Chinese Kung-Fu Film Magic

I was just watching “Chinese Ghost Story”, and I was wondering where they get the concepts for all that neat ghostbusting magic from. For instance, the Taoist swordsman recites “Po-Yeh-Po-Lo-Mi” to ward off ghosts, then draws a yin-yang on his hands with blood, says “Heaven and earth are limitless”, then starts blasting away at ghosts. A few times, he lights one of those magical papers on fire and sticks it in a person’s mouth. (These papers are called “ofuda” in Japanese, but I have no idea what the Chinese call them.) So, does this stuff come from Taoist or Buddhist legends or what?

I’m pretty sure he’s a Zen Buddhist; hence all the references to the Sutras.

Well? Why are there no answers to this question? Isn’t there anyone who knows anything about Chinese legends?

Just a WAG on my part, but oral story telling tradition has a long history in China. REad Outlaws of the Marsh, which is I dunno how many hundreds of years old. It has a lot of these different “flip-kick” movie plots, sub-plots, spells, tricks, etc.

Jin Yong (Louis Cha) wrote something like a series of 15 Kungfu epic novels in the 1950’s and maybe 1960’s. Each series was from 1 to 5 books long. Well, they were a lot more than Kungfu novels. The first volume of the Deer and the Cauldron was translated into English, with book 2 published and book three due in Sep, with the other 2 in the series to make it into print someday (I have an autographed edition). Anyhoo, he is probably the most widely read author in all of China. All Chinese know his name, probably can recognize his face and have probably read some of his books. This is true for Mainlanders, Hong Kongese, Singaporeans and Taiwanese). Dang near any flip-kick sorcercy infected kungfu movie has been hugely influenced by Jin Yong and his epics. Also, several of his epics have been made into either movies or ultra long mini-series.

Jin Yong is from Zhejiang province. Went to HK around the time of the revolution. His stories were all serialized in a HK newspaper. Ended up as the publisher of one of the big HK newspapers. He’s quite a celebrity as well as 70 or 80 years old. Seems like a real nice guy. Even he says he has no idea how he wrote so much. A google search will probably give you more.

It’s Taoist shamans doing the stuff. Call it legends if that’s what you call the stuff our Christian friends believe in.

:dodges Bibles:

I don’t have a cite off-hand other than Groot, J. J. M. de (Jan Jakob Maria), 1854-1921.

The religious system of China : its ancient forms, evolution, history and present aspect, manners, customs and social institutions connected therewith / by J.J.M. de Groot.
Published: Taipei, Taiwan : Literature House, 1964.

6 v.

There’s got to be something more recent than this, but

:crushed under more Bibles: