Blurred Boundaries: A Martial Arts Legacy and the Shaping of Taiwan | YMAA

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Blurred Boundaries: A Martial Arts Legacy and the Shaping of Taiwan

by Hong Ze-Han

The civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists drove the largest refugee exodus in modern China’s history—across the sea to Taiwan. Martial artists of many styles were among this diaspora.

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SKU:
B9800
Release date: 
November 7, 2023
Paperback: 550 pages
Dimensions: 
9 × 6 × 2 in
ISBN: 9781594399800
Printing: Black and White

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SKU:
B9824
Release date: 
November 7, 2023
Hardcover: 550 pages
Dimensions: 
9 x 6 x 2 in

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SKU:
E9817
Release date: 
November 7, 2023
Filesize:
55.62 MB
Printing: Black and White

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Release date: 
November 7, 2023
Paperback: 550 pages
Dimensions: 
9 × 6 × 2 in
ISBN: 9781594399800

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The civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists drove the largest refugee exodus in the modern history of China, across the sea to the southern island of Taiwan. Martial artists of many styles were among this diaspora.

In the 1940’s areas of Taipei, Taiwan were terrorized by local gangsters. Supported by desperate martial artists who had to flee mainland China with no other resources but their martial skills, they robbed and extorted the population. The locals trying to rebuild a new life after the Japanese occupation, often hired their own cadre of martial artists. The Hong family was one of these merchant families.

Through hard work, honesty, and perseverance, the Hong family had come from poverty to build a successful candle making business. Its patriarch, Hong Wu-fan, not only hired martial artists but invited famous refugee masters to live and train in his family compound, thus earning their loyalty and the honor of their secrets. One of the most outstanding students was Hong’s fourth son, Hong Yi-xiang.

The author Hong Ze-han tells the true story of his father Hong Yi-xiang, and the cultural story of Taiwan in the 50-year period between the 1940s and the 1990s. Hong Yi-xiang was the founder of the Yizong Tangshoudao school of martial arts. He earned his renowned reputation by using the philosophy of the internal arts to outwit his opponents, relying on strategy as much as superior physical skills.

Blessed with access to his father’s life and teachings, the author Hong Ze-han conjures intimate conversations with the master and weaves a tale of success out of the struggle to survive. We, dear readers, are allowed in—to become outside students to these teachings and the cultural times in which the master’s art developed. We become part of an art and a country made stronger by the character and strength of its immigrants.

Reviews

"With its vivid, affectionate depiction of the postwar era, anchored through the commanding presence of Master Hong, Blurred Boundaries is a unique tale of Taiwan." - James Baron, Taipei Times

"Blessed with access to his father’s life and teachings, the author Hong Ze-han recalls intimate conversations with the master and weaves a tale of success out of the struggle to survive." - Asian Review of Books

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About the Author

Hong Ze-Han

Hong Ze-han is the second son of Hong Yi-xiang. He was born in 1955 and was admitted to the Department of Film Directing at the National University of Arts. However, during his summer internship, his boss, who was also the most famous film and television tycoon in Taiwan at the time, told him, “Stay here. In film school, you won’t learn more real and useful things than here.” So he dropped out of school to work as a director and screenwriter for the then three … More »