Home > New Paradise Troupe > Tu Wu Laying Solid Foundation

Yuanlin Baiguoshan New Paradise Glove Puppetry Troupe led by Qing Fa Wu is one of the few Glove Puppetry Troupes in Taiwan that owns backstage bands. From the yellowing certificate of awards hanging on the walls, we can see the troupe's long history. Yet, if we are going to tell the story of New Paradise, it is not reasonable to tell it without introducing Qing Fa Wu's father, Tu Wu.

Tu Wu (the left) and Qing Fa Wu (the right)
Source: offered by Qing Fa Wu

Qing Fa Wu's father and mother were first engaging in Taiwanese opera. The name of Qing Fa's father is Tu Wu. His specialty is Peikuan musical instruments and he used to be playing with wind instrument in the backstage when performing Taiwanese opera. Life back then was stressful, so Qing Fa's parents had to work while taking care of the children. When they were performing, they took the three kids with them and left them at the backstage. That was when Qing Fa Wu got exposed to traditional opera, and therefore, he had his foundation laid at a young age.

Source: offered by Qing Fa Wu

However, the second World War broke out and during the war, Japanese government forbade any kind of musical mode of performance, and thus, Qing Fa's father was forced to give up on Taiwanese opera and go back to the mountains to farm for a living.

After the second World War, Taiwan was recovered and the prohibition of musical performance was nullified. Tu Wu gave up on farming and went back to perform in the troupe. Because of his specialty in Peikuan musical instruments, he joined “Blackwater Bridge Peikuan Free Style Trope” (黑水橋北管亂彈劇團) and performed in many places. Yet, they were ultimately dismissed for being defeated by other Taiwanese opera troupes.

Although it got off to a wobbly start, Tu Wu did not give up. Instead, he asked for assistance from masters and made use of his specialty in Peikuan musical instruments to establish a Glove Puppetry troupe in 1949, which paved the road for Qing Fa Wu. His father’s troupe is the precursor of New Paradise Glove Puppetry Troupe.

Data Compilation: Liang Yi, Chen Yu
Source of Photos: offered by Qing Fa Wu, taken by Jing-Siou Vanguard
Source of Information:
1.from Qing Fa Wu's narration
2.Taiwan English News (2009/08/29) : http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/ch/news/1043970
3.The Epoch Times (2013/05/21): http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/13/5/21/n3875602.htm
4.Chuanghua County Yuanlin History Studio: http://ylcmd.blogspot.tw/2013/11/blog-post_6482.html
5.Cultural Heritage Assets Database: https://nchdb.boch.gov.tw/webno/link/Talentedperson/upt.aspx?&p0=7597&&key=&dateA=&dateB=&con=1&cid=0&fid=0