Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom


Daoist Theatrical God

Also known as Cao Ching-Hsiu, Cao Jingxiu, Cao Yi, Ts'ao I, Ts'ao Kuo-Chiu

Picture of the Chinese Theatrical God Cao Guojiu from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Immortal theatre fan and royal patron of actors

One of the Eight Immortals, he is a special patron of actors and stage performers.

The brother of a Song Dynasty Empress, Cao Guojiu hated all the royal corruption going on. His motto was basically: “Here by Royal Disappointment.” Eventually he left the court in disgust and went to meditate in the mountains — where his golden tablet of introduction (‘I am the brother of Empress Cao and hereby command the utmost respect’) was not a lot of use.

But he did meet Lu Dongbin, who coached him in finding The Way (Dao) and immortality. No doubt the Elixir of Immortality came in handy again. (It’s got to be a drink, hasn’t it? You wouldn’t pop pills from a stranger.)

With his new-found status, Cao Guojiu was happy to become the patron deity of Actors and Performance. And lets face it, the acting profession needs all the patronage it can get. Gods on seats, dear friends, gods on seats.

We wonder if Cao Guojiu’s patronage extends to film and television performance. Living forever must give him a valuable insight into screenplays such as The Never-Ending Story, as well as the works of the Immortal Bard.

PS. He also plays a mean set of Chinese maracas. Will anyone give him a walk-on part in a musical?

Cao Guojiu Facts and Figures

Name: Cao Guojiu
Pronunciation: Tsaow Gwor-Jee-yoo
Alternative names: Cao Ching-Hsiu, Cao Jingxiu, Cao Yi, Ts'ao I, Ts'ao Kuo-Chiu

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Acting and Performance Art
Area of expertise: Performing Arts, Performance Art, Acting, Actors, Theatre, Luvvie

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 6596

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Article last revised on April 22, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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