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Journal paper
篇名The Zhong Kui Nuo Ritual / Drama in the Ming Court ──The Transformation of Zhong Kui’s image
作者姓名Lin Chih-Li
頁碼97-120
AbstractIt is generally believed that the Ming court stages no Nuo ritual, an analytical perspective derived from Fang Xiang-shi, an ancient Nuo system. However, as early as in Song Nuo theatre, a ritual called mai sui埋祟or “burying the evil spirits” had long been abandoned the traditional Nuo system and developed another set of rituals that is more entertaining and dramatic. What the Nuo theatre in the Ming court inherits is exactly this later development. In order to entertain and to ward off bad influences at the same time, famous plays staged in the Ming court such as 《Three Immortals-- Fortune, Prosperity, and Longevity--Celebrates in Celestial Palaces》(福祿壽仙官慶會)and 《Celebrating an Abundant Harvest the Five Ghosts Tease Zhong Kui》(慶豐年五鬼鬧鍾馗)contain Nuo elements in various ways. Of the two above-mentioned plays, 《Three Immortals Celebrates in Celestial Palace》is written by Zhou Xian-wang. This play preserves many rituals and essences of the ancient Nuo drama. On the grounds of this particular play, the present paper first of all analyzes the Nuo elements embedded in its plot, so as to prove that Nuo drama serves two purposes in the Ming dynasty. Secondly, this paper argues that the image of Zhong Kui, the demon queller, is actually shaped by this particular play. In the play, Zhong Kui is portrayed as a loyal, honest, prosperous and cheerful-looking scholar-official, an image that is very different from that of Fang Xiang-shi, who is traditionally a fierce-looking and defeated literati in Nuo drama. Because of this new image, Zhong Kui has then become the sole candidate in many year-end rituals held to welcome the fortunes and expel the evils. Finally, this paper also investigates various custom changes along the course of time, arguing that rituals such as wu ji (“the five sacrifices”) and sung qong (“sending away poverty”) have gradually been incorporated in Nuo drama during the Song and Ming dynasties.
KeywordZhong Kui, the Nuo drama, the Nuo ritual, the Ming dynasty, Court drama
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