Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taiwan Regional Opera M/S FDC

Taiwan Minisheet FDC
Name: Regional Opera Series - Taiwanese Puppet (The Scholar Knight of Yunjhou)
Issue date: 4 February 2008
Number: Sp. 515

Taiwanese Puppet Theater, a form of traditional operatic art with a rich, folksy appeal, has nearly 100 years of history. To celebrate Taiwan's traditional folk art and culture and to give people greater understanding about Taiwanese puppet theater, this Post is releasing a new set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet based on Taiwanese puppet theater, featuring four famous characters from the much celebrated television show the Scholar Knight of Yunjhou: Shih Yan-wun, Dragon Lady of the Bitter Sea, Mirror Man, and Old Oddball. For better design of the stamps, Shih Yan-wun and the Dragon Lady of the Bitter Sea were matched in one horizontal se-tenant strip while Mirror Man with Old Oddball in another.

The Scholar Knight of Yunjhou, the puppet drama, was adapted by Mr. Huang Hai-dai, founder of the Wujhouyuan Hand Puppet Theater Troupe, from an 18th century novel. In the 1970s his second son Mr. Huang Jun-Xiong brought the drama to the television screen. It created an instant sensation around the island.

Shih Yan-wun
A native of Yunjhou, Shih was both an accomplished scholar and a warrior. Honorably saving people from danger and helping the weak, he was known as the Scholar Knight. Loyal to the emperor, Shih was framed by a treacherous court official and banished to the frontier. Fortunately, with help of other knight-errants and lady friends, he survived.

NT$5.00: Dragon Lady of the Bitter Sea
Originally the third princess of Tatarstan, she was displaced by a palace coup and fled to seek help. She transformed herself into Dragon Lady of the Bitter Sea and then went to China, where she met Shih Yan-wun and became his best friend.

NT$5.00: Mirror Man
The son of the headless general of Jiaojhih (what is today northern Vietnam), Mirror Man was also known as "the spirit of Jiaojhih." Because his father died fighting Shih Yan-wun's father, he regarded Shih as his archenemy and had vowed to kill him.

NT$5.00: Old Oddball
A renowned medical doctor, Old Oddball was also a great musician. His music tamed a primal beast as well as the heart of the little King Kong, and the two became great friends despite the difference in their ages.

2008 Taiwan Regional Opera FDC
2008 Taiwan Regional Opera Minisheet FDC

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