see statuettes of him as a deity, they are all labeled Guan Gong, for example. And as amusing as it is, the shop owners that display him may know him as Guan Gong, but may be confused when you actually call him Guan Yu.

See also: <a href="/viewtopic.php?t=2285">Kuan Kung, the God of Wealth, or Kuan Yü, the God of War?</a>
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Unread postby Jordan » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:42 am

As well as Guan Di, which is like 'Divine Guan Yu,' a title that acknowledges his status as God of War. I've actually rarely heard him being called that, but I've heard him being called Guan Gong by people before.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:47 pm

Guan Yu has loads of names- all of which I'm sure you know already- Guan Yu is his real given name and surname, his style is (Guan) Yun Chung, he's called Guan Gong (Gong meaning master or lord), Guan Di as well, actually in a lot of 3k translations Guan Yu is indeed refered to a lot as "Lord Guan" which is the same thing as Guan Gong.

Actually, I'm interested in his deified version, I love Guan Yu/ Guan Gong statues and I've seen lots of his statues holding a Guan Dao, ones sitting holding a book etc.

My question is, who is the Guan Yu/ Gong Gong which we see as a guardian, and always with another character who looks like another military leader? (No, this isn't the Guan Yu that we commonly see with Guan Ping and Zhou Cang!)

Does anyone know what I'm refering to since I find that really interesting- there are so many types!
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Unread postby Changes » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:16 pm

Aaa this also explains why my Moss Roberts translation of RTK referred to Guan Yu for the whole book as Lord Guan.

Thank you forum your wisdom is apprieciated.

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Unread postby Po Hsing » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:53 am

Shi Tong wrote:My question is, who is the Guan Yu/ Gong Gong which we see as a guardian, and always with another character who looks like another military leader? (No, this isn't the Guan Yu that we commonly see with Guan Ping and Zhou Cang!)

Does anyone know what I'm refering to since I find that really interesting- there are so many types!


It is likely that the character you are talking about is Skanda Bodhisattva(韋馱菩薩). He is a commonly depicted as a white faced, young general.

As you may know, Guan Yu is also revered in Buddhism (in addition to his Taoism incarnation, Guan Di), and he is known as the Sangharama Bodhisattva (伽藍菩薩), or the protector of the law.

Skanda is also a protector of the law, and for this reason in buddhist temples, he is shown in pairs with Guan Yu.

BTW, I know from your past postings you have been to Lung Shan Temple in Taipei. You can see both Skanda and Sangharama at the doors in one of the gates there.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:02 am

Po Hsing,

I'm pretty sure you've got that spot on! What I like about this incarnation of Guan Yu is that he appears quite different from his other usual Guan Gong forms (holding Guan Dao, or reading, or on red hare). In this incarnation I believe he has floating cloth bands around his head (I dont know how to describe it, maybe someone has a picture), and he appears as much more of a guardian opposite his friend "Skanda".

Funny enough I've only visited the Gao Xiong Guan Gong temple, not the Taipei one, it's a shame because I bet it's cool.

Is the name Skanda, you're referring to, a Hindu name of some type? It's certainly not Chinese, but since Buddism originated in India, it may be!
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Unread postby lord darwin of sibarani » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:39 am

How about in novel second name of guan yu is Guan In- tiang , Liu bei ( Liu hian tee ) is that correct ?
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:41 am

Darwin, that's interesting, it's a Romanisation which I've never personally seen before but I know what they're getting at-

In-Tiang is "Yun Chung" in most books (and the Mandarin sound is closer to Yun Chung than In Tiang is IMO!)

Hian Tee is "Xuan De" in most books, but I dont think either sounds particularly Mandarin like because the X is pronounced with an s sound at the start.

I personally think they sound like a different Chinese dialect (like Hakka or Taiwanese), but I'm not sure exactly which dialect because I only know a small amount of Taiwanese to compare then with and my abilities in that field are very limited.
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