Manipulating Beijing Opera: Criminality and Prosperity During Civil War in China C. 1930
This chapter studies how jingju (Beijing opera) managed to prosper around 1930 when Shanghai became a locus of constant conflicts, uprisings and social unrest that involved nations, classes, warlords and political parties against the overall background of civil wars in China. It argues that the Shanghai Green Gang, a criminal organization, played a significant role in jingju’s stable development and commercial success under unique circumstances. Because of the absence of a dominant political power in war-impacted Shanghai, the Green Gang as an irreplaceable intermediary struck a balance among various powers and established its economic, political and social influences. As one of its industries to make cash and reputation, the market of jingju was manipulated and facilitated by the Green Gang.