‘Journey to the West’ is a world famous story based on the life of Buddhist monk Xuanzang. Now, a Yuju Opera number centers on Xuanzang’s life and his perilous journey on foot from China to India to obtain Buddhist sutras. The show made its debut in Kaohsiung city in Taiwan.
Xuanzang, world-famous for his 16-year pilgrimage to India and career as a translator of Buddhist scriptures, is one of the most illustrious figures in the history of scholastic Chinese Buddhism.
Born into a scholarly family at the outset of the Tang Dynasty, some 1,400 years ago, Xuanzang enjoyed a classical Confucian education. But under the influence of his elder brother, a Buddhist monk, he developed a keen interest in Buddhist subjects and became a monk himself at the age of 13.
Upon his return to Chang’an, Xuanzang brought back with him a great number of Sanskrit texts, which he was able to translate during the remainder of his lifetime.
The seven-act Yuju Opera vividly brings the historic figure alive on stage.
“It’s a great show. The performances of the artists really drew me into the story. I’m really touched,” said an audience member.
Derived from central China’s Henan province, Yuju Opera is one of China’s famous traditional performing arts. It is known for its smooth voices, beautiful melodies and the strong local flavor of Henan.
Yuju Opera ‘Xuanzang’ will then tour various cities in Taiwan.