The movie Prime Minister Luu Gu (1998) is a classic television work that has stuck with the 8X, 9X audience not only in China but also in Asian countries like Vietnam. The film has content revolving around the struggle between Luu Gu – a pure, honest and intelligent mandarin with the most corrupt official in the history of Thanh Hoa Than dynasty.
Prime Minister Luu Gu is a national film for a while
In history, Luu Dung (1719 – 1805) – who is known by everyone’s nickname Luu Gu is an incorruptible, upright and patriotic coffin, highly respected and admired. In fact, he was not a prime minister because the Qing Dynasty did not have that official position, but what Liu Rong contributed to the country made people respect and called him vizier – the position of the head of the feudal dynasty. He lived through 4 generations of Qing Emperors and devoted himself to being most respected during the reigns of Qianlong and Giaqing.
Hoa Than’s rival Ky Phung in the classic movie played by actor Luu Bao Dien. Luu Gu was built with the image of small, short and light weight and the most characteristic is a hunchback. Because of the nickname Luu Gu that people call him, of course everyone assumes this mandarin is hunchbacked.
Humpback is a prominent appearance feature of Luu Dung
Although his back is hunched, Prime Minister Luu Gu has never bowed to power or evil
But that’s what movies and folk rumors describe, and history books have never had any valid records about the figure of the Qing dynasty god. His ancient portrait also depicts a man with a normal standing. That led some historians to ask: Is it true that Luu Dung was hunchbacked as legend has it? And if he wasn’t hunchbacked, where did the name Luu Gu come from?
2 portrait paintings of Liu Rong from the Qing Dynasty
When excavating Liu Rong’s tomb, archaeologists discovered an interesting fact that could answer this question.
In 1958, while people were expanding arable land in Gaomi City, Shandong Province, the graves of Liu Rong and his wife were discovered. When the tomb was opened, experts were surprised because there were not many treasures, gold and silver inside – a common thing in aristocratic tombs, especially when Luu Dung was still the head of the court. That shows that he is indeed an honest, simple mandarin, not greedy for wealth and glory.
Liu Rong’s grave is located in his hometown Shandong
After more than a hundred years lying underground, Liu Rong’s remains are still found quite intact. His skull is relatively large, his calves are about 75cm long. According to estimates by experts, Liu Rong has a height of up to 1.9 meters. In modern times, this has been counted as a great height. In his time, Liu Rong was definitely a “giant”.
Prime Minister Luu Gu is not short, he is even exceptionally tall
This discovery surprised experts. The notion that Luu Dung was only about 1.6 meters tall and had a short body because of his name Luu Gu turned out to be untrue.
But it is also from that unexpected fact that historians also deduce the reason for the name Luu Gu. Because he was so tall, every time he met and talked to the emperor, he always had to bow down very low to show respect according to the rules. The height of Emperor Qianlong and Gia Khanh are both about 1.7 meters. As a loyal and respectful mandarin to the king, Luu Dung had to bend deeply to not “surpass” his superiors. Therefore, it is said that the person who gave the nickname Luu Gu was none other than King Gia Khanh.
Besides, historians also do not rule out the possibility that because of the habit of crouching often, when he was old, Liu Yong was actually hunchbacked. After all, this interesting speculation further confirms the great virtue of Liu Rong.
Prime Minister Luu Gu is said to be hunchbacked because he often bows respectfully to the emperor