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Laundering the Silken Yarn
Liang Chenyu (born 1520) was a famous Ming dynasty (1368-1644) playwright, his masterpiece "Wan Sha Ji" (Laundering the Silken Yarn) was the first Quanqi play put to the music of Kunqu style. It is the famous beauty Xishi during the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). The Yue State was defeated by the Wu State. As part of a conspiracy for future vengeance, Xishi, formerly a country girl, laundering silken yarn in a stream, was presented by the King of the Yue State to the victorious King of the Wu State. The only person to suspect the impending danger was Wu Yuan (also known as Wu Zixu), the loyal prime minister of the Wu State. Deeply enamored of Xishi, the King of the Wu State simply left Zixu's warnings unheeded. The conspiracy worked. Wu Zixu was order by the king to commit suicide. In due time the corruptible were corrupted, the incorruptible died. Xishi was rejoined by her constant former lover Fan Li. They lived in retirement happily ever after.
Ji Zi (Entrusting His Son)
Aware of the impending threat to the Wu State, Prime Minister Wu Zixu decides to do what he can to save his country and his lord, even risking his own life. In order to leave nothing to worry about at home, Wu Zixu is going to entrust his young son to the care of a friend Bao Mu in the State of Qi. The father brings the son along on the journey without telling him why. When the true purpose of the journey is revealed, the son is overwhelmed with grief, but he is obliged to comply with the father's wishes and promises to behave as Bao Mu's adopted son.
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