WU-Song Fights the Tiger (read as “Wu-Song Da-Hu”), let’s see how WU-Song fights to win respects in Jing-Yang-Gang
During the years of Song Dynasty, in Jing-Yang-Gang near Yang-Gu County there appeared a violent tiger that had a white mark on its forehead. The tiger had done injuries to numerous people. WU-Song was going to go back home to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Qinghe County. He passed through this place and stayed in a roadhouse for rest and food. After eating and drinking, WU-Song wanted to take out. The roadhouse owner worried about Wu-Song’s safety, because he might be hurt by the ferocious tiger when he got past Jing-Yang-Gang. Therefore, the roadhouse owner wanted WU-Song to stay overnight. But WU-Song misunderstood the roadhouse owner’s god intentions and thought the roadhouse owner wanted to murder him for gain. Therefore, he disregarded the road house owner’s advice and tipsily set out to Jing-Yang-Gang.
Yan Family’s brothers arranged a team and wanted to fight the tiger in Jing-Yang-Gang to eliminate the public scourge. However, when the fierce tiger appeared, Yan’s brothers tried to fight the tiger but ended up with the risk to be killed by the tiger. When WU-Song came over Jing-Yang-Gang, he saw all the people there were running away. When he just wanted to ask what happened, suddenly the fierce tiger showed up and pounced on WU-Song directly.
After all how did WU-Song fight the tiger? Was WU-Song killed and eaten by the fierce tiger?
Introduction of Performer/ Troupe
“I Wan Jan” was established in 1931. The founder, Li Tien-lu used the name “I Wan Jan, because he wanted the public know that the hand puppet was as vivid as real man. Li Tien-lu’s performance blended in rich Beijing Opera elements, so the opera circles called his sector as “Wai Jiang Pai.”
In 1953, Li Tien-lu led “I Wan Jan” to participate in national hand puppet show contest; they have won championship of the northern area for more than twenty consecutive years. At the end of 1971, “I Wan Jan” began to perform around the world on invitation; theur tracks extended all over Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. They successively propagated Taiwan’s traditional hand puppet art and became an internationally noted troupe. At the same time, Li Tien-lu led all masters before and behind the curtain to invest in the hand puppet show inheritance works in Jeu-Guang Elementary School in Banciao, creating a new trend of learning hand puppet show artistry in campus and continuously rooting the art of traditional hand puppet.
Li Tien-lu died in 1998. His second son, Li Chuang-tsain succeeded to be the curator. Besides continuing his father’s unfinished inheritance works, he never neglected any kinds of preserving, rooting, and innovating works. Li Chuang-tsain died in 2009; his wife, Li-Tsai Su-Chen, succeeds to be the curator and leads the fourth generation young students to continuously make progress in passing on hand puppet art.