Guan Yu, or Yunchang, was a Xie native from Hedong. He is a Taoist deity who is also well thought of by Buddhists. According in the "Romance Of The Three Kingdoms", he first began as a regular vendor of soya bean curd. But after he rescued a harassed lady and killed a tax inspector, he got the taste for battle, embarked on a famous military career with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, and became one of the Three Brothers of the Peach Orchard. Liu Bei and the two of them shared the same bed and they were like brothers to each other. Guan Yu’s devotion to Liu Bei was obvious and could be seen through many actions. For example, when many people were sitting, he would be standing next to Liu Bei to assist him, and he would follow Liu Bei through all of the dangers and would not escape any difficulties. After Liu Bei killed Che Zhou, the governor of Xuzhou, he ordered Guan Yu to take care of the governing matters of Xiapi City, while he resided in Xiaopei.
During the fifth year of Jian An, Cao Cao attacked eastwards and Liu Bei looked for refuge at Yuan Shao’s governance. Cao Cao captured Guan Yu, appointed him as Pian Jiangjun, and treated him with great honor. Yuan Shao sent his general, Yan Liang, to attack the governor of the eastern rank at Baima. Cao Cao then sent Zhang Liao as vanguard. Guan Yu saw Yan Liang’s commander’s canopy and charged his horse forward, killing Yan Liang in the mass of soldiers and returning with the decapitated head of Yan Liang. The rest of the Yuan generals who could not withstand the battle ceased to surround the Baima area. Cao Cao awarded Guan Yu with the rank of Hanshou Tinghou, or Marquis of Hanshou.
Cao Cao at first was pleased with Guan Yu until he realized Zuan Yu's reluctance to stay, so he ordered Zhang Liao, “Go and speak with him and probe about his feelings.” Zhang Liao did what Cao Cao wanted and spoked to Guan Yu, but Guan Yu replied, “I am in full knowledge of the honor and privilege Cao Cao had shown me, however, General Liu had treated me well too, so I swear to die with him and I will never betray him. I'll not stay here forever, but I will contribute a exploit to repay Cao Cao’s favor first before I leave”. After Zhang Liao notified Cao Cao, he then began to offer Guan Yu with a lot of rewards. Guan Yu rejected all of them. Some of Cao Cao's soldiers tried to chase after Guan Yu, but Cao Cao replied,"each for his own master; so do not give chase."
Guan Yu was once strucked by an arrow on his left arm. Although the wound healed, the bone would still hurt badly. His doctor told him that the arrow contained poison and it had entered his bone. The only way to cure it was to open his arm and scrape away the poison, but it will obviously hurt a lot. However, Guan Yu stretched his arm out and pleaded the doctor to perform the surgery.
Guan Yu is worshipped even today because of his brotherhood and loyalty. Even after Cao Cao offered many treasures and presents to Guan Yu, Guan Yu could not bring himself to betray his unbiological brother, Liu Bei. Some believed that Guan Yu committed suicide before he was captured.
Allen, Peter J., and Chas Saunders. "GUAN-YU: The God of War from Chinese Mythology." Godchecker: Your Guide to the Gods. Godchecker.com, 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 04 June 2014. .
Pierce, James. "Encyclopedia: Guan Yu." Guan Yu (Yunchang) [Kuan Yü; 關羽]. Http://kongming.net/, 08 May 2008. Web. 04 June 2014. .
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