by David Fox
Louis Cha Leung-yung, or Jin Yong as he is more commonly known, is a Hong Kong author of wuxia novels. His works have been translated into many languages and have sold over 400 million copies worldwide. Numerous film and television adaptations of his works have been produced, enjoyed both by fans in Asia and around the world. What makes Jin Yong's novels so captivating? The answer may lie in the depth of his characters; they are finely drawn with multi-layered personalities that make them believably human. In this post, we'll take a look at some of Jin Yong's most memorable characters.
Jin Yong (Louis Cha Leung-yung) was born on October 10, 1924, in an affluent family in Zhenhai County, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. His father, Jin Feibao (靳飛豹), was a county magistrate during the Republic of China era. His mother's surname was Wang (王). When he was four years old, his family relocated to Shanghai. Due to the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, he moved with his family to Hong Kong in 1938 and enrolled at Pui Ching Middle School. In 1941, he entered Tao Xingzhi's Normal College (now known as The Chinese University of Hong Kong) to study liberal arts. However, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out the following year and he quit school to help support his family.
In 1943, Jin Yong enrolled at Dongwu University (東華大學) in Shanghai, where he majored in Chinese literature. However, the school was soon forced to close down due to financial difficulties. He then transferred to Soochow University (紹興大學), where he studied under renowned professor Guo Moruo. In 1946, he graduated from Soochow University with a bachelor's degree in Chinese literature.
Jin Yong's first job after graduation was as a reporter for the Shen Bao newspaper in Shanghai. He was later transferred to work for its sister paper, Dongfang Zazhi (東方雜誌), in Hong Kong. During this period, he wrote many short stories and serials for the two newspapers.
In 1955, Jin Yong's first wuxia novel, The Book and the Sword, was published in the magazine Xiawuxia (侠武俠). The novel was an instant hit and made him a household name overnight. He followed up with a series of other highly successful wuxia novels, such as The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1957), Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain (1959), Ode to Gallantry (1962) and The Deer and the Cauldron (1969). These works cemented his reputation as one of the most popular and prolific wuxia writers in Chinese history.
Image Source: Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Jin Yong's novels have a wide appeal and are extremely popular in Chinese-speaking communities around the world. His works have been translated into many languages, including English, French, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. In addition, they have also been adapted into numerous television series, films and comics.
Jin Yong's novels are notable for their complex plots, interesting characters and intricate fighting scenes. They often incorporate elements of history, mythology and philosophy, making them much more than just simple action stories.
Jin Yong is also known for his strong anti-Japanese sentiments. Many of his works contain highly critical depictions of the Japanese invasion of China and the atrocities committed by the Japanese military.
Jin Yong currently lives in Hong Kong with his wife, Chan Shuk-kwan (陳淑君). He has three daughters and one son. His son, Jin Zhong (靳仲), is a writer and director. His daughter, Jin Ping (靳萍), is an actress.
Jin Yong's novels have had a profound impact on Chinese popular culture. They are widely regarded as classics of the wuxia genre and have inspired many other writers and filmmakers.
Jin Yong passed away on October 30, 2018, at the age of 94. He will be remembered as one of the most influential writers in Chinese history.
About David Fox
David Fox is an artist who created davidcharlesfox.com to talk about art and creativity. He loves to write, paint, and take pictures. David is also a big fan of spending time with his family and friends.