Yangzhou pinghua is a genre of Chinese chantefables. It is a living tradition with a history of more than 300 years and is listed as China’s intangible cultural heritage. The present research project is designed primarily as a case study of the Yangzhou pinghua performance of Rogue Pi Wu by Yang Mingkun, the ninth-generation heir of the Pu School of Pi Wu. This study combines methods borrowed from anthropological, linguistic, and literary fields to examine the history and performance of the Yangzhou pinghua repertoire of Rogue Pi Wu.
Through observing both the performance tradition of the Pu School and the repertoire of Rogue Pi Wu performed by Yang, this study finds that the Yangzhou dialect acts as a special channel through which Yang communicates with his audiences in a most effective and intimate way. This study also finds that Yang develops a powerful narrative strategy by skilfully integrating oral narrative with written narrative into a coherent whole. Based on these findings, among others, I argue that Yang acheives a special aesthetic effect for his version of Rogue Pi Wu by creatively preserving and developing the Pu School of Pi Wu.