Chinese Heroes Never Die: The Xu Fu Legend in Tokugawa Intellectual History Faculty of Arts
Speaker: Prof. Benjamin Ng (Department of Japanese Studies)
Date: 9 November 2012 (Fri)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: G24, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract: Japan has become known as the last refuge for legendary figures from abroad. Some Japanese believe that Jesus, Moses, Bodhidharma (Daruma), Xu Fu, Yang Guifei, and Wu Taibo found their second lives in Japan. Texts and relics about these legends were created in different parts of Japan. The story of Xu Fu has stimulated and fed the imagination of artists and discussions among scholars in both China and Japan. He has become a metaphor in Sino-Japanese intellectual and cultural exchange, used by Chinese and Japanese intellectuals to discuss their bilateral cultural ties. Three differing accounts of Xu Fu are found in Tokugawa writings—Xu Fu as a transmitter of Chinese culture to Japan, Xu Fu as a political refugee to Japan, and Xu Fu as “the other”. To a certain extent, these accounts represent different views of Sino-Japanese cultural relations among Tokugawa intellectuals. Through a textual analysis of Tokugawa writings about Xu Fu, the talk aims to examine how the Tokugawa intellectuals overcame the dilemma of accepting Chinese culture without compromising their national and cultural identity.


chinese heroes never die 1  chinese heroes never die 2


For the powerpoint presentation of the talk, please click here.