Although there is no definite record in the literature as to whether Liang Binglin invented the puppet show. But it is certain: the invention of puppet theater is closely related to the culture of Quanzhou puppet theater. Quanzhou puppet theater influenced the invention of Quanzhou puppet theater, and Quanzhou puppet theater spread to Zhangzhou and Taiwan. Both southern Fujian and Taiwan recognized Quanzhou as the birthplace of puppet theater. However, in the birthplace of Quanzhou, puppetry is only one of the tributaries of puppet art. In Zhangzhou and Taiwan, which developed late, puppetry has surpassed the birthplace. After 1950, Taiwan has obvious inheritance, improvement, and audience acceptance. Leading Zhang and Quan.
As early as the 1730s to 1760s, during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty in China, related documents showed that puppet shows were quite popular in Quanzhou. At this stage, the puppet, box, figure, singing and acting of Quanzhou puppet show still do not deviate from the puppet opera and opera mode. The performances are mostly to thank the gods, greet the gods, celebrate birthdays, and break ground. Until 1798, Quanzhou produced the first professional puppet troupe in China-Jin Yongcheng puppet troupe. The puppet troupe was separated from the puppets and developed on its own. The figure, and the puppet show, which is performed in Quanzhou Hokkien, is also known as the Nanpai puppet show.
The 19th century was the heyday of Quanzhou Nanpai Puppet Show, and it was also the golden age when its culture was exported to the rest of China. In addition to learning more types of plays from the puppet theater, Quanzhou’s puppetry puppetry is also one of the reasons why Quanzhou puppet theater was so popular in the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, cage opera, which paid more attention to singing skills than Liyuan puppet opera, became popular in Quanzhou. Although this drama has meticulous figure and exquisite singing skills, because the script is completely based on the script and there is no creativity, plus the rhyme and rap, it will not be able to penetrate into the folk after all. After a period of precipitation and improvement, these dramas turned into more lively chapter stories. After greatly improving the music of Nanguan, Quanzhou Puppet Show, in line with the management of its music, went through the door to make a play code that is very suitable for Puppet Play and Wenxi. However, because its progress cannot be compared with Taiwan puppet show and Zhangzhou puppet show, it has lost its leading position by now.
In the middle of the 20th century, Quanzhou puppet show received support and support, and was deeply hurt during the Cultural Revolution. After the 1980s, the situation improved. During this period, the most famous professional puppet troupe of Quanzhou puppet theater was founded in 1953. The group combined Nanguan and Liyuan to reform the original southern style of puppet theater. In addition to being well-known in southern Fujian, it has also repeatedly performed “White Dragon Princess” and “Five Mile Changhong” in other provinces in mainland China and the world. Participate in related cultural activities in various places. In addition, the puppet carvings in Quanzhou area are also quite representative. In particular, the puppet heads carved by Jiang Jiazou, a carver who has been leading the way for decades, have not been able to match the quality of the puppet heads.
The total number of boxes, heads, and codes of Zhangzhou puppet show are similar to Quanzhou and should be of the same origin. However, the backfield music is different from Quanzhou, using gongs, drums, suona and other Beiguan music. Because of the high-pitched tone of the suona and the noisy gongs and drums, it is not suitable for literary and drama. Therefore, the puppet show in the area is usually a martial arts that joins the martial arts scene. This kind of Zhangzhou puppet show that uses Beiguan music and is good at martial arts is called Beiguan puppet show or Beipai puppet show. In addition, Zhangzhou’s Yunxiao, Zhao’an, Dongshan, Pinghe and other counties, because they are close to Chaozhou, are different from other places in Zhangzhou, which are popular with Chaozhou music as the backtrack, especially called Chaozhou puppet show, but the puppet show is only Popular in small areas of Zhangzhou.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Zhangzhou local gentry Lan Ruhan introduced Peking opera from Shanghai and promoted it vigorously. At the same time, Zhangzhou artist Yang Sheng introduced Peking opera singing and acting style into puppet show performances. In terms of music, the Zhangzhou puppet show at this stage has a large number of Peking opera accents. In terms of figure, attention is paid to the physical details of the puppet show. From 1900 to 1930, the Zhangzhou Northern School puppet show was popular in Taiwan and Quanzhou Nanguan (Pai) puppet show or Quanzhou Liyuan puppet show. They were slightly better in influence and style. Not only that, this type of puppet show was also introduced to Taiwan in the future, that is, the puppet show outside of Li Tianlu.
Puppet shows are known for their animal descriptions and lively martial arts scenes, such as Monkey King’s performance in Journey to the West. In 1932, Taiwanese opera, which was greatly improved and progressed, spread from Taiwan to Zhangzhou. Affected by this, Zhangzhou Taiwanese opera, which focused on Peking opera, improved itself into Xiang opera with its gorgeous costumes and improved music in Taiwanese opera. Zhangzhou puppet show began to imitate Xiangju, and some troupes changed their singing voice to Zai opera. However, the hand-held kung fu still adopts Peking opera as a genre, which is to tune puppet opera for Taiwanese opera. After many changes, the Zhangzhou puppet show that was finalized in the 1950s was known for its liveliness, martial arts, humor, magic, and diverse personality; such as Fengshen Bang, Journey to the West and other dramas. In addition, puppets are used to simulate interspersed fish, beasts and animals in the performance, which is also a feature of the northern puppet show.
In the 1950s, after the Communist Party of China gained power in mainland China, it used national power to train a large number of puppet play inheritors, and Zhangzhou puppet play also entered a new period of development. In March 1959, Zhangzhou Longxi established the “Longxi Special Area Puppet Theater”, which concentrated a number of puppet artists and formed the embryonic form of folk art moving towards professional art. Beginning in the 1960s, Zhangzhou puppet shows spread across the country and to the world. In 1960, at the 2nd International Puppetry Festival held in Romania, Zhangzhou puppet show performances of “Da Ming Fu” and “Lei Wanchun Fighting the Tiger” won the first prize for their performances and won two gold medals. medal. However, the development of puppet theater was closely related to religious beliefs that were not allowed in China during this period (such as thanking gods), and the prohibition of the art during the Cultural Revolution for more than ten years caused the development of puppet theater in Zhangzhou to stagnate.
After the end of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s and the implementation of the economic opening policy in Mainland China, with the support of the government, the Zhangzhou Puppet Art School was established, and the Zhangzhou Puppet Troupe, the largest professional puppet troupe in Zhangzhou, became active again. At the same time, thanks to the efforts of the national first-class actor Zhuang Chenhua and the new generation successors Hong Huijun, Wu Guangliang and others, the Zhangzhou Puppet Troupe has revived with new dramas such as the children’s puppet show “The Story of the Forest”.
Nowadays, many professional Zhangzhou puppet troupes including Zhangzhou puppet troupe are also facing unprecedented challenges just like traditional puppet troupes in Taiwan. The Zhangzhou puppet show, which does not have a stage for Taiwan’s Cotai Opera, is facing problems such as market shrinking, narrower audiences, and lack of funds for innovative repertoires. In order to break through the predicament, Zhangzhou Puppet Troupe is actively looking for new ways of development, by sending plays to the countryside, organizing actors to perform in other places, and expanding the performance market. At the same time, through various forms, the Taiwan Cotai Opera marketing model is used as an example to improve Zhangzhou cloth bags. The popularity of the play.
Taiwan’s traditional puppet show still has a certain audience in Taiwan. In the early years, many of the social structure and traditional language (Hokkien) that have not been destroyed for more than 100 years have been passed down from Quanzhou, providing a good research and development of puppet show. The performance environment is the main reason why puppet shows flourish for four or five generations.