Chinese military weaponry is a vast category with hundreds of types of weapons, many of which do not have a western counterpart. In Shen Yun programs, historical and mythological stories sometimes feature a traditional weapon, and famous heroes usually possess a particularly powerful weapon—often associated with magical powers.
For example, the Monkey King (from Journey to the West) has a cudgel with a magical ability to transform from the size of a needle to a towering column. The Green Dragon Crescent Blade of Guan Yu (from Romance of the Three Kingdoms) can slash anything, helping the mighty general win countless battles. Common people or warriors have more familiar weapons, such as sabers, bows, and staffs.
Ancient Chinese science was known, among other things, for metallurgy, and these weapons were in many ways, well, cutting-edge. Yet certain weapons, like the precious sword, were valued more as symbols of virtue and nobility than as tools of war.
This section introduces some of the weapons seen as props in Shen Yun dances.