Most classic Chinese novels give expression to such traditional Chinese virtues as patriotism, loyalty, benevolence and justice. Having previously released a set of stamps on the novel "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" in 2000, the Directorate General of Posts is going to release a second set of four stamps in this series. Scheduled to be released on April 4, 2002, the second set of four stamps includes "Three Heroes Battling Lu Bu," "To the Rescue of His Master's Family...... Scraping away the Poison from the Bone" and "Playing a Lute to Make the Enemy Retreat." At the same time, a souvenir sheet will be released. The stamps were planned by Mr. Wu Hong-yi, a professor of Chinese at National Taiwan University. It is said that The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was written by Luo Guan-Chung in the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasties. Based on historical records and folk legends, this book describes Chinese history from the Yellow Tur-ban Rebellion at the close of the Eastern Han Dynasty to when the Western Chin Dynasty received the heavenly mandate and unified China (184-280 A.D.). His great writing skills created many very moving heroic deeds, making this book a classic.The following is a brief introduction to the designs of the stamps:
(1) Three Heroes Battling Lu Bu: Lu Bu, the foster son of Tung Cho, was a valiant warrior. One day, he came to challenge the feudal lords' camp to battle. Chang Fei fought with him for a long time and then Liu Bei and Guan Yu joined in one after another. Finally, being attacked from three sides, even Lu could not cope, so he ate his pride and fled back to his camp, dragging his halberd.(2) To the Rescue of His Master's Family: Chao Yun, also named Chao Tzu-lung, was a handsome man and skillful fighter. When Tsao Tsao defeated Liu Bei in Tangyang, Chao was ordered to protect Liu's family. Though he was wounded, he thought only of protecting the Lius and ultimately rescued Liu's wives Lady Kan and Lady Mi and their son A Tou.(3) Scraping away the Poison from the Bone: When attacking Fancheng, a poisonous arrow hit Guan Yu's right arm. Doctor Hua Tuo suggested to cut open his flesh and scrap away the poison from the bone with a scalpel before applying medicine and sewing it up. Guan agreed, and as the doctor operated, he drank and played chess with Ma Liang. Hua Tuo's skill and Guan Yu's guts were both extraordinary.(4) Playing a Lute to Make the Enemy Retreat: Szuma Yi led an army of 150,000 to attack Chu-Ko Liang's city. Chu-Ko had only 2,500 soldiers under his command. Everyone there, except Chu-Ko himself was in a panic. He just calmly put on a coat made of feathers and a cap, and went to the top of the city wall to play a lute amid burning incense. Szuma Yi thought there would be an ambush and gave orders to retreat. This story demonstrated the wonderful foresight of Chu-Ko Liang.
(1) First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$3.00 apiece. (2) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.(3) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece. (4) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.(5) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$5.50 apiece.(6) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$34.00 apiece.(7) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$35.00 apiece.(8) Pictorial to be sold at NT$260.00 apiece with a total of 50,000 copies. This Directorate has specially commissioned Mr. Kuo Su-yi, the original planner of the stamps, to handle the plan of this pictorial. The pictorial will consist of one set of 4 relative stamps, I souvenir sheet and 4 color postal cards, which can be drawn out. In addition to the lenient Liu Bei, the loyal and just Guan Yu, the upright Chang Fei and the resourceful Chu-Ko Liang, Chinese and English inter-pretations will be also used to vividly portray the four maincharacters: Tiao Chan, an incomparable beauty; Lu Bu, a man be-tween love and hero; Chao Tzu-lung, a man with unbeatable courage and Szuma Yi, a man with great resourcefulness. It gives an opportunity for the stamp collectors to review the striking plots of the magnificent Chinese classic novel. This item is certainly suitable for both gifts and collectibles.