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    Projecting the ‘Chineseness’: Nationalism, Identity and Chinese Martial Arts Films

    Lu, Zhouxiang and Qin, Zhang and Fan, Hong (2014) Projecting the ‘Chineseness’: Nationalism, Identity and Chinese Martial Arts Films. International Journal of the History of Sport, 31 (3). pp. 320-335. ISSN 0952-3367

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    Wushu, also known as Kung Fu, is a traditional Chinese martial art. It also symbolises the strength of the Chinese and their pride in their history. Wushu came to be associated with Chinese nationalism after China’s various defeats at the hands of foreign imperialist powers at the turn of the twentieth century. This relationship has been further strengthened through martial arts films. In the first half of the twentieth century, martial arts films helped to construct national identity among the Chinese. They also facilitated the development of Wushu, making it a symbol of indigenous virtue and strength. From the late 1960s, influenced by a defensive strain of nationalism, Chinese film-makers began to adopt a new approach to the portrayal of Wushu. Martial arts films were endowed with political and cultural significance, and evolved as a unique representation of Chinese nationalism. Several decades later, martial arts films still retain at their core a sense of ‘Chineseness’. From Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury to Donnie Yen’s IP Man, Chinese martial arts films have demonstrated not only the important place of Wushu in Chinese nationalism, but also the influence of nationalism on Chinese cinema.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Wushu; Chinese martial arts film; identity; nationalism; cinema;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > Chinese
    Item ID: 7673
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Zhouxiang Lu
    Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 16:08
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of the History of Sport
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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