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A historic crusade

By Wang Ru | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-12 11:26
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A statue of Cao Cao stands at the entrance of Jinfeng Terrace.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Yuan Guangyu, 40, still remembers his youth when he was passionate about the history and culture of the Three Kingdoms (220-280), a period when China was dominated by three warring states, and numerous famous heroes emerged following the demise of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).

"Many men of my generation share the experience of reading comic books about the Three Kingdoms when we were younger, reading the Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, watching its namesake TV adaptation and playing computer games about it," recalls Yuan.

They also made a lot of calculations about characters in the book, trying to classify them into groups based on their gender, weapons and family name, and drew cartoons inspired by stories in the book, following the style of renowned cartoonist Tsai Chihchung, who has published books about the Three Kingdoms.

When Yuan entered university as a computer major, many of his peers created websites about things they were interested in, and he was one of them, establishing sanguocn.com in 2003, a website centered around the Three Kingdoms period.

At that time, there were a number of other sites covering the subject, but according to Yuan, his was among the most popular, with, on average, about 2,000 concurrent visitors each day.

His website was popular for its film and television pages, where people could not only find swathes of information about the various film and television productions pertaining to the Three Kingdoms, but also enjoy interactive elements like dubbing videos and engaging in debating competitions. Inscriptions written by actors who played characters in the 1994 TV series Romance of the Three Kingdoms were another highlight in that section of the site.

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