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Euphorbus's blog

9:02 AM on 10.31.2012

The Jiang Shi in Sleeping Dogs

This is Halloween, I think I would take this opportunity to explain the origin of the story about Jiang Shi (or Chinese Vampire if you like), which is surprisingly not included in the dedicated Wikipedia page.

China is a fairly large country, sometimes families would be separated and scattered all around the places to work and live, occasionally some people may die far from their native home, then the relative of the deceased may hire some priests of Taoism, (sword wielding Tai Chi fighting maniacs) to carry both their corpses and spirits back to their home, the method they used to carry the corpses is what sprung the legend of these mystical creatures, they skew two very long bamboo sticks through the sleeves of multiple dead bodies' clothes (that explains their outstretched arms), then 2 (living) persons will carry the ends of the 2 sticks on their shoulders and travel, this was before the invention of modern cars. As you may know, bamboo is quite a bendy material, the corpses would hopped up and down as you carry them, and stupid people who saw them at night might mistaken them as reanimated dead bodies, thus the legend of Jiang Shi was born, and later adopted by the booming Hong Kong cinema, combined them with some western vampire elements such as sucking blood or energy etc.

Because we are gamers, I must add Capcom also borrowed the idea of Jiang Shi and made the character, Hsien-Ko, in Darkstalkers.


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