Women traditionally have been banned from the Beijing Opera world, but Yu Jim Yuen's China Drama Academy dared to break the usual rule. It not only accepted female disciples but also left all business affairs to Seven Little Fortune's "Si Leung" and "Si Mo".
As everyone knows, women's positions in the Chinese opera world cannot possibly be equal to men's. Jackie Chan once in his autobiography I AM JACKIE CHAN wrote, "In the national opera tradition, men always played female characters because women were considered the symbol of misfortune. Yet their days of being banned from the stage has passed, and the master also very gently accepted this change."
Making Connection, Jumping Out Of Hong Kong
From the mouths of Seven Little Fortunes, Yu Jim Yuen's first wife and Yu So Chau's birth mother was "Si Leung". She was responsible for taking care of Yu So Chau; Master Yu's second wife was "Si Mo", who often participated in the academy business, including in 1969 assisting a group of disciples' performance in Taiwan.
Yuen Biao said, "At the time we were all children. Back then leaving the city required a visa. Because Si Mo had a lot of connections, she used interpersonal relationships to help us get a Justice of the Peace as our co-signer. Then we got our passports. Without Si Mo, we really had no choice of leaving Hong Kong."
Even Little Brother Yuen Lun had nothing but praise for Si Mo as a well matched couple with the Master. Yuen Lun said, "Si Mo was as strict as the Master. At the time I liked to bite my finger and the Master scolded me many times already. I still couldn't stop the bad habit. Once I was habitually biting my finger, as I was right in the middle of it, Si Mo was combing her hair when suddenly she hit me with the iron comb. My finger was immediately bleeding. From then on I never dared to bite my finger again."
Si Mo's unpredictable personality successfully built her might in the hearts of the disciples. Yuen Sum said, "At the time our parents went to visit us. Si Mo would be full of smiles when she saw them. Yet when the parents left, the still smiling at the last second Si Mo already changed her expression the next second when facing us." The speed of her expression change caused fear in the hearts of the innocent children.
Own Flesh And Blood, Additional Punishment
Even her own daughter Yuen Yu was not spared. Yuen Yu said, "Ma was the typical Shanghainese, dignity was very important. She had to become perfect in everyone's mind. Thus when Yuen Sin and I argued, Yuen Si got three lashes, I got six. She wanted to show people that her own daughter would not get special treatment."
Yuen Ju also remembered how Si Mo played the Master's "better half". She said, "When the Master was on hand the Master hits, if he wasn't then Si Mo did. However, when I was little I didn't feel Si Mo was good. I only knew to be afraid of her. Now looking back, I realized that Si Mo deserved a lot of the credit."