Operas in China have not been just a simple cultural entertainment but a factor deeply involved in shaping the structure of Chinese mentality and consciousness as well as spreading the notion of Zhonghua. The Qing Dynasty engaged in a variety of cultural projects statewide to secure the stability of its multiethnic society. Publishing play scripts and sponsoring staged plays were one of its key theater activities. Palace operas of the Qing Dynasty went beyond just being an entertainment but a part of the court protocol, a state-governed culture and more than just performing arts on stage. The “Short Opera” was a performing art for formality that aimed at affirming inner solidarity while the “Grand Opera” served more to strengthen relations with neighboring states and reinforcing grip and control. This thesis studies on Quanshanjinke, one of the long palace operas that represent the highlight of the court culture, focusing on how it was received and spread socially and figure out what influence those operas had on the royal culture and subsequently draw their common cultural features and characteristics. Chinese operas - a key part of Chinese culture that had taken roots in places all over the world - have played a crucial role in forming consciousness in Chinese people regardless of their social class or status. Therefore, it is a meaningful work in terms of cultural history to find out in detail the content and roles of the court operas that were pursued as state projects. The era of the Qing Dynasty has often been referred to together as the Ming-Qing Dynasties which may have diluted its own unique features. But since the 21st century, the perspective focusing on the Great Qing Empire is gaining traction instead of the aggressive efforts for Huaxia conventionally thought as the empire’s success factor. To better understand the Quanshanjinke, we need to look into the historical backdrop in the early Qing days when the continued efforts were made to put the inland Asian Buddhism at the center of the world. The Qing Dynasty was still not stable in the Buddhist world during the early days of the Emperor Kangxi. Efforts to invite the Fifth Dalai Lama continued even into the Emperor Shunzhi reign and finally paid off by the Great Fifth’s visit to Beijing. Through the visit, the Dynasty could earn the chance to join the inter-Asian network including Mongolia and Tibet. There are relics and artifacts that illustrate the fusion of cultural harmony between Zhonghua and the inland Asia strongly connected around the Tibetan Buddhism. One major example is the Eight Outer Temples in Chengde built during the Kangxi reign to escape the summer heat. That is a case in point where a world order was being established based on both the Tibetan Buddhism and the tradition of the nomad including from Manchuria, Mongolian and Tibet. The grand palace operas must have played a certain role in firming and demonstrating such world order to the outside world. The staging of the Quanshanjinke at Chengde to welcome foreign delegations (and avoid summer heat) may be considered a proactive ruling measure to promote Buddhism. Unlike other preceding Xiwens, the court opera covers the story of the revolt of the military governor (Fanzhen) and how it was contained. Its staging seems related to the fact that the Emperor Kangxi contained the Revolt of the Three Feudatories and set up a powerful central government at that time. It can also be seen as embracing the narrative of loyalty and filial piety to clearly show that he is the legitimate Confucian successor of Zhonghua. As a result, the Quanshanjinke became the opera that both covers the Buddhist narrative from the Mulian Saves Mother and the narrative of loyalty and filial piety to confirm the legitimacy as Confucian successor of Zhonghua.
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