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Kung Fu Tea

Martial Arts History, Wing Chun and Chinese Martial Studies.

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through a lens darkly

Through a Lens Darkly (36): Swords, Lions and the Consumption of Chinese Culture

  Introduction Happy Lunar New Year!  In honor of the holiday I decided to publish a couple of posts that focused on the important role that the traditional martial arts, and martial values more generally, have played in the celebration... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (35): Chinese Soldiers and the Ring Hilted Dao (Saber)

  Chinese Officer and Soldier with Ring Hilted Sabers   Today's post is an early Christmas gift.  When I first decided that it would be wise (for research purposes) to collect and catalog images of period martial artists, I was... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (34): The Chinese and Japanese Martial Arts in WWII-era Japanese Military Postcards

  Introduction   The martial arts can speak to a number of important questions, but perhaps to none as directly as popular attitudes towards violence. Much of my recent research has looked at what the organization of martial arts groups... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (33): Two Views of Chinese Fencing (and a Lesson in Dating Postcards)

    Introduction   While many of the vintage images introduced in this series have focused on martial themes, characters or weapons, few of them have attempted to reveal scenes of martial artists simply practicing their craft.  And the vast... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (31): Red Spears, Big Swords and Civil Resistance in Northern China

    Through a Lens Darkly   In this occasional series I turn to photographs, postcards, slides or other forms of ephemera both as a source of information about the Chinese martial arts and as a witness to the many... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (27): The Historical Record and China’s Missing Martial Artists

      Introduction   This occasional series of posts is dedicated to the display and discussion of vintage images of the Chinese martial arts. While occupying an important place in popular culture, the martial arts were traditionally associated with... Continue Reading →

Through a Lens Darkly (20): Ip Man Confronts the “Indian” Police Officer

Introduction Vintage postcards are fascinating because they capture a dual image.  On the surface they present a simple picture of a notable location, individual or native custom.  Some of these images are historically important and you can occasionally glean a... Continue Reading →

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