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Thread: The REAL reason that no/few wuxia stories are set much earlier than the Sung Dynasty?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default The REAL reason that no/few wuxia stories are set much earlier than the Sung Dynasty?

    The vast majority of popular wuxia stories are set no earlier than the Sung Dynasty. Most wuxia stories of note are set in the Sung, Yuan, Ming, or Qing eras. Years ago, fans at the Yushy Forum speculated that the reason for this is that the period of Chinese history prior to the Sung Dynasty is dominated by myths and legends of supernatural beings (such as the monkey god Sunwukong, etc.) and thus, even the most powerful human martial arts would look insignificant compared to the supernatural powers of gods and demons. Do you buy this as the main reason that very few wuxia stories are set before the Sung Dynasty, or are there better reasons?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Do you buy this as the main reason that very few wuxia stories are set before the Sung Dynasty, or are there better reasons?
    No, I don't. I don't see why wuxia story can't fit in Xia Dynasty (2100BC-1600BC), Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC),...,Qing Dynasty (1644AD-1911AD). Perhaps it's not very appropriate for wuxia story setting toward the end of Qing Dynasty as there are guns and cannons. Anything during and before Qianlong Emperor era would be ok. However, it's easier to have stories set in Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty as there are more historical records and more established martial art schools exist during those time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    The vast majority of popular wuxia stories are set no earlier than the Sung Dynasty. Most wuxia stories of note are set in the Sung, Yuan, Ming, or Qing eras. Years ago, fans at the Yushy Forum speculated that the reason for this is that the period of Chinese history prior to the Sung Dynasty is dominated by myths and legends of supernatural beings (such as the monkey god Sunwukong, etc.) and thus, even the most powerful human martial arts would look insignificant compared to the supernatural powers of gods and demons. Do you buy this as the main reason that very few wuxia stories are set before the Sung Dynasty, or are there better reasons?
    The perception that very few wuxia novels are written before that period largely exists because of Jin Yong. He and Gu Long were the preeminent wuxia novelists of their time, and Gu Long never cared about the history side of things. Jin Yong was more interested in talking about particular historical events than about historical settings in general, and the events he was interested in tended to be more modern.

    If you look beyond these authors, there's a decent number of novels that do talk about other time periods. Liang Yusheng wrote a number of novels set during the Tang dynasty, Huang Yi's most famous books are set during the Warring States period and the Sui/Tang dynasties, and so forth. There's nothing stopping anyone from using any older period to set wuxia novels in. In fact, I believe that setting stories in fictional worlds is starting to get popular nowadays.

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    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Most wuxia novels are not set in any specific period. In Taiwan this was because of fear of censorship or getting on the wrong side of the government, as martial law was in effect then (this told to me by wuxia author Qin Hong).

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteskwirl View Post
    Most wuxia novels are not set in any specific period. In Taiwan this was because of fear of censorship or getting on the wrong side of the government, as martial law was in effect then (this told to me by wuxia author Qin Hong).
    Do you have anything new for THE RED DAWN ELIXIR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastedRossi View Post
    Gu Long never cared about the history side of things.
    Pretty much all Gulong's novels taking place during Ming Dynasty. There is no mention of the conflict between Han and Manchu and both Wudang and Emei sects always exist in pretty much the all stories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    Pretty much all Gulong's novels taking place during Ming Dynasty. There is no mention of the conflict between Han and Manchu and both Wudang and Emei sects always exist in pretty much the all stories.


    do Wudang and Emei sect in Gulong established in Ming Dynasty ?
    Last edited by a_tumiwa; 01-30-19 at 08:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastedRossi View Post
    ... Jin Yong was more interested in talking about particular historical events than about historical settings in general, and the events he was interested in tended to be more modern.
    I agree with this point. As there are lesser facts in early history, there could be more mistakes. Consequently, one is likely to question the likelihood of events. Moreover, one can relate more to recent incidents than old events - e.g. Qing dynasty than say Xia/Shang dynasties.

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