Hamilton Library presents the Jingju Collection

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Teri L Skillman-Kashyap, (808) 956-8688
Communications & Events Coordinator, Library Services
Posted: Jan 28, 2010

Jingju (Beijing opera) is the most notable of all Chinese operatic forms since mid-19th century, the latter part of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).  The Asia Collection is proud to announce a new exhibit introducing books on Jingju from the Library’s China Collection on the 4th floor of UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library on view from January 27, 2010 through February 28, 2010 during building hours.

The traditional repertoire of Jingju includes more than 1,000 works adopted from Chinese literature and classical novels, fairy tales, and important historical events. The acting is based on allusion: gestures, footwork, and other body movements expressing such actions as riding a horse, rowing a boat, or opening a door. Character roles are strictly defined by elaborate facial make-up designs that depict different characters. There are four main types of roles in Jingju: sheng (male), dan (young female), jing (painted face, male), and chou (clown, male or female).  These characters may be beautiful or ugly, good or evil, loyal or treacherous, and their images are vividly manifested by the elaborate facial make-ups.

Since Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), the grand master of Jingju, visited Japan in 1919 and the United States in 1929, Jingju has become more and more popular with people all over the world. Today, Jingju continues to have a place in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong because it tells stories common to all Chinese, including the legend of White Snake, the legend of the Monkey King, and tales from The Water Margin, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.  These timeless tales still resonate today, ensuring that the jingju will continue to have its place in modern life.

For inquiries, contact curator Kuang-tien K.T. Yao at (808) 956-2312 or email kyao@hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/asiaref/china/