Bump for posterity. Also making sure I'm subscribed.
Yeh sorry guys. I need to get on top of this. I'm busy at the moment, I will try and get round to dealing with it soon.
One of my major problems is that I think that I'm probably missing relevant material because I'm not familiar with the mythology around the issue.
Is there a central source I can go to, to get acquainted with the major myths/ figures around the Shaolin monastery?
Also the 60 pages of material is long even for an academic article.
Maybe it would be better if I just figure out a way to edit it and post it for you guys to pick apart.
Shaolin Mythical figures? I'm not sure I can help much in that regard, but you could always start with someone like Sagacious Lu..
Sagacious Lu uproots a willow tree, From "Water Margin"
The Four Chinese Classics:
Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Chinese: 《三国演义》; pinyin: sān guó yǎn yì) (14th century) more recently translated as, simply, Three Kingdoms
Water Margin (Chinese: 《水浒传》; pinyin: shuǐ hǔ zhuàn) also known as Outlaws of the Marsh (14th century)
Journey to the West (Chinese: 《西游记》; pinyin: xī yóu jì) (16th century)
Dream of the Red Chamber (Chinese: 《红楼梦》; pinyin: hóng lóu mèng) also known as The Story of the Stone, (Chinese: 石頭記; pinyin: shí tóu jì) (18th century)
Last edited by Colin; 5/14/2011 7:12pm at .
I'd start with Shahar, Meir. The Shaolin monastery : history, religion, and the Chinese martial arts. University of Hawaii Press. 2008
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
Here is a preview: http://books.google.es/books?id=KiNE...page&q&f=false
Very nice essay. Possibly the connection between those forms and Taiji could be used to further investigate the origins of taiji, I've heard some different stories.
The first source of confusion you need to beware of is that people aren't always referring to the same Shaolin monestary.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
The two most important in terms of CMA mythology are
This is the 'northern shaolin' monestary, on Mount Song, Henan province. It's what most people are referring to when they talk about the 'Shaolin temple'.
But sometimes they're referring to a Southern Shaolin temple, reputedly in Fujian province. Many of the CMA styles most common in the UK such as Hung Gar, the mighty *ing **un, Five Ancestors and Choy Li Fut (partially) cite this southern temple in their foundation myths. This one is a bit murkier and harder to verify historically.
Many of the southern shaolin legends refer to the place as a hotbed of revolutionary activity against the Manchurian conquerors (the Qing dynasty), where dispossessed former Ming military officers gathered to train and plot.
Again, we're talking about kung fu myths here, I don't know what, if any, historical evidence there is supporting it.
It's probably all allegorical.
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The Wiki's information on the temples is....not accurate because too many idiots are able to edit it, so a lot of junk makes it way into those articles.
Originally Posted by Cullion
I first read that page while researching my own lineage, and was able to find a lot of other online sources that conflicted with Wiki, particularly as to whether or not historical evidence of a southern temple existed. Supposedly, evidence now supports it.
This is one of the better sources I've come across:
The Riddle of Southern Shaolin
Contributed by Chris Toepker - (Translated from Shaolin Fang Gu, by Wen Yu Chen ISBN:7-5306-2830-5)
Since Hung Kuen has been around for a few hundred years, the existence of its "source temple" has been an oral tradition myth for 98% of that time, so it has gone from "uh, sifu said so" to official archaeological dig reports within just the last 15 years. To be fair, "official" means PRC official. ;)
The questions about the existence of the southern temple went back and forth for decades and by and large the arguments against were all based around the fact that the Song temple did not seem to have records of the existence of the Fujian temple, but within just the last 10-15 years, archaeological evidence has supposedly turned up of at least one and possibly several different Shaolin monasteries in Fujian. This in turn caused a number of towns to claim "Hey we has teh real Shaolin temple", in order to capitalize off of the success of the (now highly commercialized) Song mountain temple.
From the sources I've read (from both my own Hung Ga lineage, mythish sources, and some mainstream stuff), the Fujian temple was relatively obscure compared to the Song temple in order to stay somewhat secretive, but was of course eventually destroyed. The legend from there is that escaping monks eventually met with the anti-Ching resistence and according to the story, continued to teach their gong fu to secret societies like the Hung Muen on the riverboats of southern China.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 6/15/2011 8:21am at .
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