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Known as one of top four folk love stories of ancient China, the story of Liangzhu(梁祝) or Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (internationally famous as The Butterfly Lovers) is as famous as The Story of The Lady White Snake(白蛇传), Story of Mengjianglv(孟姜女) and Story of Niulang and Zhinv(牛郎织女). Among them, the story of Liangzhu is the most famous and influential one and also is the only one that makes the extensive influence throughout the world. This story has more than 1,470 years of history. It is known to every household and undoubtedly is an unsurpassed classic through the ages. From the ancient time to the present, innumerous people were deeply touched by this story. In China, the Story of Liang Shanbo(梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai(祝英台) is crowned as Oriental Romeo and Juliet.
The story of Liangzhu initially appeared in a book called Jinlouzi(金镂子) in south Dynasty, approximately more than 1400 years ago. Since then, in different dynasties, the relevant stories can be heard easily. In Yuan Dynasty, Bai Renpu(白仁甫) created it into an opera, and became one of Chinese classic operas in history. In 1950s, Chen Gang(陈钢) composed the internationally famous violin concerto themed with Liangzhu, and in 1954, ex-premier Zhou Enlai introduced the movie named Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, China’s first colored opera-type artistic movie, to the journalists of the world when he attended at the Geneva Conference, and then this movie based on the love story was widely called Chinese Romeo and Juliet. In a short time, this story becomes internationally famous.
Over the hundreds of years, the story of Liangzhu has been rewritten or recomposed continually by playwrights and authors for generations, but the basic scenario was never changed. The theme of paying a tribute to freedom and love was never changed as well. Due to the different versions of the story, there are five earning areas of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, 9 tombs of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, and even there is a memorial of Liangzhu in Yin County, Ningbo. Nowadays, people may always remind themselves of Hangzhou Wansong Academy(万松书院). The connections between Wansong Academy and Story of Liangzhu was firstly mentioned in a book named Tongchuangji(同窗记, The Record of Schoolmates) , and this is a book created by Li Yu(李渔) who was a famous playwright in late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty when he temporarily lived in Hangzhou. In this book, he set their first meeting at Caoqiaomen when they crossing the Qiantang River from Kuaiji and Shangyu and begun their love story in Wangsong Academy. After their three years of school life, Liang Shanbo sent off Zhu Yingtai along the ancient long way of Fenghuang Hill. The author wrote all the story scenes into the beauty of Hangzhou, and it makes the story more touching and impressive. In modern times, many related films or TV plays were all adapted in accordance with this version of story. From then on, Wansong Academy originally called Fuwen Academy(敷文书院) becomes another must-see tourist attraction from an old educational center.