Sunday, May 2, 2021

Master Wu Lianzhi: Chinese TV Documentary | Guest Post by Chao Yu

With today's post we welcome back Chao Yu, who presents a Chinese television documentary about the life of Wu Lianzhi, with translated English captions. 

Chao can be found at the Shenmue Dojo as yuc02, and is a long-standing supporter of Phantom River Stone on Patreon.

Hey guys, I recently found an old (circa 2008-10) Chinese TV documentary about Bajiquan grandmaster Wu Lianzhi (吴连枝), which gave a fascinating view of the life of a person who inspired Yu Suzuki in his creations of the Virtua Fighter and Shenmue series.  

Through the documentary, one learns of how Wu grew up in Meng Cun as a youngster gifted in martial arts, but often got involved with fights at school and broke the family code.  Later on the show explained how he (and indeed his ancestors) did not initially earn a living through Bajiquan, but a tragic event thrust him into the martial arts world spotlight, ending with him carrying the burden of passing down the Baji style onto the next generations.  Finally as his tireless efforts began to pay off, a chance meeting with Yu Suzuki gave him the chance to travel abroad, and his name soon spread throughout the world.

I have captioned as much of the dialogue as I can in this video, and I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I did!  

- Chao Yu

Many thanks to Chao for sharing and captioning this piece of history! 

This video follows nicely on from the latest part in our series about Yu Suzuki's research trip to China, which describes this very meeting with Master Wu from the perspective of Yu and his translator. (Interestingly, the TV documentary dates Yu's visit as 1991, however the reports published in Japan fix their first meeting as taking place in March 1994, being part of his research for the upcoming Virtua Fighter II; this fits in with the game's release at the end of that year).

Also here is a selection of some of the other great blog posts by Chao:

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