mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Everything I know about Chinese history I learned from manga

One reason I wanted to go to NY was to see what the Bookoff pickings for Kawasou Masumi were like this time around. Last time got me something like five random volumes from five different series. But one of the series was a China-set thing called Dragon Phoenix, 龍鳳 vol 2. Which is either a reference to the old 'dragons don't get along with phoenixes' piece of common wisdom, or the phrase 龍飛鳳舞 'flying dragon, dancing phoenix' which I believe means 'gaudy as all get-out.'

The hazy blooming trees of TO have given me Kurotsubaki longings (hazy blooming willows of Kyoto etc). I was about to order the latest vols from bk1 when I thought to order the missing vols of Dragon Phoenix as well, and then, unwontedly prudent, thought to actually *look* at vol 2 to see if I really do want it. Alas, there are no dragons or phoenixes in evidence here (unlike Karin of blessed memory snerf)-- here being Shanghai in 1914 approx. This might still be promising, but three pages in I was sandbagged by a bunch of Chinese names and historical references. Heart sinks within me. Early 20th century Chinese history gives me the same megrims as Meiji restoration politics ie 'I told them you had been to her and mentioned me to him', where all pronouns are replaced by names I cannot ever remember. Plus the added wrinkle that everyone is perennially trying to assassinate everybody else, but the Kuomintang does more of it than the Shinsengumi. However. Ever the slave of duty, I googled, and now have Sun Yatsen and Yuan Shikai and Song Qingling's names written on the flyleaf so I'll know them again when they turn up.

But have put off ordering the other volumes because damn, I *do* not like early 20th century Chinese history. Of course I never liked Shinsengumi history either, but given enough BL manga on the topic I have learned to deal. Alas again, Kawasou doesn't do mindless BL with Sun Yatsen and Chiang Kai Shek, or even pure-hearted uke Miyazaki Toten.
Tags: china, history, karin_mangaka, manga

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