Guan Yu

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A painting of Guan Yu by Okinawan painter Higa Kazan, on display at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum
  • Born: c. 160
  • Died: c. 219
  • Other Names: 関帝 (Guān dì / Kantei)
  • Chinese/Japanese: 関羽 (Guān Yǔ / Kan U)

Guan Yu was a significant military general of China's Three Kingdoms Period and features prominently in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and derivative works of fiction and popular culture.

He is widely worshipped as a deity of war and business success across China, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. He is often depicted as carrying a longdao (dragon blade halberd). In addition to small Guan Yu shrines held at individual Chinese restaurants and other businesses, shrines to Guan Yu in Japan can also be found at the Confucian temple in Naha, Okinawa; and in Chinatowns in Kobe, Nagasaki, and Yokohama.


  • Gallery labels, Royal Ontario Museum.[1]