Cao Guojiu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Royal Uncle Cao)
Jump to: navigation, search
Zhang Lu's painting of Cao Guojiu, early 16th century

Cao Guojiu (Chinese: 曹國舅) is the youngest of the Eight Immortals. He is named one of the following:

  • Cao Yi (曹佾) (courtesy name Gongbo (公伯 gōng bó))
  • Cao Jing (曹景)
  • Cao Jingxiu (曹景休)
  • Cao You (曹友).

He was said to be the uncle of the Emperor of the Song Dynasty, being the younger brother of Empress Dowager Cao (曹太后 cáo tàihòu).

In historic records, there were several emperor-consorts Caos in the Song Empire, but only one became EmpressCishengguangxian (慈聖光獻皇后 cí shèng guāng xiàn huáng hoù) (1015–1079), the wife of the fourth Song emperor, Rénzōng (仁宗), none of whose children became an emperor.

However, this does not render the historical existence of the "Royal Uncle Cao" impossible as in pre-modern China, the address "uncle" also meant "brother-in-law". Sometimes specified as "wife-uncle" (妻舅 qī jiù) or as a respect, "little uncle" (舅子 jiù zǐ). Empress Císhèngguāngxiàn did have a younger brother named Cao Yi in historical record. But the given name of Royal Uncle Cao being Yi as well could be a post hoc.

Cao Guojiu's younger brother Cao Jingzhi (曹景植 cáo jǐng zhí) was a bully, but no one dared to prosecute him because of his powerful connections, not even after he killed a person. Royal Uncle Cao was so overwhelmed by sadness and shame on his brother that he resigned his office and left home.

Depiction[edit]

He is shown in the official's court dress with a jade tablet. Sometimes he holds castanets. His jade tablet can purify the environment. Royal Uncle Cao is considered the patron deity of actors.

Modern references[edit]

In the television show Jackie Chan Adventures, Cao was shown to be the Immortal who sealed away Tchang Zu, The Thunder Demon. He was depicted as missing his lower right leg.

In another television show, Avatar: The Last Airbender, aspects of his life and physical appearance make him extraordinarily similar to the character Iroh.