Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

A Public Love Affair or a Nasty Game? The Chinese Tabloid Newspaper and the Rise of the Opera Singer as Star

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of European Journal of East Asian Studies

At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century an unlikely new figure emerged on the Chinese national stage to take its place as the new star: the Peking Opera singer and in particular the dan or female impersonator, hitherto a member of the lowest social caste and generally discriminated against by law and social custom. These singers' newly gained national reputation had everything to do with Shanghai and its media industry, more precisely with the appearance of the tabloids, the xiaobao, in the 1890s. Within a decade, the opera singer had become the selling point of the entertainment newspapers, and very soon newspapers and magazines specialising only in the Peking opera and its stars made their appearance. Propelled by Shanghai's technologically advanced print entertainment products with their lithograph illustrations and photographs, the image of the star became a national icon and a central figure in the mass media. This paper focuses on three cases in which dan actor(s) were the focus of discussion and at times the object of fierce debate or attacked in the xiaobao. Although different in nature, these events highlighted the changing social position of the actors and of the forms of patronage. The paper analyses the contradictory moral standards applied by the editors and writers of these xiaobao in dealing with the change in the social status of actors; the intersection between traditional private literati patronage of local opera singers and the very public process in which the newspaper made them national stars; and the star actors' tenuous relationship to the xiaobao with their potential for mass appeal and defamation.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    European Journal of East Asian Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation