Hua Tuo scrapes away the poison from Guan Yu (Stories from the Stones)

The beautiful carving from the tomb of  Mr. and Mrs. Teo Chin Chay tells a very interesting story from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms ( 三國演義 ).

The carving from the tombstone below depicts the famous Chinese Physician Hua Tuo healing General Guan Yu, who was hit in the arm by a poisoned arrow during the Battle of Fancheng by using a knife to cut the flesh and scrape of the poison from the bone. Hua Tuo initially offered to anaesthetise Guan Yu, but he simply laughs and says that he is not afraid of pain. During this treatment, Guan Yu continues to play a game of weiqi with Ma Liang without flinching from pain. When Ma Liang asks him later, Guan Yu says that he feigned being unhurt to keep the morale of his troops high.

Guan Yu rewards Hus Tuo with a sumptuous banquet and offers a gift of 100 ounces of gold, but Hua Tuo refuses, saying that a physician's duty is to heal patients and not to make profit. Although Hua Tuo historically died in 208, a decade before Guan Yu fought at the Battle of Fancheng, this story of him performing surgery on Guan Yu has become a popular artistic theme.

Hua Tuo scrapes away the poison from Guan Yu


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