Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yuen Qiu (left) was originally called Yuen Rong, under the Master's order she switched names with a junior disciple.

Opening the China Beijing Opera artist review, Mei Lanfang, Cheng Yanqiu, Yen Jupeng, Qiu Shengrong ... ...all the names were elegant and scenic. Ultimately those who worked in the arts had to have polished names. Otherwise an ordinary general name would be no different from topopera artists, where would the decency be?

Despite having several dozens or even hundreds of disciples, Yu Jim Yuen still insisted, in accordance with each apprentice's personality and potential, to name them with the "Yuen" in "Yu Jim Yuen". After many years, Yuen Biao who was formerly known as Ha Ling Chun, Yuen Wah who was originally named Yung Kai Chi, Yuen Qiu who was originally named Cheung Chuen Nam, still insisted on using their Yu Jim Yuen given names, which not only showed their respect for their mentor but also reflected how much effort Master Yu put into naming his disciples.

Meticulous, A Proper Title

Once in the Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing and Anita Mui Yim Fong starred ROUGE (YIN JI KAU) performed the Beijing opera segment, Yuen Ju said, "Back then the Master really put an effort into naming us. He would get inspiration from the elder and famous Beijing opera artists, like the Zhang school representative figure famous diva Zhang Junqiu. The Master then used his 'Qiu' to name Third Sister. However, the Master also had times when his inspirations were all used up. With the later brothers and sisters, the Master's naming was no longer a science. Some were even randomly picked, (mahjong tiles) North, South, East, West, Red, Green, White, Plum, Orchid, Mum, Bamboo, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter all have appeared."

Even Yuen Wah, who has always liked to challenge the authority of the Master inside, did not forget to chip in, "Right, not just East, South, West, North, Red, Gree, White, even candle and incense (offering for the deceased) were all used!"

Yuen Qiu recalled, during the days when Yu Jim Yuen was still very particular about naming his disciples, as soon as he discovered that the name was inappropriate he would change it again and again. Contradicting himself, he could be considered the strict enforcer of Confucius'"proper title". Yuen Qiu said, "I originally was named 'Yuen Qiu'. At first the Master named me 'Yuen Rong'. Later he discovered that my voice was not as pretty as a younger disciples and the word 'Rong' suited her more, so my 'Yuen Rong' was switched with hers. Since then I was called Yuen Qiu and she was called Yuen Rong. Luckily I only had the'Yuen Rong' name for two days. Since the Master said switch so we switched, I never felt that I wasn't used to the name."

Knew And Properly Used People, Change For Any Mistake

Although Master Yu was on top of the school, it was never his way only. He would change as soon as he made any mistake and set an example to the disciples. In fact Master Yu knew with the slightest hint how to unlock the apprentice's potential the most. No wonder Yuen Qiu praised, "I believe that the Master wasn't just good at coming up with names, he also really knew how to assign who each person should learn in accordance with the characteristics and expertise. For example my voice was higher pitch and I was interested in action, the Master told me to learn to be an action actor that required fighting. Second sister Yuen Pu sounded like an old ox, the Master told her to learn to be an old actor. The Master was rarely wrong." (4)

Courtesy of

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