Monday, May 26, 2008


OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HOLLYWOOD DECREES: As God the Father gave up a son in the image of the perfect white man, to lead whites to walk the path of righteousness toward salvation, and praise God, so the White Man gave up a son in the image of the perfect Chinese American to lead the yellows to build the road to acceptance toward assimilation. Ah, sweet assimilation. Charlie Chan was his name.


Wayne Wang, director, and Amy Tan, the writer, and famous actors George Takei, Rosalind Chao, James Shigeta, Miko Taka gush on the joys of accepting the stereotypes, writing the stereotypes, being the stereotypes, acting the stereotypes on-screen and living white off-screen, over TCM previews their upcoming movies . John Wayne, as Genghis Khan, Katherine Hepburn with slanty eyes and choppy English in a Pearl Buck story of Christians saving Chinese orphans, after the Christians have killed their parents.

Separate your false on-screen persona from your off-screen true self as Mike Masaoka distinguished between his public identity as the leader of the JACL, and champion of Japanese American history and culture against white racism of WWII, from his secret, his real identity his Superman identity as an official Intelligence Agent of Army G-2, an official Confidential Informant of the FBI code named T-11 to spy on the JA’s, and SLC-147 to spy on the JACL.

Being a Hollywood insider is like a white secret agent wearing his yellow skin as a disguise. You’re not completely white, but whites recognize you as knowing more than the yellows know about themselves.

But the actors and agents of white supremacy and the trappings of their white success are only half the story of white racist love and hate so visible in the movies. It’s not how the agents and actors behave that counts. It’s what the white characters say that really counts.



Longman Kwan

It's a long long flight from Hollywood to China on Pan American Airways' China Clipper. I never made it, never went back to China to fight the Japanese before they bombed Pearl Harbor. My publicist's Hollywood myth about me says I was about to catch the Clipper back to China and make my way to the Chinese air force to fight for China against the invading Japanese. No such thing. But people enjoy thinking of me as a hero of my people. Everyone agrees, my people need a hero.

The flight from Hollywood to Honolulu via United Air Lines is long enough for me, though I have another flight to another island to make yet to make exteriors for HAWAII FIVE-O. There's word of a new Charlie Chan movie in the air. NBC Vice President David Tebet is on a much publicized round the world search for a Chinese actor who speaks English well enough to be understood by American audiences to become the first Chinese to play Charlie Chan the Chinese detective. The sons of Charlie Chan, Keye Luke, Benson Fong, Victor Sen Yung and me all feel the magic of the movies we made, setting us aglow. We strike casual poses by the phone, waiting for the thing to ring, just in case God happens to walk from one room to another with a camera.

I've come to meet my movie father, Anlauf Lorane the Charlie Chan to my Number Four Son. We are old men when we are the money stars in the B's of twenty years ago, though I always look, and photograph younger, much younger than my actual age. And we are older old men now. He's too old to play the new Charlie Chan, and probably looks it, and doesn't want to. I don't understand.

I don't look too old, of all the sons of Chan I look the youngest still, and want to be the first Chinese to play Charlie Chan on the screen. Keye looks and acts too old, and the older he gets, the more foreign he seems. Not Chinese foreign. Some kind of European foreign with a pseudo-British accent. Benson is just too rickety. And Victor looks awful and has lost it. Of the four sons who've lived to take over the part of Pop in a Hollywood movie, I'm the only one. My time is near. Big screen or little screen: I want to be the first.

I land in Honolulu in one of those island rains with drops of falling water as big as eggs breaking on everything. The air is so thick with water it seems United Air Lines has landed me under the sea and I'm breathing watery goo, and can't tell if the mud is falling on me or it's splashing up at me. All I hear is water and squawking muck. Through the water washing sweat and hair in my eyes all I see are blobs of grays and blues and vague greens and bluish reds. What is airplane and what is airport, what is slipping rainwater and what is glass and steel, I can't see. Five blobs distinguish themselves from the mass by calling my name and vague aloha shirts come into view.
A very wet toasty brown skinned hula girl in a plastic hula skirt and toothpaste smile drops a wet orchid lei around my neck that immediately makes my nose run, and presses her wet gooey lips against my wet gooey cheek. The hula girl disappears and the five vague aloha shirts pat me on the back and laugh.

There is no difference between air and water, land and sea until I am in the dry quiet insides of the limousine the brothers from the tong hired to meet me. Old time Honolulu brothers of the good time Boom Boom tong are more good time Charlie American than my Boom Boom brothers on the mainland. Not that they don't own and run honkey tonks, bottle clubs, and see girls run through their business and take their share during the war, but there was law in Seattle, and San Francisco and Los Angeles. In Hawaii the war is the law and boys of the Boom Boom tong are happy soldiers, judges, juries and executioners of the law.

The brothers from the good time Boom Boom tong tell me sometimes late at night when they get home from their business and turn on the TV and flip the channels through the old movies, looking for one to watch awhile, not often, but sometimes, around four or five times a year, a movie I die in is broadcast from every station in Hawaii. The brothers think of me as a bigshot star of opera and movies still. Though I am here as a Guest Star on a two part episode of HAWAII FIVE-O and expected McGarrett would send a limo for me, the brothers were only too pleased to meet me at the airport and escort me to my Waikiki hotel, and too happy to let HAWAII FIVE-O publicists take pictures, and write stories about the old tongs of Honolulu looking on Chang Apana, the detective sergeant in the Honolulu police and the fat Charlie Chan the detective as the creators of the happiest memories of childhood and wartime businesses in their Honolulu Hotel Street Chinatown, on the piece of island real estate that suddenly is the bleeding end all be all of American honor. And in the movies of the time, I was, I am Charlie Chan's Number Four and most American born and Americanized son. In real life, whatever that is, I am born in China. The South. Tang People. Cantonese. It all blends into a nice story about me the newspapers and publicists blurbing me want to believe. I love it.

"The part I've come to Honolulu to play is nothing special," I tell the brothers. "But it is paying my way to party with my brothers in Hawaii, and visit the last white man to play Charlie Chan still alive."

"You mean he's on the islands?" the brothers ask. "We had no idea!"

"I seem to be the only one he trusts with his address. He craves anonymity," I say. "He wants his privacy. I have several offers from advertising companies for him to put on the white duck and Panama straw hat of Charlie Chan again and sell a few products for them. I'm going to try to talk him into coming out of hiding and make a little money."

They're impressed at my humility and loyalty and still want to know about my part in HAWAII FIVE-O. Do I live? Do I die? Am I Chinese? Am I Japanese? Am I southern artist? Am I northern bureaucrat? Does it make any difference? Am I squinty? Am I swishy? Am I bald? Do I have big eyebrows? We laugh a lot, stirring up old laughs, old short sleeved Hawaiian shirts, old memories of old movies and happy days in the war. This ceremony over, the brothers grin at me, open mouthed as catfish, their old bottomfeeder's eyes shine as if they'd swallowed strong drink, in the eye of their swirling wait, they're ready to know about my part on HAWAII FIVE-O.

I tell them, "I'm another cultured slimey warlord smuggling drugs into the United States through Hawaii who runs afoul of McGarrett, Chin-ho, Danno, Zulu and the whole Five-O show, and, of course, I die in the shadow of Diamond Head."

They love it. HAWAII FIVE-O has really perfected the Charlie Chan formula, they say. They love the villains from WWII movies finding new life on the show. It's a breath of the old days.

"And it gives me work," I say and we all laugh.

On the way to the hotel I see that Tora! Tora! Tora! is still playing in a big first run Honolulu movie palace. "Ah, yes," I say, "A peace movie."

"A peace movie?" a brother asks.

"A war movie made in peacetime. I remember playing in war movies made during the war, with John Wayne, Van Johnson, Cary Grant."

Yes, the Hawaiian brothers remember the names and the stars who partied here after Pearl Harbor. The brothers ran restaurants or bars, or honky tonks during the war and remember me flying over from Frisco or L.A. to play an ugly Japanese spy or sadistic Japanese officer who screams "Aiiieeeee!" when I die then head down to Chinatown for dinner and rice before painting Honolulu red, with the other sons of Chan and Willy, and Kam chasing the tails of our fame and all the Chinese and Japanese women we can find from club to club from Chinatown to Waikiki. And the soldiers and sailors on the town and off-limits recognized us, grinned and laughed, put their arms around us, and we put our arms around them, they patted us on the head and we patted them on the head and watched them totter away to the whores or back to their bases.

Aiiieeeee! Aloha! Gung ho! Goong hay fot choy! The movies and Chinatown were exciting then. It had a future waiting for it after we won the war. There was an electric light night life. There was a Chinatown class and style. Padded shoulders. Wide lapels. Double breasted suits. Straw hats. They were happy days for me too.

"There are people in Hawaii who object to the Charlie Chan movies and John Wayne war movies, and WWII movies on the late night TV," the brothers tell me. "No sense of history."

"The younger generations don't remember when Americans thought all Chinese were sex perverts, opium smugglers and torturers of women," I say.

"That's right, you and Keye, and Benson, and Victor were a more positive and real life like image of the Chinese," a brother says.

"As was our father, Charlie Chan," I say.

Yes, turn on your TV late at night to any old Charlie Chan the Detective or WWII in China movie and you are reading my life story. Every night from some tower over Honolulu or New York, or Chicago one bit of my life or another unspools like smoke. I still like turning on the TV to get away from it all, in another town and being pleasantly surprised with the best days of my life.

For nearly fifty years, half a century, I am the most famous Chinese in America: an actor. I am Charlie Chan's Number Four Son; the Chinese nicknamed Die Say or Say Die. Yes, I am the rhythmic Christian of Charlie Chan's movie sons; the martyr, the one famous for saying nothing but "Gee,Pop!" and "Gosh, Pop!" I am The Chinaman Who Dies.

Fifty years of acting movies and TV has washed out a better me, a bigger name, a set of brighter memories from the mundane, ordinary facts of my life. I am no longer born in a village in south China and apprenticed to a floating opera company on the Pearl River, I am born and last seen being carried off by Hollywood alleycats into a dark soundstage. I cry bald and naked in a bombed out railroad station in a Shanghai air raid scene. William Bendix stumbles in the rubble of a Chinese village during another Japanese air raid in my next movie, and hears me wail. The baby is a doll. The closeup is me with my cheeks stuffed with cotton and my eyebrows shaved off. Movie magic! I'm at my dead momma's withered tit. I wail high long long wails that end in sputtering lungs. The movie is China. The baby in the wideshots is a doll. The closeup of the wailing baby is me.

I am the symbol of helpless, struggling China in the arms of William Bendix. He says I'm a "cute little fella." He names me "Donald Duck."

Alan Ladd and William Bendix leave me in the arms of a Chinese convert to Christianity played by a white woman who looks me in the face and coos, "Who but monsters would want to kill one such as this?" and from this shot on, I am known forever to people who go to the movies, as the Chinaman Who Dies.

I take a breath. Then another wail from my endless lungs goes from movie to movie, Jap air raid somewhere in China scene to singing America the Beautiful with Kate smith on the radio into the homes of Americans who cherish the memory of me dying when they buy one more War Bond.

Kate Smith smelled as sugary as she looked, and a little spicy, like a hot pan of huge friendly cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.

I sing "My Old Kentucky Home," in Cantonese and am adopted by Gary Cooper and his girlfriend, the Red Cross nurse, in a missionary movie, a Japanese officer with slime on his teeth, slicks the long straight blade of his samurai sword into me, jolting me to scream, "Maaaaaaamaaaaaaaaa!" and slick on through my body into my mother's body heaving screech and out of her back, as the camera turns to see my face just behind the blinding gleam of the pulling of the long sword slurping out of us. It sucks against lips of our long wound. I scream the one word the poet from the Office of War Information says crosses all languages, all ages, all time, "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" until the sword is all the way out of my little body, and unpinned from my mother China, I thump to the ground at the officer's feet like a large broach. And there we are, the triplet, the poetic form of the war movie as emotional weapon: A bloody dead Chinese mother. A bloody dead Chinese son. A leering Jap wiping his blade clean of blood.

The Japs torture me into giving up John Wayne's secret position, throw me into a truck and bounce the little life of me left in my little battered body over bumpy roads. Out to get the jump on John Wayne, leading my missionary teacher from Indiana and all of my Filipino guerrilla friends through the jungle. I grab the wheel of the truck. The Jap soldiers scream. I wail in the key of tears and pull the truck off the edge of the world and down we go into the darkness.

My body rolls out of the burning truck to the feet of John Wayne and all my surprised friends working their stealthy way through the jungle with Anthony Quinn. America sees my face by the flamelight of the burning truck full of burning Japs. They see me trying hard not to cry out in pain. Tears stream down my cheeks.

"Don't try to talk," John Wayne says softly. Anthony Quinn turns away, sniffles, and loads his Tommy gun. And John Wayne and the missionary teacher who failed to teach me how to properly spell "America" A-M-E-R-I-C-A instead of A-M-E-L-L-I-C-A exchange looks and shake their heads. All the soldiers and all my friends are getting down on their knees around me. The music also rises.

"I failed," I gasp. "I guess I'll never be promoted to sergeant now," and my eyes roll back into my skull and my breath, shrieks like tearing sheets in a windstorm. My lungs sound like a man filing a steel girder on a steel bridge with a long file. I cough. A half pint of blood rosebuds out of my mouth. By the light of burning Jap bodies sizzling, sputtering and bursting like sausages in the background, women in the shoppers matinees with their papersacks and red meat tokens, see tears in John Wayne's eyes. He removes the bird colonel bird insignia off his collar and pins it on me.

"You didn't fail," John Wayne says, and has to lower his eyes and gulps down a sob before he can say, " He-yeck! You get that promotion!" He adjusts the little bird on my bloody shirt and says, very low, very soft, "I got orders from the President himself to promote you all the way to colonel!"

My eyes open. I struggle for breath. The music rises just so.

"Teacher?" a tiny voice climbs up out of me. "I can't see!" And I can't see.

And the missionary teacher from Indiana has to put her ear to my mouth to hear me agonize my last words out.

"Ayee!" I say, "Emmm!" My eyes come open and shine gleaming silver like something crazy. The missionary teacher wipes blood from my lips, from my eyes and arranges my hair, a bit at a time, avoiding the patches of matted blood and open wounds, as I continue. "Eee!"

"Easy, champ," John Wayne soothes. He shrugs violently and looks back into the flames of the burning trucks.

"Ell! Ell!" I scream from out of my croak. My chest heaves like the back of a mating dog. "Eye! See! Ayyyy!" I cry triumphantly and struggle up to my elbows. "AMELLICA!"
The missionary teacher screams.

John Wayne says, "At ease, colonel," and I fall back into a shot of John Wayne sighing and furrowing his brow and am dead dead dead in his arms.

John Wayne turns to the missionary teacher from Iowa and says, "I oughta shootya for not teaching him how to spell America with an 'R'."

"Cut!" the director shouts and directs me to spell "America" properly with an "R" and no "L" I think of wishing him a joyeux Noel too, but contain myself.

The brothers of the Hawaiian branch of the tong like my stories of making the movies they see me in.

They want to know if I ever played the part of a pilot. Did I ever fly in the movies.

I tell the brothers I always played children much younger than my real age, in the movies. I had to fight to play young men, except when they think it will be funny to play me against my type, and I am a fanatic treacherous babyfaced Jap pilot.

The old men want to hear about that. Stories of Chinese who fly in Hollywood movies are rare.

One day flying my Zero low across the water in a fog, I see Cary Grant's American submarine the USS Copperfin sailing toward Destination Tokyo. I drop a bomb on the sub but it doesn't go off. I turn around and rake the sub with my machine guns, sew a line of bullets across the conning tower and knock down Alan Hale, Jr.

John Garfield shoots me down with the deck gun. I trail smoke and sing a nasal swan song into an out of sight crash, only the yanks in closeup see as something wonderful. They blink in the light of an explosion that washes me over to the side of Cary Grant's submarine. A sailor jumps off the deck into the water to pull me in. I flash my eyes, show my teeth and knife the American sailor in the back.

The skinny full lipped pharmacist's mate who will disarm the bomb I dropped then perform an appendectomy on a very nervous Elisha Cook, Jr. on a mess table with a boning knife and a potato peeler during a depth charge attack, is fresh from the bacon and eggs, sunrise to sunset three squares a day Iowa where he has obviously never come across anything so rude, impolite and ungrateful as someone like me stabbing my rescuer in the back. "Welcome to World War Two, kid," I say at the kid's stupid look, and scream "Aiiieeeee!" as the kid's first bullets crash into my body. The same William Bendix who found me as a baby in the rubble of my village watches the skinny kid machine gun me into goo floating on the sea. My ad lib becomes gutteral nasal gibberish in the release print, and the kid's good Christian Thou shalt not kill upbringing is sick with Freudian shadows from having tasted real hate and enjoyed killing a man.

Captain Cary Grant pats the kid on the back, lights his pipe, and says "You killed a Jap, not a man."

The kid's too young to shave, never been kissed, never been laid. He doesn't quite know the difference between boys and girls. He has Lana Turner's voluptuous lower lip. He doesn't understand. The machinery hums inside the tight little submarine. The steel walls sweat. Cary Grant gleams and shines, but does not sweat.

Cary Grant puffs his pipe and thinks, then takes his pipe from his mouth and says, "This is not just a war of one nation against another nation. We are in a war that will decide whether or not decency will survive in the world. This is a war of good against evil." The captain muses and puffs his pipe.

The kid's Adam's apple bobs as he swallows hard, and blinks. Alan Hale leans in to listen, wiping his hands on his apron.

"I identify with that kid," Benson says in the office of one of his Polynesian fantasy restaurants around L.A, watching Destination Tokyo, a black and white on TV "I wish I were that kid when I was a kid," he says hesitantly but without his usual stutter that slows his emotion and makes him seem less than spontaneous.. "I could have joined a fraternity. Gone to frat parties, danced with sorority girls."

An officer puts his hands on the table and bends closer to Cary Grant. It looks a little like Da Vinci's The Last Supper humming underwater toward Tokyo. Cary Grant lets out a deep breath, and says, "It makes one wonder about these Japanese who sell their daughters off at thirteen to be married -- or worse." He shakes his head and hardens his voice, "The Japs know nothing of the love we hold for our women."

The smart pert bright eyed Hyacinth teaches me that even before there is Pearl Harbor to make the difference between Japs and Chinks there is Pearl Buck sorting out the good Christian "Chinese-Americans" from the evil Chinese "Chinamen."

I was young. I converted, and the other opera men stranded here by the tide of war did not. I was too young, a mere apprentice. I shouldn't have come over. I wasn't a real star of the Cantonese opera. My sister born of a mother in America is an American citizen and helps me. The real opera stars Wong the Handsome, the Great Kwan, Lee, the voice, wait out the war going from Chinatown to Chinatown performing Cantonese opera, getting cheated and robbed, and shooting Chinese movies in the Sacramento Delta. Now, it's as if no one had ever heard of them and I was the greatest and the only star of Cantonese opera star to land in America before the war.

Unlike the other sons of Chan I have lived the part of Charlie Chan. I have crossed from Cantonese opera and Chinese movies to Hollywood. I have converted to Christianity. I have become Americanized. I have used the ear and voice trained by Cantonese opera to sound looser and more at home with jivetalk than stiff stuffy old Keye Luke trying to make his voice sound deep. I could play anything, any age, from a one year old baby in diapers to a hundred year old leper, unlike the pouting, stuttering, choking Benson Fong. For that shot of me wailing in the bombed out rubble of a Shanghai railway station they padded me in a flesh colored suit and built an oversize set, so I would look like a barebellied baby. I am more American than the very American-born Victor Sen Yung. Keye, Benson, and Victor.

Being married to the Chinaman Who Dies is not good enough for my wife, Hyacinth. She's an American born girl, fourth generation American born, and more old country Cantonese and serious about opera than I ever was. Her American born mother speaks nothing but Chinese all her life. A Kwangtung dialect so old I've never before heard it spoken. The old woman agrees with Hyacinth. She is not happy with the idea of her grandsons growing up watching me die in the movies. "What kind of example is that to set for your sons?" she asks.

"That's just what I ask him, ma," Hyacinth says.

"For our sons," I tell her, "I promise to be the first Chinese to play Charlie Chan in the movies."
"Charlie Chan?" Hyacinth and her mother ask.

"You are not Christian, but as you see, I do love you anyway. As Charlie Chan I shall lead you to your great salvation. For, it is written: As God the Father gave up a son in the image of the perfect white man, to lead whites to walk the path of righteousness toward salvation, and praise God, so the White Man gave up a son in the image of the perfect Chinese American to lead the yellows to build the road to acceptance toward assimilation. Ah, sweet assimilation. Charlie Chan was his name. "

"Of course Charlie Chan. Where would any of us be without Charlie Chan?" the brothers say and we laugh like the dreams and hallucinations of a star alone in his limousine. The privacy, the intimacy me and the five brothers feel inside the unreal quiet and cushiness of the limo turns us into laughing fools. And it's nice to feel like a movie star again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hello, Portland (part 1 of 2)

Thymos of Portland, Oregon
and the Fighting 44’s:

"Hello, Portland" is being posted on my blog to give you people grist for your mill. Curtis and me fly in on the Friday11th of July. That night he shows his movie WHAT'S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN? The next morning I tell stories to the kids who bring their parents, and talk yellow to yellow on Saturday, the 12th. My friend Jeff should tell his guest from China to read "Hello Portland" She should have said all of this, as a Chinese by birth, by upbringing, by choice long ago. In fact, thirty-five years ago. She wasn’t born yet? You mean she was born and lived in China all her life and she doesn’t know Chinese childhood lit? Oh she grew up the Cultural Revolution of the comical Gang of Four that came on in 1976; replaced Chinese culture with their paperdoll revolutionary operatic silliness till 1976, when Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR fortuitously appears with hateful lies about China and continues to erase Chinese culture, lit, and pride. And recording her every word, with adoration in his eyes is Bill Moyers, the owlish former Presidential Press Secretary.

I will say it plainly: Bill Moyers is a white racist. He Popes his own TV church preaching Kingston’s lies about Mulan being a victim of sadistic parents, about Chinese opera people mutilating the mouths of newborn, about the written character for "woman" being the same character for "slave" as the revealed truth. To give Yellow voice to these Christian lies about Yellows he appoints Yellow turncoats Marilyn Chin, Garrett Hongo, Li-Young Lee, David Mura, to his college of archbishops and invests them on TV. Their posture as artists of Asian-American history and culture is based on their American dreams, following Kingston’s intellectual method and not one fact of Mulan, the Chinese children’s story, or Chinese culture, just their singular dreams.

I stopped by a Chinese woman friend's place unannounced and was greeted with her and a white woman friend making happy over Maxine Hong Kingston's WOMAN WARRIOR which was being celebrated in the white Harper’s Newsletter, The New Yorker, "Ms", the white magazines. The N.Y.Times, L.A. Times, the San Francisco Chronicle were ecstatic over Kingston's uncovering the truth of Chinese culture through the intellectual method of writing her dreams. My friend was Kingston's friend and rather than turn on my heels, I said “If you like Kingston’s writing, you are a white racist.”

“You can’t say that!” the white girlfriend said.

“Sure I can! I just did.”

“Maxine does write beautifully.” My Chinese friend said, “She likes the writing.”

“George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were faggots who used to give each other blowjobs before meetings of the Constitutional Convention.”

The two women’s faces reddened , the darks of their eyes tightened like assholes, and their mouths set.

“You don’t like what I said?” I said, “I said it beautifully didn’t I? I just changed the names of Kerouac and Ginsberg. As Kingston says, ‘Myths have to change or they die.’”

Later my friend scolded me for insulting her white friend.. “You should not have called her a racist,” my friend insists.

“What else should I call her? A liar? All right, I don’t mind. Your friend is a white racist liar.”

“You have to be careful what you say. People don’t know THE BALLAD OF MULAN like we do. It isn’t known by everybody, you know.”

“Then where did she get the name? And you don’t care enough about Chinese kids to tell your friend the truth?”

“It’s just conversation.”

“And you oppress your own cultural integrity for the sake of a white friendship? You think you’re protecting your friend by attacking me for telling the children’s truth?”

“I consider Maxine a friend too.”

“Fine. I don’t. Don’t count me a friend any longer.”

White lies anointed by Moyers and blessed by President Clinton have rewritten Chinese culture and history to Kingston’s racist specifications, and their church of Asian American Studies has grown on the adoring repetition of white lies that guide their dreaming, and the dreams guide their poetry that enable the lies about the Chinese past to grow some more lies.

The truth of Chinese history and culture is told in its literature. THE BALLAD OF MULAN is as definitive a work of Chinese lit as the “myth” of Joan of Arc defines the “French” of every Frenchman. Everything known to any of us comes through books, printed on paper till 1041-1048. Paper was easy to make and meant more copies for the Chinese at a time the west was still scrawling on prepared and treated animal skins. The books of skins prepared by hand were for the rulers and the Church only. Paper was made by and written and drawn on and bought by the people.

THE QINGLI reign of the Song Dynasty, [1041-1048] Bi Sheng invents movable type. He made a small rectangular blocks of clay, and carved inverted characters in relief on them. He fired them hard, forming pieces of movable clay type for mass use in printing on paper. Chinese culture was booked 400 years before Gutenberg printed his first Bible in 1435.

The Chinese kept records from the First Empire on. In the age of mass printing, and Chinese rule of China in the Ming, centuries of official facts of history became Chinese children’s stories, and fictions of the Heroic Tradition. 3 KINGDOMS, WATER MARGIN, MONKEY and Yue Fei "the tattooed general", Liang Hongyu "the Little Drummer Girl", Mu Guiying "The Supreme Commander of the Yang Family Armies", Soong Ching Ling "The Soong who loved China", and Mei Lanfang, the man who introduced Peking Opera to the west. Sometime between 1932-38 Mei Lanfang wrote version of the 5th century poem MULAN JOINS THE ARMY. Sir T.L. Yang's 1995 translation of the Qing Dynasty novel GENERAL YUE FEI, by Qian Cao completes the Ming cycle of the heroic tradition.

The heroic tradition has everything to do with THE BALLAD OF MULAN. The Christian autobiographers have never heard of the heroic tradition or even read THE BALLAD OF MULAN. Their colleges don’t believe the Chinese about the Chinese. They believe Maxine and the white Christians who praise her.

President Clinton officially blessed white racism against China and Chinese culture as official US policy when he gave Kingston his Humanities medal in 1997.

If you can choose to be (1) a Chinese who reads, or (2) a Whiteman’s Ornamental Oriental, why not choose (3) to be something, anything other than Yellow? Why insist on being a Yellow know-nothing who makes your Yellow name as a writer hating Yellows? Why make the search for false knowledge to hate yourself, the heart and soul of your poetry, or prose or artistic expression?

In the interest of an interesting give and take when I speak on July 12th at 10 in the morning, here is more than I can say, when I’m there. (Bibliography at the end)



When Maxine Hong Kingston published THE WOMAN WARRIOR, every Chinese-American writer was put on the spot. Luckily there weren’t many at the time. She seemed haunted by a woman hero and the trotting rhythm and rhyme of a Chinese childhood chant. Jick jick fook jick jick/ Muklan dong woo jick/ But mun gay chur jing./ Woay mun nur tahn sick. White vigilantes descended on their local Chinatown with their Chinese ornaments and demanded to know the truth from every Chinese man, woman, or child, “Oh, you poor kid.” Chinese children were especially interesting. “Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you from your cruel parents.” Children could be converted. “Tell me Little Yellah, did the girl warrior really have letters carved into her back in the BALLAD you grew up with?” They called it teaching school in San Francisco. They called San Francisco the most Asian city in the continental U.S.

And the brave Yellow writers answered, “Did’ya hear that? Shhhh! Listen!”

That’s the sound of distraction.

I am a Chinese-American writer. I know the Chinese children’s story. In fact, I used to be a Chinese child. In 1972 THE CHICKENCOOP CHINAMAN took a corner of New York and occupied the theater there. The ungrateful Chinese-American playwright appeared with three Asian-American writers, scholars and poets as co-editors of a collection of short fictions by American-born Asians in AIIIEEEEE! in 1975. The foreign-born AA like Yung Wing, and Lin Yutang were already published. 1972-1975 were good and bad years for the Ornamental Orientals of the Hollywood white stereotype machine.

ABC put KUNG FU on TV with David Carridine playing a “half-breed” named “Caine” passing off slow motion ballet exercises as martial arts, and stupid Charlie Chanisms for Chinese swimming instruction from a blind man. “Listen for the color of the sky. Look for the sound of blue...”

I wrote the N.Y.Times that the days of the machine-made riddle talking Chinesey KUNG FU were over, and waited for the yellows to show themselves.

Howard Friedlander one of KUNFG FU’s racist creators sneered at THE CHICKENCOOP CHINAMAN, in comparison to his KUNG FU, and predicted, rightly that his KUNG FU, was the future of Chinese in America. My ungrateful American written Chinese or Chinese written American plays and the first assertion of an American-born sensibility in AIIIEEEEE! jammed the gears of the Christian stereotype machine. They became unstuck and fluid again with Maxine Hong Kingston’s 1976 release of THE WOMAN WARRIOR.

Fakework breeds fakework. David Henry Hwang and Amy Tan have written fakery about Chinese heroes they name, and fake Chinese children’s stories that conform to the Christian white racist stereotypes of the 19th century. They have made the airwaves safe for David Carridine to revive his mumbo jumbo impersonation of a Chinese Buddhist monk to the delight of whites. “Hey, Caine! Love your Yellow ads, man. But can you tell me how to get the men’s room? I have to go, bad, man!”

“Haste make waste.”

“Can’t you just tell me, man? I gotta go! I mean…”

“Rolling stone gather no moss.”

“MMMan, I have to go!”

“Two in hand worth one in the bush.”


“Two in the bush worth one in hand?”


“As mistress Kingston says, ‘Myths have change, or they die.” Of course what she says is nonsense. When did the Greek myth of Ulysses change? What changed? He didn’t own a dog in the original? Did it die? Check the text.


How many of you know the story JACK AND THE BEANSTALK? You all know JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. CINDERELLA? Everybody again. THE UGLY DUCKLING? PETER AND THE WOLF? PINOCHIO? Everybody. RUMPELSTILTSKIN? Yes. Everybody in this house is American. Somehow, in the twenty years of life as a child in America, each of you has learned the children’s stories brought here by immigrants from England, France, Denmark, Italy, Russia, Germany. The PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN? Another Bros Grimm from Germany. Yes again. Who told you these stories?

In your All-American childhood, you’ve picked up, and can tell, if you take a moment, at least a hundred children’s stories, fairy tales, fables, songs, legends and lies from around the world. Yes! Take a moment and think. The Gullah stories of the Georgia Sea Islands come echoing back to some of you privileged to have heard them when you were a kid. Others of you may know “Br’er Rabbit” and “Uncle Remus” as Walt Disney creations, but the stink Walt Disney created with the movie SONG OF THE SOUTH will remain a mystery to those of you fifty years old or younger because Disney won’t distribute the film in America. Disney fears of the controversy that still seethes between Disney and the characterization of African-Americans in the movie. You have to go overseas to Europe to Asia to see the movie that gets the backs of Blacks up at home.

You remember the stories, but you don’t remember the first voice or the face, or the language when the magic of this story started to work. When you were 20-25 years old you lost or gave up the magic of children’s stories for the urgent awareness of your hormones and their awakening new feelgood sensations that made body beautiful to be in.

Then you have kids.

You yellows know that Rumpelstiltskin and the rats the Pied Piper takes out of Hamelin are us. You should tell your kids RUMPELSTILTSKIN before someone else tells them the story.

We’re a people that look different and have funny names like RUMPELSTILTSKIN and of course we know how to spin straw into gold.

Is it fair to take the straw we’ve spun into gold and not pay us the price agreed on eye to eye and a handshake before we set to work? Not only are we stiffed, we are humiliated in public as if this cheating foreigners out of their labor is the custom, and we’re run out of the neighborhood, run out of the town, run out the country, run out of their language.

This question is for people who have taken an Asian American Studies course:

How many of you know Poon Goo, the giant in the egg? Nur Waw the Mother of Humanity? Nah Jah (Nezha) the three headed boy?

When your kids ask Mommy or Daddy, “Tell me a Chinese story,” what story do you tell? Or is this when you discover AAS hasn’t taught you the stories to tell your kids?

What good is AAS if they can’t teach what the Asians learn of themselves? The why of their existence. You know the American childhood hit parade. You’ve gone to AAS and thought you were home to the Chinese children’s story, the Korean children’s story, the Japanese children’s story.

If AAS hasn’t taught you the Chinese stories, they haven’t told you of the China under the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty that drove the Chinese stories to be written, and published, when publishing was new.

The Chinese children’s story taught self-sufficiency, loyalty to the family, in a time of imminent threat from the horseman tribes of the north. Keeping the family together was the prime objective. The Mongol Yuan wiped out six generations of a traitor’s family. Marco Polo’s foreign trader’s account of Chinese trade goods, and customs was accurate. Of course the peasants and middle-class of the Ming didn’t tell their kids they might have to move suddenly, take another name and get out of China. But if the worse came to pass the kids were ready to run from the first story they heard and remembered THE FOX AND THE TIGER.

Is this a story you want to teach your kid?


YOU ALL KNOW what a fox is. Looks a little like a large house cat. Looks a little like a medium sized dog. Sharp-nosed. Sharp-eared. Bright-eyed. Bushytailed. It is a nice day. Fresh. The little fox is out for a little walk, through the woods, minding his own business.

Out of the shadows jumps the tiger. "All right, little fox, say Goodbye! to the world, for I'm going to eat ya!"

"Now, hold on there, Tiger!" the little fox says. "You just can't jump out of the shadows with bad manners and threats! You can’t interrupt my pleasant nice little walk around the charms of my woods!"

"Your woods?"

"You don’t know that I am the King of the Woods?

"You! The King of the Woods?" The tiger laughs, "You? You? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You can't be King of the Woods! You have a teeny kitty cat body, and I have this beautiful, (Ooh, I love it so much) magnificently sculpted musculature! You have these little itty bitty kitty cat paws. Me, I have these magnificent ripping, terrifying claws. You have little toy teeth that can't get around one of my toes. And I have a mouth full of these pointed big teeth to puncture hide and muscles, break bone, and bite meat. Teeth that break! Teeth that gnash! Teeth….!” Suddenly the cat purrs, “How can you be King of the Woods?"

"Tsk.Tsk. Tsk.," the Fox shakes his head, "Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.. I don't want to hurt you, Tiger."

"Hurt me?"

"I know you are just a big dumb guy. But I am willing to give you a chance to see for yourself."


"I am going to walk down this road here.”

“You’re going to walk?”

“We are going to walk down this road here. And we’ll see how the first three animals we meet along the way treat me with courtesy and respect.”


"If just one of these three animals talks bad manners all over me, or spits on me, or makes threats… I’ll let you eat me."

"Hmmm,” the tiger thought a moment, “You’re going to walk down this road?”

“Um hmm.”

“The first three animals we meet…”

“Un hmmm.”

“And if just one of them treats you with bad manners, spits, or makes threats, you let me eat you?”

“I’ll let you eat me.”

"Hmmm," the tiger thought a moment and said, “How do I know you won't just run away, Little Fox?"

"To make sure I don't run away, Tiger, why don't you just follow me as close as you can?"

"Hmmm," the tiger says, and thinks, "Hmmm.” And thinks some more, and says. “To make sure you don't just run away, I get to follow behind you as close as I want?"

"That's right."

"Sounds good to me, let's go."

The little fox rattles along on his little feet. And the tiger follows close behind with his big shoulders rising and falling and his big pads silently separating the grass and settling into the earth.

"A little fox!" A buffalo comes snorting and charging out of the grass, “Stomp! Stomp! Stompity! Stomp! Gonna stomp on a Little Fox!” The buffalo screeches to a stop. “Oh ho, Little Fox!” he shakes his huge head chews his cud. “How are you today Little Fox?”

“Fine Buffalo. How are you?”

“Fine! Fine! I was stomping along and saw you, and just had to stop and say it’s such a beautiful day, isn’t a beautiful day?”

"Yes, it is Buffalo."

"The birds are singing." The buffalo blinks and shudders a bird off his flanks. “And the bees are buzzing.”

“Yes, they are Buffalo.”

“Well, it’s such a nice day, I’ll just be stomping along. If that’s okay with you.”

"Nice seeing you, Buffalo," the little fox says, and walks on.

The tiger follows, and says to himself, "Hmmmm. Interesting."

They walk on, come to a river and walk by the river awhile.. Suddenly an alligator comes leaping out of the water and snapping its jaws toward the fox. "My, my, my …!" the alligator sees the tiger, "Ooops! …friend! My pal. Ahhh." The alligator smiles, "Beautiful day. My good friend, Little Fox.”

“Hello Alligator.”

“Have you noticed the sun is shining, the grass is so green.”

“Yes, I have noticed that.”

“The water sparkles.”

"Yes, it does."

"Yes, it does. I just had to say it to somebody."

"Why, thank you, Alligator. That’s very kind."

"Yes, it is, isn’t it. Well, see you later."

"See you later, alligator," the little fox says and the alligator slinks back into the water. And the little fox walks on.

The tiger follows, saying to himself, "Hmm. Interesting."

Next a huge python snake comes dangling out of a tree and sticks its thin black forked tongue out and in, fast several times without licking its lips. "Haaaa, Little Fox say..." and the snake sees the tiger, "Hi-i-i-i! Say, Hiiiiiii there!"

"Hello, snake, how are you?"

"Oh? Oh, I'm just fi-i-i-ine, just fine thank you," the snake says. “Well…I mustn’t keep you. I’d hate to do thaaat.”

“Well, I should be going.”

“Yesss. Welll…” and the snake slips around a tree trunk and disappears.

The little fox walks on a few steps, then stops and turns to the tiger. He dusts his fur and asks, "Well, tiger, do you feel like eating me now?"

The tiger shies back and gulps and looks down at the little fox, "Err. Oh, Little Fox. I lost my head. I obviously did not know what I was doing. You are, indeed the King of the Woods. With your permission, I'll withdraw now."

The tiger back steps away, turns and disappears into the shadows, and the little fox walks on.

Why didn’t the Tiger eat the Little Fox at the end?

Hands again. Yes, the Little Fox had connived to have the Tiger think he was following the Little Fox to keep him from running, and the animals think the tiger was the Little Fox’s bodyguard. And as lightbulbs blink on above your heads, I’ll reveal the whole title. THE FOX AND THE TIGER STRATEGY.

All the stories come to us through the presses of the 100 year Mongol Yuan, and the 250 year Chinese Ming.


The Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Kublai Khan. Marco Polo. Gary Cooper was a joke as the adventurer in THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO. Peasants, the lowest of the low revolted against the Mongols, and brought in the Chinese rule of the Ming Dynasty.


The Ming was Chinese, but they were chicken Chinese. The Ming had the peasants build the Great Wall and thought the wall would keep the horsemen out. The wall turned out be not horseman proof. The Mongols and other nomads on horseback, didn’t rule but still they gathered south of the wall every year at harvest time, like crows around China’s farm goods.

The Ming didn’t know the power of mass printing in the hands of the people till unauthorized editions of Luo Kuanzhong’s THE ROMANCE OF THE TRHEE KINGDOMS printed by pirates hit the underground market.

The loud, public mock courtly language of the opera became the private contemplative language of the first operatic or “vernacular” novel, THE ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS. The novel was a new form. A book of history and fact written by an opinionated personality calling for his people to ally up and defend their China. In the Ming he had to write sly, to slip the anti-Ming, pro-family message under the noses of the Ming.

From the first words, the reader was in the words and atmosphere of a rousing opera building enthusiasm for three men over their vision of China, and their fight to achieve it. But the enthusiasm for revenge and war is the reader’s alone in contemplation with the book, in words the peasants read and understood.

Luo Guanzhong the first Chinese author, wants his readers to identify China as home and to prepare to fight for it. A loose translation of the first words:

Kingdoms rise and fall.
Nations come and go.
It’s a good day to die.
Let the goodtimes roll.

The first novel saw the invention of Chinese patriotism in the reader. The reader is filled with a personal pride and responsibility for the spot of land where he was born. Home. 3 KINGDOMS is the first novel in China, Korea and Japan and has shaped the way China, Korea and Japan sees their history.

The book tells the history of family dynasties becoming empires giving this book the heft of history. Serious history.

One day: Chien Hsi Huang, a mere king, among kings, gobbled up one his neighboring kingdoms, and was more than a king. He gobbled another neighboring kingdom, and another, making him the first emperor of the first empire, the Qin. Qin (pronounced Chin,) is the word “China” comes from. Chien Hsi Huang unified Chinese writing, standardized money and spent ten years, and hundreds of thousands of men’s lives building the Great Wall to keep the nomadic desert horsemen out of China.

The folk called the wall the long cemetery where the wails thousands of widows and mothers still search for their men. The first empire the Qin lasted from 221-206 BC, just 15 years, and isn’t much loved by the Chinese.

The Han, is the second empire. The Han glitters, twinkles and shines.

The Han is, above all, beloved. The Han is the most legendary, longest lasting of the three Chinese dynasties ruled by Chinese. The other two being the Tang (618-907) and the Ming (1368-1644). Ah, the poor Ming.

The book zips through the Han begins to slow down with a revolt that brings three men, with three differently colored faces, from different parts of China, and three different walks of life, a white faced pretender to the throne of the Han; a redfaced murderer; a blotchy faced popeyed rich farmer, meet on their way to save the Han.

The three take to each other and repair to the farmer’s peach garden and swear an oath of blood brotherhood, with the famous line, “Though we were born at different times and places, we hope to die at the same place, at the same time.” They don’t.

Cho Cho, the villain of the piece, who started this mess of revolts that has brought the three Brothers together, with cunning, brilliance and the strategy of Sun Tzu, in an unholy mix with the strategy of Wu Chih. Cho Cho is the pouting misunderstood genius of the piece.

Cho Cho ursurped the throne, and Han China has split into Three Kingdoms.

Cho Cho rules Wei the big chunk to the west, of Wu, where the 3 Brothers of the oath in the Peach Garden end their lives in failure. Shu is the kingdom in the south.

All three brothers die failing to restore the Han. And the novel plods on under the care of the 3 brother’s strategist genius Kungming, aka Geegawk Leong. He dies. It ends with Wu being devoured in, you guessed it, war.

We are born in war. We will die in war. Our right (whoever “we” are) to occupy and farm China as ours is always a matter of contention.

So the book ends. The reader in the Ming was not satisfied. The reader was left with his bloodlust awake and throbbing with Chinese patriotism, in the present day Ming. The peasants that had driven the Mongols out of China. The Ming had let the peasants down by hiding in the silk and porcelain art of their Ming selves, in cities behind walls peasants and common folk were forbidden to cross.

3 KINGDOMS didn’t fire up the people of the Ming. It was the other way around. Luo was born to a people fed up with the cowardice of Chinese Ming. The people of the Ming were publishing schools of kung fu with drawings of their moves. Even the secretive Buddhists of Shaolin temple published their animal strategies. The rich farmers financed private armies to protect them from the government and to fight the tribal horsemen from the north.

Tales of the WATER MARGIN appeared like news broadsides had been distributed piecemeal like meat during the Mongol Yuan. The peasants snarled at the Mongol Yuan and foamed at the mouth and used their teeth, then ran for their lives. Luo Kuanzhong edited and added the long end chapters before Shi Nai’an’s WATER MARGIN was published. Shi Nai’an and Luo Kuanzhong tell a story that reminds readers of the cowardly and ineffective Ming Dynasty that rules them.

Their story is set in the Song Dynasty. The Song has given up bits of China to the nomadic invaders from the north. Worse, the Song confiscates the land and outlaws any Chinese that raises a hand against a nomadic horseman.

Soong Gong (Song Jiang) an average county clerk with an unusual admiration for men and women of the “gallant fraternity” known for their fighting skill is outlawed by the Song he serves. The gallant fraternity nicknames him the “The Rescuing Rain (that breaks the drought)” for his generosity to warriors passing through his county. He is outlawed by the Song he serves and flees to Liangsahn Marsh, or “the Water Margin,” a marshy constantly changing swampland, known as the hideout of criminals, on the Yellow River.

He recognizes talent and isn’t jealous. He leads of the good 36 Stars of Heavenly Spirits, and the bad 72 Stars of Earthly Fiends to combine as Chinese, to save China and the Chinese family from the government and the invading nomads.

They form a community on a mountain hidden deep inside the depths of the Liangsahn Marsh.
The outlaws of the marsh are, the soul of China fighting two enemies. The government out to break up and take the place of an individual’s family and the nomadic invaders out to subjugate China to a crow’s way of life.

The people who live and farm around the outlaws hideout ask the Rescuing Rain to declare himself emperor, but Soong Gong (Song Jiang), refuses. Being a good Confucian, he disdains high office.

He sends a message to the emperor asking for an amnesty for defending China’s borders, an amnesty the outlaws really do not want. Their loyalty is to Soong Gong, not the empire. The emperor agrees, but there are conditions. First Soong Gong must stop the raids by the nomads without involving the emperor.

The outlaws know they are soul of China and will fail to achieve the China they embody because of their leader’s change of heart.

The 5 Ruan brothers ask Soong Gong for permission to withdraw from the 108. Soong Gong gives permission to leave the band, to all that ask.

The Ruan brothers leave the Water Margin with their families and head south and west where they found the kingdom of Siam. The Ruan’s are an indication that Chinese don’t need China to be Chinese.

All you need to be Chinese is to belong to a Chinese family that defines itself with the Chinese story.

Those that stay with Soong Gong are killed in battle, or killed by government agents.

Soong Gong, the leader of the dying band, is sent imperial wine from the emperor himself. He knows it is poisoned, but drinks it to not offend the emperor. Is this criticism of Confucius? Soong Gong, the Rescuing Rain dies. His servant Lee Kuey, the Black Whirlwind, the lowest of the low, and the first of the 36 stars of earthly fiends who used to tear off his clothes to run into one end of battle naked swinging a thirty pound battle-axe in each hand, and out the other end covered in layers of congealing blood buries his master’s body and dies. The China the outlaws loved is in the hands of traitors and a cowardly but artistic emperor.

And another the novel ends with the reader unsatisfied, bristling and gnashing teeth.

The peasants including moneyed farmers who used their money to support vigilantes to protect them, rose against the Ming, and were betrayed. Instead of a new Chinese ruler, the Manchu rode through the wall and established the Qing, in 1644.

Qian Cao of the Manchu Qing, the early Manchu Qing, he died sometime before his emperor died 91 years into the Qing. After he was dead the vengeful Qing pulled his book from publication. That showed him.

His book GENERAL YUE FEI was knowingly insurrectionist. Yue Fei had fought the Jurchen ancestors of the Manchu’s that ruled the Qing, in Qian Cao’s day.

Mother Yue tattoos “Loyal to the country” with the character “Gawk” for “country” formed by the armed farmers surrounded by the borders of a farm, on her son’s back. The character announces the contempt for the “Kwun” or “Lord (over the empire)” or the emperor. The tattoo is the mark of a criminal, and the crime is Yue Fei’s love for the land and the family over the emperor. After beating back the nomads trying to invade China over the mountains, on the plans, over the water, he’s arrested and killed for this crime against the empire.

Yue Fei’s mother leads the descendents of children of the children of the Water Margin and the 3 Kingdoms out of China and into China again. As if to show the Chinese family didn’t need China to be Chinese. The first novels in the language of the people’s opera developed a very assertive belligerent fighting mad individual fed up with bickering chickens in charge of China from 3KINGDOMS to GENERAL YUE FEI.

You who grew up without the Chinese children’s story and with the so-called Chinese-American identity problem. You know that if you do as your parents did, your kid will grow up as confused as you did. You also know you can learn the stories and tell them to your kid, while he or she is still a kid.

The Chinese children’s story doesn’t mean your kid is doomed to grow up to be a good or bad person. It means, rich man, poor man, begger man, thief, he’s as Chinese as he is an American.
The secret of the Chinese-American two century long identity problem is the Chinese children’s story.

The war against being Chinese, hidden in plain sight gives urgency to the Chinese children’s story in the Ming. The storytelling in print builds a sense of Chinese familial propriety that is above the government. The sweet THE FOX AND THE TIGER is a way of teaching “Strategy.” All the Chinese children’s stories teach strategy.

THE NORTH COUNTRY WOLF dramatizes a verse of the strategist Sun Tzu: All strategy is based on deception. The story so simple, everything in plain sight, yet it wasn’t plain to me. What strategy did Stupid the Failed Scholar use on the wolf out to eat him? Actually it’s the old teacher of questionable compis menti, who uses a simple deception based on the wolf’s own ego, against him. Parents, hold your kids. Protect them any stray strategy or spit splashing out of my telling of:


A SCHOLAR HAS failed the Imperial examinations, "Oh me, I failed the exams. I'm stupid, stupid, stupid!" The failed scholar mopes along on the road of life with his bag of books over his shoulder. "How can I go home? Hi folks, I failed the Imperial exams?" He groans. "I'm just another failed scholar on the road of life to nowhere.” He kicks himself. “Oh, me. Oh, my. I failed.” He slaps himself on the forehead. “I'm stupid. I don't know nothing. Nothing!"

A wolf dashes out of the woods and falls down at the failed scholar's feet, and looks up into his eyes.

"Please! Save my life! Save my life! Save my life!"

"Who? What? I don't know nothing! Nothh…"

"I'll give you silver," the wolf says.

"…thing…Ooh, silver?"


“Oooh! Silver!”

“I'll give you Gold!"


"Just hide me, and save my life! And I'll give you silver and gold," the wolf says.

"Err, uhh, how? Where?"

"What do ya have in the bag, man?"

"Books!" the scholar said.

"Books! You don't need books! No one’ll give you silver and gold for carrying books in a bag! Dump the books!"

"Right," the scholar says and dumps the books. The wolf climbs into the bag. His body is tight fit. His neck sticks out. Off in the distance barking dogs are heard. The wolf is frantic. "Come on, man, stuff my head down in this bag. Come on!"

The scholar shoves and pushes, and pushes, "Come on, get me in the bag!" The scholar shoves the wolf's head down into the bag.

"Now tie the bag up! Hurry, man!"

The scholar ties the bag up.

"Now pick the bag up and start walking, come on, hurry!"

The scholar heaves the bag full of wolf onto his back and staggers into a walk.

Hunters on horseback break out of the woods and rein up by the scholar. "You there! Have you seen a wolf come by this way?" the leader of the hunting party asks.

"Wolf? No...."

"You're sure you haven't seen a wolf come by this way or cross this road?" the hunters ask.

"A wolf?"

“The dogs sniff the wolf on your trail, and then nothing, no wolf spoor.”

“Well, I haven’t seen a wolf. If one were around, I certainly would have noticed.”

“Would you?” one hunter asks and laughs.

“You seem a stupid, for a scholar,” the other says. The hunters back their horses and the scholar finally looks up and sees they wear imperial colors. They are the emperor's hunters. They ride off the road where the dogs are sniffing for a trail.

The scholar walks on carrying the wolf in his book bag for one mile, two miles, six miles till the wolf cries out, "Hey, lemme out here! I can't breathe! Put me down. Let me out of here!"

The scholar stops and sets the bag down, unties it and helps the wolf slip out.

"You know, while I was in your bag," the wolf says, "I got awful hungry. I'm so hungry from being in your bag, I am going to eat you up. Don’t look at me like that, it is your fault I'm hungry."

"Now, wait a minute, Wolf. That's not fair. You promised me silver…”

“Yes, I know. And I promised you gold.”

“And you promised me gold if I hid you in my bag and saved your life," the scholar says.

“If you saved my life, yes. That’s what I said.”

"I kept my part of the bargain, and now instead of silver and gold you tell me, I owe you a meal, and I'm it? That is not fair!"

"Sure, that's fair. Anybody will tell you that's fair," the wolf says. "What’s unfair about it?"

"Come on, nobody will say that's fair! I'm not that stupid."

"Ask anybody. Anybody! And they'll tell you, I'm being fair."


"Ask anybody. Ask any three living things, and I bet, they'll tell you it’s fair to eat you for saving my life."

"That’s crazy!”

"Yes. Ask three elders, and if one, just one, says it's not fair of me eat to eat you…I won't eat you," the wolf says. He chuckles. "Stupid!"

They walk a bit and come to an old withered apricot tree. "Talk to the tree," the wolf says.

"Talk to the tree?" the failed scholar whines.

"Talk to the tree," the wolf says.

The scholar stops by the old apricot tree, and bows. "Old Apricot Tree," the failed scholar says, "I beg your pardon, I'm nobody, I don't mean anything, but I would like the benefit of your instruction in a personal matter."

The rickety Old Apricot Tree rattles and sighs, "Hummmm."

"Old Apricot Tree, I was minding my own business moping along the road of life after I flunked the big exams and this wolf runs out of the woods begs me to save his life. He makes me dump my books, and promises me silver and gold to hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up, and ask me if saw a wolf, and I tell them I didn't see any wolf, and then when the wolf gets out of the bag, he tells me he got hungry inside my bag, and it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me," the scholar says on a long breath. "Is that fair, Old Apricot Tree?"

And the Old Apricot Tree sighs and rattles his rickety twigs and says, "I was born and the rain watered me. And the sun shone on me. And you protected me from the birds and made sure I got water and sun, and I grew and grew. And then I sprouted fruit and you humans picked my fruit and ate it and threw away the seeds. And you carved your initials in my bark and you let your kids climb into my branches and break them. Then you cut off my branches and you burned them for firewood. And, yeah, it's fair for the wolf to eat you!"

Oh, oh, the scholar thinks. This isn't good, and thanks the Old Apricot Tree and walks on.

They come to a field and in the field is an old horse. "Talk to the horse," the wolf says. And the scholar approaches the old horse, bows and says, "Old Horse, I'm nobody and don't mean anything but beg the benefit of your instruction in a personal matter."

"Oh, boy, here we go again," the Old Horse says.

"Old Horse, I was minding my own business just walking along the road of life after I flunked the big exams and this wolf runs out of the woods and begs me, to save his life. He falls on his knees at my feet, and begs me to save his life. He promises to give me silver and gold if I'll hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up and I tell them I didn't see any wolf. And then when the wolf gets out of the bag, he tells me it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me," the scholar says on a long breath. "Is that fair, Horse?"

And the Old Horse says, "I was born. I suckled on my mother's milk and ran and played after her. And you humans gave me good grass and good grain to eat and lots of water to drink and lots of room to run. I was out when the sun shone and sheltered from the rain. Then you made me pull and drag for you round and round or back and forth back and forth. And then you whipped me to make me pull harder when your plow hit hard ground. And the work and the harness left sores on my body. Then you let your kids ride on me, and whip me, and you tie me up to trees and leave me all night. Biting flies buzzed and birds came to eat off my open sores as I got a little older and you stopped feeding me. You no longer let me in out of the rain after all the work I've done for you and, yeah, it's fair for the wolf to eat you."

"Whoops," the scholar says to himself, "I'm in trouble."

Next the wolf and the scholar come across an old teacher asleep on the road.

“Talk to Sleepyhead,” the wolf says.

"Old Teacher. Wake up. You’re sleeping on the road.”

“What?” the Old Teacher says waking up. “What am I doing on the road? I was asleep here? Who are you? Did you rob me?”

“Ask the Old Teacher,” the wolf says so the old teacher will hear.

“What?” the scholar asks.

“Ask him,” the wolf says with threatening show of teeth.

The scholar bursts into tears, falls on his face in front of the old man and whimpers, "Old Teacher, I wasn't hurting anybody I was just walking along the road of life after I flunked the big exams, minding my own business. And this wolf runs out of the woods and begs me to dump my books and promises me silver and gold to hide him in my bag and carry him, and I do, and the Imperial hunters ride up and I tell them I didn't see any wolf. Then when the wolf gets out, he tells me he got hungry inside my bag, and it's my fault he's hungry and he's going to eat me!" the scholar whines. "And he says that's fair! Is that fair, Old Teacher?"

"There are many sides to every question,” the Older Teacher says. “I want to understand this before I decide. Is this what happened, Wolf?"

"Yes, I thought he told it very well," the wolf says.

"Hmmm. There's something I still don't understand," the Old Teacher says. "Where did you say this happened?"

"Oh, back this way along the road about, maybe six miles," the scholar says.

"Can we go back there and let me have a look at where this all happened?"

"Sure, we can. Let's get this over with fast," the wolf says and leads the way.

They reach the spot where the scholar and wolf met and the Old Teacher paces around this way and that with his stick and shakes his head. "No, there's still something I don't quite understand," he says, "You say you dumped your books and this wolf here climbed into that little bag?"

"Oh, I understand your problem," the wolf says, "You don't believe a big magnificent wolf like me can fit into that little bag! Here we'll show you!" The wolf turns to the scholar and snaps, "Come on, Stupid, help me get in the bag!"

The wolf and scholar huff and puff and grunt and groan and stuff the wolf into the bag. And the Old Teacher laughs. "I can still see your head, Wolf. What kind of hiding is that?"

"Well, I had Stupid shove and push on my head till it was stuffed in the bag too."

"Well?" the old Teacher shrugs.

"Come on, man," the wolf says, "Stuff my head down into the bag!"

And the scholar uses all his strength and shoves the wolf's head into the bag, and stops to catch his breath.

"Then what did you do?" the Old Teacher asks.

"I tied up the bag."

"Aha!" the Old Teacher says.

"Tie up the bag!" the wolf says from inside the bag.

The scholar blushes, "Oh, how stupid of me!" and ties up the bag. "Now what?" he asks.

"Walk on," the Old Teacher says.

“Walk on?” the scholar asks.

“Walk on?” the wolf asks inside the bag.

How many of you have read THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS by Claire Huchet Bishop. Everybody.

Is it real or fake? The book jacket quotes the N.Y.Times “based on a Chinese story.” It is? How many of you asked if it was real or fake? You gave it to your kids anyway, right?

You didn’t you warn your kids THE 5 CHINESE BROTHERS is a story based on the memories of men who enjoyed torturing Chinese during the 100 years of the Opium Wars and their penalty phases?

THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS are five Chinese victims of torture for the entertainment of whites. Burn the Chinese. Ha! Ha ! Ha! Drown the Chinese! Ho! Ho! Ho! Hang the Chinese! Ha ha! Ho ho! Chop off the head of the Chinese! Hee hee Hee! Oh, the Chinese are so funny. They’re fireproof, drown-proof, hang-proof, chop-proof…

The First Ornamental Oriental

Maxine Hong Kingston is the first Ornamental Oriental to give her yellow voice, to a fake story and apply it to a real name from Chinese folklore, “Mulan.” Kingston wrote a horrifyingly spare and lovely scene of the girl Mulan at fourteen being surprised awake by her parents sneaking up on her with knives in their hands. White Christian reviewers in the N.Y.Times, The New Yorker, the S.F.Chronicle, The L.A. Times were all fooled into thinking they were suddenly experts on Far Mulan was the tattooed girl.

Fakework breeds fakework. David Henry Hwang repeated Kingston’s slander of Mulan as a tattooed victim like clockwork and faked a tale of another hero by name Kwan Kung, in “F.O.B.” the Obie Winning Off-Broadway play. Then Amy Tan rewrote THE UGLY DUCKLING as a fake Chinese story about a mother who goes to market for a duck that dreams of being a beautiful goose, and put it on page one of THE JOY LUCK CLUB.

“How do you know her duck story’s fake?” an Amy Tan fan might ask.

Ducks and geese bought in the market symbolize one thing in Chinese folk, fiction and lit: food. In China birds bred for market have the intellect and nobility of chicken McNuggets. That’s why they’re called “birdbrains.”

It is the wild birds that embody the 5 noble qualities of you know who. It is the wild birds mate for life.



A terrible defeat. Soong Gong, the Rescuing Rain leads the Outlaws in panic stricken retreat back to Liangshan Marsh. Dejected, passing thoughts of suicide he comes to Double Woods Crossing and stops to rest. Yan Qing the great archer among the 108 outlaws tries to restore his leaders spirits by shooting down a flock of wild geese.

From Chapter Ninety of OUTLAWS OF THE
MARSH trans Sidney Shapiro.
Page 1423. 5th paragraph:

Song Jiang directed that Yan Qing come to him immediately. The Prodigy wore a broad brimmed white felt hat and a parrot-yellow tunic quilted with a flaxen floss. Astride a roan desert steed and carrying his bow and arrows, he canted up to a halt before Song Jiang, the dead geese hanging over his horse’s rump. He dismounted and stood waiting. “Was that you, shooting geese just now?”

“I needed practice and saw them flying overhead. I didn’t expect every arrow to score a hit. I must’ve brought down more than a dozen.”

“A military man ought to practice his archery, and you’re an expert at it. I was just thinking – these geese leave Tianshan Range in autumn and fly south across the Yangzi with reeds in their beaks to where it’s warm and they can find food, and don’t return till the following spring. They’re the most virtuous of birds. They travel in flocks of up to half a hundred, flying in orderly ranks, with the leader at the dead and the inferiors behind. They never leave the flock, and post sentinels when they rest at night. If a gander loses his goose, are a goose her gander, they never mate again. These fowl possess all five attributes – virtue, righteousness, propriety, knowledge and faith.

“If a goose dies in flight, all utter cries of mourning, and none will ever harass a bereaved bird. This is virtue. When a fowl loses it’s mate, it never pairs again. This is righteousness. They fly in a definite order, each automatically takings its place. This is propriety. They avoid hawks and eagles, silently crossing the passes with reed sticks in their beaks. This is knowledge. They fly south in autumn and north in spring, every year without fail. This is faith.

“How could you have the heart to harm such admirable creatures? Those geese passing in the sky, all helping one another, are very much like our band of brothers. Yet you shoot them down. How would we feel if it were some of our brothers we had lost? You must never hurt these virtuous birds again!”


Every AAStudies and AALit course teaches Ornamental Orientalia as the only Yellow writing worth talking about. I am banned across the country. I don’t care what the whites say about me. I am not white. Being banned by the yellows for saying “Only white racists can like Kingston’s hatred of the Chinese,” leads me to every yellow written review of WHAT’S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN? slapping me around for Kingston bashing. Not one Chinese-American reviewer stands for THE BALLAD OF MULAN. They deny the content their youth. Not one stands for Chinese children’s story. They deny they ever had a Chinese childhood. Not one is ashamed of their stupidity showing.


The storytellers of the Ming printing press appealed to the Chinese sense of being Chinese from the family on up to resist having their crops raided by Mongol and the Manchu horsemen. These weren’t the complaints of poor peasant farmers eking out a living from their pile of rocks. These were the rich peasant farmers growing the wealth of China.

The government built walls and appreciated art. The secretive Buddhists of Shaolin temple Kung emerged one of a flurry of kung fu clubs turned publishers to recruit and train their readers. The well-read, or the literati of the Ming ignored the call to arms being sounded in the play MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, and the vernacular novels ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS, WATER MARGIN, JOURNEY TO THE WEST, THE CANONIZATION OF THE GODS, CHING PING MEI, all written during the Ming. The Ming government judged all but 3 KINGDOMS to be insurrectionist.

The Far Mulan found in the Chinese children’s chant of 550 AD was the world’s first poetic statement of male-female equality, in war and peace. There’s a difference between love homosexual “love” of the Greeks and Romans and the “equality” between the sexes of the Chinese. The chant closes with a quatrain:

The she rabbit dims her shiny eye.
The he rabbit tucks in his feet to sit.
Two rabbits hop side by side.
Who can tell which is the he and which the she?

In the Ming, Xu Wen put these lines onstage. The sight of the Mulan and her ally, as the Yin and Yang circle, as a meaning of the Taoist circle struck what was Chinese in the Chinese. Life on the land versus the life of a nomad.

Xu Wen tucks between the lines of Mulan galloping north to join the army, across the Yellow River to the Black Mountains, a scene of Mulan riding up on a pair of slow moving horsemen going north to defend the wall. She scolds them for thinking women had an easy life at home. Home was the source of wealth. No crops. No money. By the time she reports to the commander she has assembled a number of men insanely loyal to her. That scene is more critical of the Ming present than any dynasty lost in the haze of long ago. Life was war back then, and it was still war in the Ming.

Mulan, the commander of generals, observes in the BALLAD:

Sawk hay churn gum tawk.
The tight northern air drums the watch.

Hawn gong jew tit yee.
Winter dawn glints off the chain mail.

Jerng Gwun bok gin seee.
My generals of a hundred battles are dead.

Jawng see sup nien gwai.
My soldiers’re spent from ten years at war.

Maxine Hong Kingston identified the Mulan of the BALLAD as her Mulan. She quoted lines from THE BALLAD OF MULAN before she has her creepy parents creep in and surprise her with tattoos. Her attempt to sell her FIFTH BOOK OF PEACE as having been preceded by four previous Chinese BOOKS OF PEACE, places one of those BOOKS, possibly, the first, with the first Chinese printing press and the freedom of the Chinese Ming.

If her book of peace had existed, at the time, it would have faced one of the most belligerent works of the heroic tradition, China’s first vernacular novel 3 KINGDOMS, in the marketplace. The BOOK OF PEACE would have been compared and criticized and slandered, and scandalized in an intellectual-propogandist journals or the other. Anonymous or pseudonymous critical articles about non-existent chapters of MONKEY seemed to be traded. Was that criticism of MONKEY or the cowardly and oppressive rule of the Ming disguised as MONKEY? Books are asking the Chinese what does it mean to be Chinese, between an oppressive Ming and an oppressive invader? Where is the BOOKS OF PEACE? The Ming would definitely approve it. Peace is what they want. And if it existed, the peasants that rose against the Ming would have ridiculed Kingston’s formula for peace: write a poem instead of fighting the whole world for your land and your way of life.

The Ming falls and the Qing is in, but still Qian Cao, a Chinese writes to rouse the Chinese in the Chinese, to stand and fight against the foreign Qing.

[to be CONT'D]

Hello, Portland (part 2 of 2)

[PART 1]


Yue Fei was real man whose story reads like a hero of myth. The Yellow River floods. His mother takes him in her arms and climbs into a large clay jar. His father holds onto the the lips of jar and swims to guide it through the water. He is washed one way and mother and son another way away and away.

They are washed onto land and taken in by one of the disbanded 108 outlaws of the marsh. He teaches the growing Yue Fei that all behavior is tactics strategy and the use of tools and weapons.

Yue Fei enters a martial arts contest and kills the emperor’s son. He is forgiven when one of the judges reveals that the emperor’s son used weapons and poisons banned from the contest. The judge is killed later, in imperial plot.

One emperor has been kidnapped by the nomads and a young addlebrain assumes the throne. A bandit from the old Water Margin offers Yue Fei the leadership of pirates and outlaws to fight the Jurchens. Yue Fei, cannot break the law. At the same time he can’t reject the bandit’s patriotism. He becomes blood brothers with the bandit and as a brother, returns the gifts of gold and silver to the bandit to pay for his return to the marsh. This gesture proves Yue Fei’s use of tactics and strategy as behavior to Yue Fei’s mother.

Yue Fei is approached by a representative of the emperor to take charge of the army and drive the nomads on horseback out of China.

Mother Yue does not like the choice between bandits and the cowardly and traitorous government. She tattoos her son’s loyalty to the family of China, but not the emperor.

Yue Fei leads the army, beats the Jurchens in the mountains, on the plains, and on the water and is jailed by a traitorous Prime Minister for treason and killed.

Why does Qian Cai write the descendants from the 3 Kingdoms and the Water Margin drop by to pay homage to Mother Yue before mounting up and violating the emperor’s order banning the burning of incense at Yue Fei’s tomb?

The answer: Confucius. The germ, the start, the beginning of everything is the family. China is not the government. China is individual loyalty to the family.

Individuals disown the family for one reason or another. Kwan Kung, the 2nd brother from 3 Kingdoms, was beaten and locked up by his parents, and left. He got mad, broke out of his confinement, ran away, saved a girl from a marriage she didn’t want by killing her father and the man she was to marry, and runs some more. His face changes color. His individuality blossoms into a physical being no longer recognizable to his hated parents. Soong Gong, the leader of the outlaws of the Water Margin has his father publicly disown him, to save the lives of his family.

China is the Family Not the Nat’l Gov

China is the family. China is your family as long as you keep the children’s stories and the heroic tradition. It doesn’t matter where you live. Timbuktu, Helsinki, or Athens Greece or Athens, Georgia. You are Chinese if you keep the children’s story and the heroic tradition. If you live in a thriving Chinatown that was organized by a family and family associations that kept the culture, like Oakland, California you might not know the children’s stories and the heroic tradition, but the Chinatown does and protects your Chinese identity.

Chinatowns that don’t respect the family and Chinese culture turn into service centers for tourists, lose the their Chinese identities, wither and die, like Portland’s Chinatown.

You are not Chinese if you’ve lost the children’s story and the heroic tradition.

AT A BOOK FESTIVAL in Portland, a long drive up I-5 from L.A. with Sam at five years old, I’m hawking my first book DONALD DUK. A sweating man asks me, "Aren't you ashamed to be a Chinese man telling women about real Chinese culture?" He's the white editor of a California, Bay Area literary review. He has put his favorite Chinese American writer, on the cover. I seem to have been followed by the same question. If not the same man.

"No," I answer.

"Aren't you ashamed of the unspeakable cruelty you Chinese men inflicted on Fa Mulan?"

"What unspeakable cruelty…” I chill and coldly spill, “White Man?" Sam, my little Sam, looks on in horror.

"Carving her back!" White editor says through clenched teeth.

"Aren't you ashamed to be a white man instructing me on Fa Mulan?" [Fa Mulan as opposed to Far Muklan, the Cantonese pronunciation, is respected as the embodiment of the equality of the sexes in war and peace. She was a Northerner. Her birthdate, home and details of her life beyond THE BALLAD OF MULAN are unknown.] Clenched teeth faces clenched teeth. “It's obvious that you've never read the children's poem or the play that tells her story.” My eyes go beady to face his beady eyes. “All you’ve read is racist cant.” I say.

“Then where did Maxine Hong Kingston get the tattooed Mulan of THE WOMAN WARRIOR?” He sweats. I don’t. I’m cool.

“She stripped the tattoos off the back of only warrior famous for being tattooed, Ngawk Fei, a man.” He opens his mouth and I say, “Yue Fei, in Mandarin."

"There are many versions of Fa Mulan!"

“There are as many versions of Fa Mulan as there are of George Washington.” His jaw drops at the mention of the “Father of his country.” I say into his open mouth, “There is only one BALLAD OF MULAN.”

“George Washington was a real man in history.”

“And so was Mulan.” A rustle of clothes, shifting limbs, creaking furniture, clearing throats.

“Ah! The natives are restless!” I said, “You’ve heard the night before George went to fight for British in the French and Indian War, his mother called him into the kitchen, and said, ‘Son, I want to carve your back with a message to prevent Indians from mutilating your body if you’re captured.’ If a little remodeling and repair is in order for Mulan, it can’t hurt George Washington.”


“No maybe about it, your favorite author makes clear she’s talking about the same Mulan the Chinese know. She quotes lines from the BALLAD OF MULAN before blaming her parents for stripping the tattoos off Yue Fei, putting them on the girl’s skin.”

“You dare to defend Chinese culture that’s founded on cruelty to women?” He bounces from foot to foot and opens and closes his fists.

“It takes no daring to defend Chinese culture against your racist stupidity. Mulan’s parents knew their Confucius says, and would not mark her skin with a tattoo. For Confucius said, ‘The skin and hair are gifts from the parents.’”

“Confucius,” he says with a sneer.

“The tattoo is the mark of a criminal. And it is because the tattoo is the mark of a criminal, that Yue Fei’s mother tattoos his back with Loyalty to the ‘gawk’ the country. That’s his crime. She didn’t tattoo loyal to the ‘gwun’ the ‘lord’ or emperor. ”


“Why haven’t any of you asked if THE BALLAD OF MULAN is not about a girl being cruelly tattooed, what is it about? I’ll tell you, anyway, because I’m Chinese. It’s the first poem in history of the world to state the equality of men and women, in war and peace.”

[MUKLAN SEE Cantonese is matched by a line in English , for scansion. If the translation matches the Chinese, both can be chanted in Chinese rhythm, or lagged into a round of one language up and the other down, and a round in reverse.]

Jick jick fook jick jick,
Sniff sniff sigh sniffle sniffle,

Muklan dong woo jick
Muklan sniffles like her loom.

But mun gay chur jing.
Don't ask for the shuttle's shift.

Woay mun nur tahn sick.
Do ask why a girl cries herself sick.

Mun nur haw saw geee.
Ask her does she pine.

Mun nur haw saw yick.
Ask her does she yearn.

Nur yick mo saw seee.
No, this girl does not pine.

Nur yick mo saw yick.
No, this girl does not yearn.

Jawk yeah gin gwun tit.
Last night I saw the battle rolls .

Hahk hawn die bin bing.
For the Khan's great army.

Gwun shur sup yee gurn,
The Roll Book runs twelve rolls.

Gurn gurn yow yeah ming.
Roll after roll there's my father's name.

Ah Yeah mo die yee.
Father has no grown sons.

Muklan mo jerng hing.
Muklan no older brother.

Yurn wooay see ngawn mah.
Leave me buy a saddle and horse,

Choong chee tai yeah jing.
And ride in father's place.

Doong see my joon mah,
East Market: buy a good horse.

Sie seee my ngawn jin.
West Market: buy a saddle and blanket.

Nom see my bay taow.
South Market: buy bridle and reins.

Buck see my cherng biin.
North Market buy a long whip.

Jew tiern yeah lerng her.
Dawn: away from dad and mom.

Mo sook Wong Haw biiin.
Sunset: camp by the Yellow River.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.
Don't ask her to hear her parents call her name.

Don mun Wong Haw lau sur ming tien tien.
Do ask her to listen to the Yellow River gush and gush.

Don chee Wong Haw her.
Dawn: leave the Yellow River.

Mo gee Huk Sahn tau.
Sunset: the peaks of the Black Mountains.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.
Don't ask he to hear her parents calling her name.

Don mun yin sahn
Do ask her to hear the Tarter horses

woo kay sing chow chow.
on Swallow Mountain whinney and blow chuff chuff.

Mon lay foo yoong gay.
Thousands of miles of war, battles all the way.

Gwan Sahn doe yerk fay.
Across borders and mountains like birds we fly.

Sawk hay churn gum tawk.
The tight northern air drums the watch.

Hawn gong jew tit yee.
Winter dawn glints off the chain mail.

Jerng Gwun bok gin seee.
My generals of a hundred battles are dead.

Jawng see sup nien gwai.
My soldiers’re spent from ten years at war.

Gwai loy gin Tien Ji.
On the road home: an audience with the Emperor.

Tien Ji jaw ming tong.
The Son of Heaven sits in the Hall of Light.

Chok fun sup yee juern.
Your army's valor fills twelve books.

Serng tee bok tien gerng
Prizes amounting to a hundred thousand cash are awarded.

Hahk hawn mun saw yook.
Now what does the girl want?

Muklan but yoong serng shur long.
Muklan has no use for any position in court.

Yern teee tien lay jook.
"Loan me the famous Thousand Le Camel,

Soong yee won goo herng
To take me home."

Yeah lerng mun ner loy.
Father and Mother hear she's coming.

Chut gawk serng foo jerng.
They meet her outside the gates and walk her onto the estate.

Ah Jiey mun mooey loy.
Big Sister hears she's coming.

Dong wee lay hoong jong
By the door, she rouges her face.

Siew Die mun Jieah loy.
Little Brother hears sister's coming.

Maw doh fawk fawk herng jur yerng.
Grind the knife sharp sharp to go for a pig and sheep.

Hoy ngaw doong gawk moon.
Open my east chamber door.

Jaw ngaw sai gon chong.
Sit on my west chamber bed.

Churt ngaw gin see ho.
Off with the battledress of recent times.

Jerk ngaw gow see serng.
On with the gowns of old times.

Dong chong lay wun bun.
By the window: do the hair in cloudy tresses.

Dur geng tit fah wong.
By the mirror powder myself flowery yellow.

Chut moon hawn faw boon.
Out the door see my ally.

Faw boon chee ging wong.
My ally is agog.

Toong hung sup yee nien.
Back to back in twelve years of war.

But ji Muklan see nur long.
He didn't know Muklan was a girl.

Hoong toe gerk hawk sawk.
The he rabbit tucks his in his feet to sits.

Chee toe ngon muhi lay
The she rabbit dims her shiney eyes.

Lerng toe bong day jow.
Two rabbits hopping side by side.

Ngawn lung biin ngaw see hoong chee.
Who can see which is the he and which the she?

At every stop, in California, every bookstore, every school, on the road, there were racists waiting for me with accusations of victimizing the “Woman Warrior” and being a Chinese man. Nobody was interested in the author of DONALD DUK. Not one question about the book. Not even, “What’s it about?” No questions about the real Mulan.

They were against Chinese men. It was the feminist thing to do. They knew Kingston’s cruelly tattooed Mulan as the American victim.

The real, the Chinese Mulan espoused, and lived, equality of the sexes, in 550, before the term feminism came into being. The term came into being around 1789 with Mary Wolstonecraft’s [Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)] publication of A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in answer to Tom Paine’s THE RIGHTS OF MAN. Paine’s writing had influenced the American Revolution, the French Revolution. England declared him a traitor. To enter the discussion of “rights” as an equal smelled of law if not, the law. In the wake of Wolstonecraft’s 1789 publication, women’s writing flourished in England. George Eliot, the author of ADAM BEDE (1859) and SILAS MARNER (1861), Charlotte Brontë, author of JANE EYRE (1847), and Wolstonecraft’s daughter, Mary Shelley, the author of FRANKENSTEIN or THE MODERN PROMETHEUS (1818).

Kingston was listed as an expert of Chinese folk culture in one encyclopedia of American Literature, after the other. She fooled at least four American universities into awarding her honorary degrees. In 1986 she finally confessed, that she racistly changed the facts of THE BALLAD OF MULAN for feminist purposes, in an interview with Kay Bonetti:

“Oh, yes, the myths I change. I change them a lot, and I’ve been criticized for that by traditionalists…”

“Traditionalists” her Orwellian Newspeak for “Ugh! Chinese!”

“because they …”

“the Chinese”

“don’t understand that I have no intention of recording myths. I mean, I’m not an archivist”

Her Orwellian Newspeak for “Ugh Chinese!”

“I want to give you an example of the myths that I’ve changed. When the woman warrior has the words carved on her back, that’s actually a man’s story. It’s about a man named Yüech Fei who had a vow carved his back by his mother. Now, I took that and gave that to a woman. I gave a man’s myth to a woman because it’s part of the feminist war that’s going on in THE WOMAN WARRIOR, to take the men’s stories away from them and give the strength of that story to a woman. I see that as an aggressive storytelling act, and it’s also part of my own freedom to play with myth. and I do feel that myths have to be changed and played with all the time, or they die.”

She sounds like Ford talking about Mercury the car, not Mercury the myth.

“The problem with doing all that is the way to inform people and at the same time play around with them”

The people or the myths?

“I think at that point I decided not to tell anybody the original stories, and then tell them how I played around with them because I just wanted to get on with the story, and I just figured, well, let the scholars…

the, ugh! Chinese!

“figure it out later…”

She doesn’t sound like Ford, the John who saw the whole story. We know THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and agree with the editor who burns his notes and says. “I’ve learned that when the legend becomes the fact, print the legend.” But we’ve seen what Jimmy Stewart saw after shooting his little pistol and we saw what John Wayne saw. John Ford was out RASHOMONing Kurosawa’s great movie RASHOMON. He was giving a tip of his hat to Kurosawa by playing with the form and style based on RASHOMON. Lee Marvin, the Liberty Valance of the piece is Toshiro Mifune, the electrifying bandit throwing sparks and spit from RASHOMON.

“but they’ve actually attacked me for not sticking with the story.”

Strangely Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune cancelled each other out in HELL IN THE PACIFIC the movie with just them on the screen. Alone on an island in WWII they represent their nations, fight, become friends, one side’s men arrive. The rest is irrelevant. They didn’t resemble each other. They didn’t obviously act like each other. The casting marqueed up looked inspired. But in scene after scene they were mirror images of each other. It was like watching a one man show, a long one-man show, rather then the performance of two men.

Mulan Leaves her Mark on China

Know nothings disguised as scientists, calling themselves “Sociologists” defend Kingston’s lies by pointing to the “folk process” that magically transforms the original Mulan into the Kingston’s victim. The real folk process of the Chinese heroine can be followed in Chinese children’s books from the publication of THE BALLLAD OF MULAN in 550 AD to Chinese Soong Ching Ling [Soong Ching Ling AKA Mme. Sun Yatsen(1893-1981) WOMAN IN WORLD HISTORY, by Israel Epstein. 1995. New World Press. 24 Baiwanzhuang Road, Beijing, China.], China’s first feminist, and the wife Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of modern China at the beginning of the 20th Century. A flick through the pages of Chinese folklore shows that Mulan did not degenerate, but grew as her reputation for sexual equality lent luster, to the reps of other female champions of China.

Two 10th century women generals with territories of their own, along the same Yellow River that’s in the BALLAD, had grown up with THE BALLAD OF MULAN. Liang Hongyu [Liang Hongyu was the wife of Han Shizong (1087-1151) an admired military man nicknamed “Able to defeat ten thousands.” In history, she was a military prostitute. In fiction she was a drummer girl working in a whorehouse. In battle she occupied the high ground and drummed signals as to the movements of the enemy, to her husband on the ground.], (Leong Hung Yuk, in Cantonese) nicknamed the “Little Drummer Girl,” and Mu Guiying [Mu Guiying- is celebrated in the Peking opera MU GUIYING TAKES COMMAND, performed by Mei Lanfang, famous for performing women’s roles.], (Mook Gwaying) a bandit leader in Shandong become the strategist and commander of the Yang Family armies, were allies of the tattooed warrior, Yue Fei. After Yue Fei’s death, it was Mu Guiying’s strategy that covered the border.

THE BALLAD OF MULAN had inspired, the undoubtedly real Liang Hongyu, and Mu Guiying. Their stories are sketchily told in GENERAL YUE FEI, and detailed in the fictions, operas, comic books and movies based on their lives. For English language readers, Canfonian of Singapore has LIANG HONGYU, and YANG FAMILY GENERALS, with the story of Mu Guiying available in two volume sets of comic book novels.

Soong Ching Ling, took the name of Rosamonde, while attending Weslayan College for Women in Macon, Georgia. Did that name come from a popular lieder or art song(*) of the moment, or did she put together Rosamonde from “Far” the character for “Flower” that can mean “Rose,” [“Rose” in Chinese is “muy far”] as a translation of Far Mulan?

She was attracted to the ideals of Dr. Sun Yatsen, a man 28 years her senior, and married him. In 1923, he photographed her in the cockpit of the first plane designed and built in China. A biplane he had painted with “Rosamonde” on the nose. She wore a pilot’s goggled cap. The illusion that she was a flier, in the picture snapped by Dr. Sun, inspired Chinese women to fly. Their pictures were taken.

Chinese newspapers likened Soong Ching Ling to Mu Guiying and Far Mulan for resisting the Japanese, and fighting for equal rights for women, in China’s first constitution.

Dr. Sun Yatsen is considered the “George Washington of China,” through he preferred the “Abraham Lincoln of China.” (I think Lincoln is on the right, of the blue stamp the US issued in 1961 commemorating 50 years of the Republic of China. Dr. Sun is on the left.) Soong Ching Ling, was his young, brilliant and beautiful wife. She was also one of the famous Soong sisters. The oldest sister, Soong Ai Ling married H.H. Kung, Generalissimo Chiang’s crooked financier, and loved money. Soong Mei Ling [Soong Meiling- (ca 1897–October 23 ,2003 ) Her pro-Chiang version of the facts of the rivalry that existed between the sisters is told in THE SOONG DYNASTY, by Sterling Seagrave. (1985) Harper & Row. New York], the youngest, married power hungry Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and loved power. Soong Ching Ling, Mme. Sun, loved China. Dr. Sun and Soong Ching Ling are revered by both Nationalist and Communist Chinese.

From the Revolution of 1911 till the end of WWII, China was involved in war. A civil war, in China that recalled Far Mulan. A war to kick the Japanese invaders out of China, that recalled Far Mulan. Then World War II. Mulan was alive through all the wars, in children’s books, on matchbox covers, medicine labels, her story was told in paintings on vases, cookie tins, fans and comic books. The pocket sized, comic book, was created to be hidden.

Then came the year, 1932. Japan took over Hong Kong and asked Mei Lanfang [Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) born to an opera family. His father and grandfather performed women’s roles. Lanfang was the third and most famous performer of women’s roles, including Mu Guiying, in MU GUIYING TAKES COMMAND.], the unusually large eyed, Peking opera star, to perform for the Japanese army. In 1930 Mei Lanfang had introduced New York, Hollywood, and western theatre personalities George Bernard Shaw, Paul Robeson, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sergei Eisenstein to Peking opera. And the westerners went wide-eyed, ooohed and had their pictures [PEKING OPERA and MEI LANFANG. A Guide to China’s Traditional Theatre And the Art of Its Great Master, by Wu Azuguang, Huang Zuolin and Mei Shaowu. (“With Selections from Mei Lanfang’s Own Writings” ) Contains photos of 1930’s tour of the west. (1981) New World Press. Beijing, China.] taken with the man who introduced Peking opera to western senses and sensibilities.

Mei Lanfang, famous for his performances of women’s roles, thanked the Japanese but begged off, because he was growing a mustache. He shut down his company, and took up painting and perfected his calligraphy to support his unemployed musicians and performers. He wrote a script MULAN JOINS THE ARMY [MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, by Mei Lanfang- This opera is one of the works in The Collection of Chinese Plays,compiled by the Committee for Research and Development of the Revitalization of Chinese Plays, under the Political Warfare Division of the Department of Defense (of China).] “An Opera adapted from the Fifth Century poem.” He used the plot and lines from THE BALLAD OF MULAN as his structure and festooned the structure with his words and observations designed redirect the Chinese impulse to war away from your Chinese neighbor, and toward the invading Japanese.

His “synopsis” closes with:

“His daughter Mulan could not bear to see her father go into battle in his condition. She decided to sacrifice herself and go in his stead. Dressed as a male, she resolutely bid her family farewell and reported to the garrison, ready to face the enemy. Mulan, who learned martial tactics and skills from her father, became highly valued by the commanding general. When engaged in battle she would be the one who led the charge towards the enemy. To everyone in the division, from officers to the rank and file, she was known as a hero and a patriot—not a fragile female. After the army’s triumphant return Mulan shed her soldier’s uniform and resumed her identity.”

With apologies to Ming playwright Xu Wen and WWII’s Mei Lanfang.


Jick jick fook jick jick,

Sniff sniff sigh sniffle sniffle,

Muklan dong woo jick

Muklan sniffles like her loom.

But mun gay chur jing.

Don't ask for the shuttle's shift

Woay mun nur tahn sick.

Do ask why a girl cries herself sick.

Mun nur haw saw geee.

Ask her does she pine.

Mun nur haw saw yick.

Ask her does she yearn.

Nur yick mo saw seee.

No, this girl does not pine.

Nur yick mo saw yick.

No, this girl does not yearn.

Jawk yeah gin gwun tit.

Last night I saw the battle rolls .

Hahk hawn die bin bing.

For the Khan's great army.

Gwun shur sup yee gurn,

The Roll Book runs twelve rolls.

Gurn gurn yow yeah ming.

Roll after roll there's my father's name.

MULAN absent mindedly improvises kung fu

Ah Yeah mo die yee.

Father has no grown sons.
(She stops. Her eyes pie wide.)
Father has no grown sons!
Muklan mo jerng hing.

Muklan no older brother.
(With mounting horror and delight)
Mulan has no older brotherrr!

MULAN works out with kung fu

THE STORYTELLER as POP, sees MULAN. He watches.

I’ve seen better baton twirling.

Yurn wooay see ngawn mah


Leave me buy a saddle and horse,

Choong chee tai yeah jing.

And ride in father's place.

If the girl wants to go in my place, she’ll have to beat me!

MULAN and POP approach each other. They fight.

I’m rusty. I was never that good at the staff. The sword is my weapon. If you want a fair fight, you’ll fight me with my weapon. Swords. Wooden swords. Wood hurts less steel.

STAGE MULAN goes to rack and chooses a wooden sword.

You used say “Wood kills less that steel”

I don’t wanta think about half-death. ALL OR NOTHING.

MULAN takes her weapon and takes a position

All or nothing!

It’s a good day to die. Let the good times roll.

They fight again and again Mulan wins.

POP collapses opens his mouth lays out his tongue and pants and wheezes What Mulan saw in the she in the shape and colors of the tubules of the skin of his tongue can’t be told in a children’s poem. What she saw was the tongue of a sick man. He’s on the ground struggling for breath. He coughs to kick start sticky pistons in his lungs to pumping sludge out of the deeps.

MULAN falls on her face and apologizes to POP

Forgive me please….

That’s not the way a man bows… Help Help me up and I’ll show how a man bows before his commander.

POP gets to his feet.

MULAN stays flat and facedown

Stand at attention and watch. You ride up to the commander’s tent, identified by a flag with his name on it. You dismount, see to the keeping of your horse in the same place you left it after you come back.

MULAN stays flat on the ground apologizing and weeping.

You enter the commander’s tent confident firm. Get up! You dust yourself off. This is a courtesy, letting everyone in the Commander’s tent know a man has just entered. And giving you a chance to learn exactly where everyone and everything is in the tent and get the cut of the commander. GET UP! Damn you! GET UP! The commander should recognize talent and know what to do with it.

MULAN flattens herself and jams her facedown more

GET UP! You’re a man! You’re not a girl! Get up. Get up, I’m showing you how a soldier answers his orders to appear before his commander report for duty!

Mulan thinks

(whispers) Father is going to commit suicide!

Ah-Bah, No!

She begins to weep and flattens herself on the floor.

Get up! when I’m teaching you something! You’re the man of this family. Get up!

MULAN gets up.

After dusting yourself off and arranging your clothes after your long ride. You acknowledge no one, with a nod or glance. Your eyes look straight into the commanders, then you drop to one knee, like this.

DAD drops to one knee, lowers his eyes, and offers his covered right hand

Eyes down, you look ahead over your upper eyelid. Your left hand covers your fighting hand and you offer them to the commander, at the level with your eyes and lower your head, like this.

POP covers his fighting hand and offers it to her.

You’re not to plant your eyes into his for a clash. You will glance a look over the back of your left hand covering your fighting hand, like this. You are a man, you want the commander to know. How much of your eye shows over your fighting hand is up to you. You don’t want to show a full half of your eye. You do not show a smile on your face. A good commander will recognize the value of a face that displays no expression and no hostility. You say the words I BOW TO YOU, COMMANDER silently.

POP on one knee bows, slightly. Then lowers himself..

Save our family. Save the country. Come back safely.

MULAN reads her father’s bow as being offered to her. She moves to him but POP prostrates himself

Save our family. Save the country…Come home safely.

MULAN tearfully gets on her horse like a man and goes shopping.

Doong see my joon mah,

East Market: buy a good horse.

Sie seee my ngawn jin

West Market: buy a saddle and blanket.

Nom see my bay taow.

South Market: buy bridle and reins.

Buck see my cherng biin

North Market buy a long whip.

Jew tiern yeah lerng her.

Dawn: away from dad and mom.

Mo sook Wong Haw biiin.

Sunset: camp by the Yellow River.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.

Don't ask her to hear her parents call her name.

Between the first publication of the BALLAD and Mei Lanfang’s MULAN JOINS THE ARMY is 378 years. Mulan hasn’t required a lift or a prosthesis or remade past. The past is the past. She’s Far Mulan, a heroine that defines herself. That’s why she’s a hero. She’s not a product. From the past she has taught and inspired girls that call themselves Chinese.

Sam was five when I came to Portland the first time and the racist teachers sneered at my comic book collection and said, “Doesn’t turn me on.” Suddenly he’s twenty-one, and I’m still getting the same questions, I’m still called the same names by another generation stupid whites, and the children of the children of yellow-hating yellows. They see it as a matter of honor that they refuse to teach their children a Chinese children’s story while they’re young. “Start the car, Sam. I’ll be right behind you!”

In 1995 Sir T.L. Yang [Ti Liang Yang ( DOB:June 30, 1929, Shanghai) Chief Justice from 1988- 19996. In 1996 Yang was a candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Tung Chee Hwa was chosen to rule Hong Kong by a Peking committee of 400. Yang came on second with 42 out of the 400 votes cast. He teaches English at the University of Hong Kong.] the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, completed his 30 year translation of Qian Cao’s GENERAL YUE FEI [GENERAL YUE FEI. A novel by Qian Cai of the Qing Dynasty. Translated by T.L. Yang. Joint Publishing (HK) Co. LTD, 9 Queen Victoria Street, Hong Kong. (1995) (pages 247-248)] into English, and published it. He began the first English translation of the popular Qing dynasty Chinese novel, coincident with the release of Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR. Was his translation a reaction to Kingston’s falsification of Mulan with the tattoos of the10th century hero?

This novel was first published in the Manchu Qing, when the Manchu were oppressing the Chinese, and the British waged a Christian race war against the Manchu Qing, and brought the opium wars were to life. Both, the Manchu Qing and the Brits made the Chinese pay and pay and pay. From that time comes the novel with whole story of Yue Fei and his tattooing.


“My son, you go out and set up incense sticks and candles and put them on the incense table in the middle of the hall. I have a personal reason for doing this.”

“Yes,” said Yue Fei, and he went out, obtained the incense and candles, went to the central hall, placed the table in the middle, and placed a pair of candle sticks and an incense burner on it. Having arranged everything in its proper place, he entered to inform his mother that the incense table was ready and he invited his mother to go out.

Lady Yue came out with his (sic) daughter-in-law. There they burned incense and lighted the candles in front of the scared family shrine. They paid obeisance to Heaven and Earth and to the ancestors, and the Lady commanded her son to kneel whilst the daughter-in-law was told to prepare the ink.

Kneeling down Yue Fei asked, “What command does Mother have for me?”

The Lady said, “I, your mother, saw that you did not accept the recruitment of the rebellious thief, and that you willingly endure poverty and are not tempted by wealth and status, this is of course extremely good. But I fear that after my death, there may be some unworthy creature who will come to entice you. And if you should momentarily lose your principles and do something disloyal, will you not have destroyed in one day your fragrant reputation gained in half a lifetime?

For this reason, I have prayed to Heaven and Earth and to our ancestors, because I want to tattoo on your back the four characters ‘Utmost’, ‘Loyalty’, ‘Serve’ and ‘Nation’. I only hope you will be a loyal official, so that after your mother’s death, people going to and fro will say, ‘What a good lady, she has trained her son to achieve fame by serving his nation with the utmost loyalty, and so his reputation will continue its fragrance for a hundred generations’. I shall then smile even in my grave under the nine springs.”

Yue Fei however suggested, “The sage said, ‘One does not harm his body, hair and skin because all these he has received from his parents’. I shall of course accept and obey your solemn instruction. Please refrain from tattooing me!”

“Balderdash!” said the Lady.

“If you should do something unworthy and are brought before the court under arrest, and if you should be beaten and knocked about, are you still to say to the official, ‘Having received the body, hair and skin from my parents I do not dare cause them any injury?’”

This scene deserves staging to appreciate the relation of Yue Fei, his wife and his mother. But what of the knives? Did the old woman carve her son’s flesh with knives like Mulan’s parents in Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR? The scene becomes greater:

“What Mother says has reason. Please tattoo the characters” – thus speaking, he half-undressed himself. The Lady picked up the brush and wrote out on his spine the four characters for: serving the nation with the utmost loyalty.” The se picked up a sewing needle and gave his back a prick. She saw that the lord Yue’s flesh ‘gave a jump’ and she asked, “My son, does it hurt?”

Yue Fei said, “Mother, you have not even began to tattoo me, so way do you ask me if it hurts or not?”

With tears in her eyes the Lady said, “My son, you fear that my hand will go ‘soft’ so you say it does not hurt.”

Mother Yue pricks his skin with a needle. Carving the flesh with knives is Kingston’s invention.

In 1997, on September 29th President Bill Clinton [Bill Clinton, (DOB: Aug. 19, 1946) the forty-second President of The United States, served from 1993 to 2001.], rewrote Chinese history, culture, and the facts of heroes by blessing Kingston with his Humanities Medal. Clinton praised Kingston's talent for revealing "a world we've never seen but instantly recognize as authentic." Through her work, he said, she had "brought the Asian-American experience to life for millions of readers and inspired a new generation of writers to make their own unique voices and experiences heard."

His signature made contempt for Chinese and the Chinese children’s story, an American policy, and Kingston’s creation, the pitiful tattooed Mulan, the official American version of Chinese history

Which brings us to this place in this city to talk to the Chinese not controlled by Sociology-Asian American Studies.


Your interest is AAWriting. The medium of AAwriting should be AAmagazines. But there are no AAMags. Are the AAwriters real or fakes writing to please their white masters?

I ask you consider forming an AAMag on AAlifestyles and what’s on the minds of yellows in yellow news, yellow newsbiz, as a mag you can encourage yellow music, yellow dance, yellow thought, yellow graphic and sculptural art to consider the arts and thought of the people that first settled here and became us.

Your ideas on AAwriting must have produced a critic or critics you respect. They can commission David Hwang and me to meet through your critics and an interview. Not face to face. I don’t tolerate the proximity of Ornamental Orientals. Tolerance and understanding is a critic’s job. My job is writing. Writing is fighting.

Your magazine will need money to run and last three years. That money to include a commission and expenses for as many name writers as there are issues of the mag.

Amy Tan let’s loose on Pool’s Black Widow Jeanette Lee! One way or the other, I’m salacious enough to be interested in what she might say.


The name writers and the people they visit are come-on’s to get the mag into yellow reader’s hands. I wouldn’t mind spending a week with Jeanette Lee the Korean Black Widow and champion of the women’s 9 ball pool, if Amy Tan turns you down. She was the lone Yellow ten years ago. Today there are Asian women competing in the American 9Ball from China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan.

Ah-Leon, a sculptor from Taiwan and shows regularly in the US. An AAWriter or artist or I visits him for a week. See how he sets a show or works at a studio. How he makes his fired clay look like other materials. His "Bridge" looks like wood and rusty nails. His short wooden Japanese table, topped with a teacup and a tray of sushi and chopsticks, all made of fired clay, and his teapots with tree branches growing out of its clay show the artist is a thinker. At least he has a sense of humor I’ve never seen expressed before.

Another name writer – say Ben Fong Torres, former editor of ROLLING STONE and an observer of behind the scenes in the media for the S.F. Chronicle. You’ve heard of him, right? The Oakland boy who fancies himself knowledgeable about music goes to Lincoln School in Oakland, Ca and spends a week with the teacher of Chinese opera with a company of CA’s kids performing Peking opera, and a talented black student who’s taken the student company to China.

Send your staff writers to the city the name writer lights in, and measure its temperature for Asians and Asian things. Their articles give your magazine news value. The fictions that you feature. One serialized novel. Two shorts. Started off by the name writer’s look at another yellow artist. Gus Lee looks at fellow San Franciscan Margaret Cho appearing in Denver.


A real AAMag would reveal the story of the white racist yellow N.Y. editor soliciting Chinese to write unflattering portrayals of Chinese-American institutions like the tongs, who didn’t care about facts or the real. The editor only cared about “good writing.” This editor’s name is protected by the white publishing fraternity. Yes, the frat is corrupt and protects this white racist. Would they protect an editor at a New York house who let a book through that said George Washington shot Abraham Lincoln at the Booth Theatre?

This Ornamental Oriental’s name has grown as the fake has grown in American publishing. Yes, I was one of the writers the editor approached. I declined the honor of being an Ornamental Oriental.

An AA mag would look at the accepted white racist behavior that characterizes the Ornamental Oriental editor, and note the strange lack of Yellow critics and the rise in the number AAwriters being accepted by whites. What does AALit without AALit critics mean?

A year ago Lt. Ehren Watada’s court martial for disobeying a military order to deploy to Iraq, was declared a mistrial by the Army. The Army hasn’t yet set a trial date. In fact, the Army’s done nothing since. He’s left in limbo, at Ft. Lewis, near Tacoma, a city seen as definitively Japanese American by Japan’s Kafu Nagai, between the Yellows of Portland and Seattle. What have they done, or what are they doing on his behalf? They must be doing something. I would know if AA’s had a real magazine.

Momo Yashima, of L.A. is doing something. She comes from an activist family of artists led by her father Taro and Mitsu Yashima, and has put together the resisters the JACL has devoted thirty years to saying never existed till they appeared, more Japanese and more American than the openly white racist JACL. The resisters are still active and activists for the same civil rights they won after being freed from prison. They were treated better in the Federal pen than at the “Relocation Centers.” That says something. To an AA that says a lot.

She and the resisters give voice to JA works and govt docs of the period, and her brother Mako appears from a computer hard drive singing SONG OF CHEYENNE, a song sung to the melody of a Hawaiian work song, written in jail by 263 resisters awaiting what’s being touted as the largest criminal trial in Wyoming history. All this in a 90 minute presentation: A DIVIDED COMMUNITY. She has taken A DIVIDED COMMUNITY from place to place in the last two years and have you heard about it? The reason you haven’t heard about what’s happening in AA is there is no AAMag.

An AAMag would publish the script to A DIVIDED COMMUNITY and would do a story and interview with Momo Yashima about the show, her family, Mako, art and activism, and the importance of keeping the memory of the resisters alive, as long as there's a JA left.

What else could an AAMag do that a white mag couldn’t?

How about a piece designed to get Yellow artists into activist's gear. An AAMag could run an ad soliciting JA artists to speak for the JA people and create a work of art to the Heart Mt Fair Play Committee. The JA’s enjoy their civil rights thanks to the resisters against the JACL. Yes, Portland’s famous JACL leader, Min Yasui resisted a military order and stood against the JACL. Now he is remembered as the JACL’s resister and a traitor of the resistance by the resisters.
A mag could run a campaign to raise money for the art work, and to find an JA artist to sculpt, paint, make a permanent artwork representing the draft resisters and their dependence on Heart Mountain's organized resistance, for guidance. This artwork to be contributed by a JA individual or group or the newspaper to an art museum, or an individual who will donate it to a museum or school or....

An AA mag would solicit names of JA artists. Any media. Any form. Interview the artists in the mag. And do articles on the artists in contention for the commission. Why they want to do the project or why they don't want to be considered for it. Articles on who's going to judge the choice of artist? A panel of JA's. Stories on the judges. The JA newspapers haven’t done any of this. Does that mean JA has died in the JA artists that remain?

And literary critics of course – Asian-American lit critics or whites who know Asian-lit and Ameri-European lit.

The lit crit should look at vanity publications and self-publication. Dr. Clifford Uyeda, the who lent the JACL the dignity of a JA champion of Tokyo Rose, and convinced new JACL members that the JACL was sincere in their redress campaign, has self-published an autobiography. His writing style is a century of difference from his spoken style, as recorded and transcribed in my BORN IN THE USA. William Hohri, the leader of National Committee for Japanese American Redress who sued the govt for $200,000 plus for twenty causes, that forced congress to pass redress for a mere $20,000 mooting the lawsuit. He has published “The Lim Report” and a book of interviews with Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, Mits Koshiyama of the draft resistance organized by the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee.

I received a copy of Yukio Kawaratani’s, self-published RELUCTANT SAMURAI in the mail. He has not a bad word to say about the JACL, but he sent his book to me, the “Chinaman” as Yuji Ichioka, the late UCLA defender of the JACL called me. He mistakenly thought it was a term of derision. Was Yuji Ichioka consulted before the JACL hired a Chinese scholar of their own to research the camps and the JACL?

A JAcritic should examine why Kawaratani sent his book to me.

Yukio Kawaratani was 13 interned at Tule Lake, and had three brothers serving in the army. His mother, Yukio and the three brothers decided to stay in the US in 1943 when the gov required all internees to answer every question of the Leave Clearance Registration Form, including Questions 27 & 28.

His father had been a prisoner in a Justice Dept camp and released to Tule Lake. “He no longer trusted the United States government and felt that the entire family would be better off living together in Japan. Imagine his anger and disappointment when he learned that Mama, at the urging of Takashi and Hide, decided not to with him! She went against the wishes of her husband for the sake of his children. Now, he, Tadao and Skip would be alone in war torn Japan.”

You might have noticed that there has never been a Japanese-American critic (or a CAcritic) in the sixty years since camp. Why are AA’s scared of criticizing their own? The obvious answer glaring us in face: the managers of camp, Christianity disguised as science, Sociology and the JACL edited and white supervised camp newspapers, that everybody knew were fronts for white supremacy.

The JAs were mad dogs and had to put in the pound. The obedient Chinese wore buttons and voluntarily kept to the kennel. All the Yellows were dogs. The CA’s of San Francisco were the first to turn belly up and offer themselves as Ornaments to white supremacy. The 120,000 mainland JA’s went into camp and 120, 313 came out in 1945. The JACL’s Mike Masaoka made a promise as a Jr. G-Man to the US that the Japs would quickly and cheerfully go extinct. They didn’t go that quickly but with JACL induced ignorance, they went cheerfully. The JA pop went under 100,000 and into the realm of racial extinction a few years ago. Then down to 92,000 five years ago. Today the JA pop is 90,000, even including the padding of Hawaii.

A JA critic would show the world that the JA’s knew who they were and knew the names of their heroes and traitors.

I’d like to see Asian music critics discuss the tilt of AAartists to jazz, and the lack of Cantonese and Peking opera while the clubs singing the arias… But first the AAcritics have to learn the opera the whites taught them to ignore. Most have never heard much less attended an opera, and are too old to learn. The music critics have to be cultivated when they’re young like the company of students learning the opera cold in Oakland. If the current young black star can be convinced to set aside singing long enough to explain his attraction to the opera, he or another member of the company might be the critic the AAMag needs.

Does AsianAmerica know about the Luck Ngai Music Club on Weller St. in Seattle? It has gone from a group of retired opera professionals and amateurs presenting three or four, five hour long, fully costumed productions of opera a year, to zero full productions and a club of homesick individuals singing an aria for nostalgia’s sake.

A magazine piece might attract an Asian musician to the opera. What’s the difference between a tourist piece and an Asian-American piece on the same subject?

An editor. A magazine is not a democracy. Newspapers and magazines are run by “Stylebooks” that dictate that “Chinaman” is a pejorative term not to be used unless it occurs in a quote between quotation marks and that “Chinese-American” is the term acceptable in this magazine, newspaper…. Violation of the Stylebook will result in firing. I would hope the Stylebook of an AAMag would be different, very different absolutely different from the white racist Stylebooks currently in use by the white racist magazines and newspapers.



Realistically, there’s no reason whites can’t be critics in an Asian American mag as long as they know the Asian children’s story to match their American side. It is knowledge after all. The critics job is to make the work of the writer clear to reader.

If knowledge of Chinese children stories is all that anybody need have to pass for Chinese, what’s to stop whites from writing Chinese works? Nothing.

Being yellow didn’t stop us from learning the white children’s stories. There are Yellows that know JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, THE UGLY DUCKLING as sanctifying their childhood as American. There’s nothing stopping whites from learning ours, except white religion, white tradition, the white prejudice of Bill Moyers, and President Bill Clinton’s Humanities medal to Kingston for making our story Ornamental Orientalia.

Timothy Mo had to be born and raised in the streets of Hong Kong to achieve the knowledge to write SOUR SWEET and THE MONKEY KING. Two remarkable books. AAS wrongfully neglects his works because he’s white. He is the reverse of us. Whites reject us as “American” writers because we’re Yellow. And the AA’s ignore him because he’s white. AAcritics are needed to stand between the writers and the readers of every book.

The rules of Christian Sociology and AAS don’t apply to the real world reading a book. Taking the measure of what a book says and it’s style book by book, author by author seems too scarey for any AAEnglish student, so there are no AAcritics. Meantime the whites wind up and loose another Ornamental Oriental every five years.


THE TWIN GIRLS, Leah and Fontaine, about twelve years old, and Brook their younger brother, spread out their sleeping bags in my large front room, climbed in and asked Uncle Frank for a story. A story they couldn't hear, from anyone else but me. One of my stories.

They often spent the night at my place while their mother was out working. In the mornings we would walk downhill to Grant Street and mingle with the crowd of Chinese and Italians and people living in fantasy worlds of their own creation, past Adler Alley Lawrence Ferlinghetti's [Lawremce Ferlinghetti (1919- ) Born in Yonkers, New York. The owner of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. City Lights was the gathering place of the “Beat Generation.” Ferlinghetti is himself a poet, whose most popular work is A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND (ca 1950)], City Lights Bookstore, had the City rename for Jack Kerouac. [Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) Born a French-Canadian, Lowell, Masscuhsetts he made his name with the 1957 publication of his novel ON THE ROAD]

Does Ferlinghetti know what Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg [Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) Born in Paterson, Jew Jersey. Ginsberg with the publication of HOWL! By Ferlinghetti’s City Lights, assumes the poetic top of the Beat Generation with Kerouac “stream of consciousness” prose.] leeringly thought of Chinese boys in Chinatown? Does he know what they said to Chinese boys in Chinatown? I do.

Step into San Francisco, cross the street and you're alive, a thousand miles, a thousand worlds away. Peter Maccharini, a beret and a whitening mustache, and always well dressed in a jacket, was a jewelry maker, with a shop on Grant, a block down from the shop of S. Paul Gee, a more vociferous and outlandish jewelry maker. There was Niño Bernardo, the midwestern American devotee of the flamenco guitar of Sabicas [Sabicas (1912—1990) Born Augustin Castellon) in Pamplona, Spain. Sabicas was a flamenco guitarist who left Spain in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, with dancer Carmen Amaya to South America. Many musicians fled Spain, like classical guitarists, Andres Segovia, and Celedonio Romero, cellist Pablo Casals, refused to perform in Spain under the dictator Francisco Franco. Once Franco died and Spain was semi-democratic again, they returned to their homeland. Sabicas returned to Spain in 1967.]. Always expected to take over New York or make his name in Spain, but always living somewhere in North Beach, and always playing somewhere on Grant or Columbus Avenue. David Jones [David Jones (1941) aka David Serva, now known as David Jenkins because “Jones” in the language of where he had moved was a bad word. He is back in the San Francisco Bay Area and still playing Flamenco.], of Berkeley, seemed the spirit of Flamenco everything- guitar, singing, dancing- in San Francisco, and then he went to Spain and became a Spaniard, and left a hole in San Francisco. Freddie Mejia [Anteola Mejia (1940- ) is married and playing and teaching in Santa Cruz, California.] the Filipino with a Spanish sounding name, was a player, who partnered with David Jones, every now and then. He's an extraordinary guitarist, he can play solo or with anybody, and he's a guitar repairman and maker extraordinaire, but only when he feels like it. There he is, with a new beautiful girlfriend. He gets by on her dreams and her money. Maybe this time…

There were the people who defined the street by their presence that I had no reason to talk to, but I would miss them, if they weren't here every day. And there were the people I talked to and the people that knew me by sight and I knew them to see them. We showed passing recognition in our eyes. We had no need to talk, or jump into each other’s business.

The kids' mother would come by, or most often, she would phone and meet us at Malvina's coffee house, where she sat alert and erect would chatter away about the crowd, and the changes happening to the neighborhood. The twins, and Brook would have a quick chocolate, and zip! they'd be gone. And I'd spend a long time waking up over a cappuccino. Or I'd walk with the kids to Chinatown, through a crowd of whites and into a crowd of yellows and meet their mom for a Chinese lunch. In San Francisco there was always a crowd. What happens tomorrow, happens.
Except for now. There was just us. My apartment was the top apartment, at the top the hill and it was late. Above the crowds. Too late for the crowds. And they asked for a story they hadn't heard before. And they wanted the story to be a scary story.


And nowwwoo…

time forrr…


ONCE UPON A TIME, there were three little children. One was named Leah. And two was named Fontaine. And the third was named Brook.

Late one day, their mother called them into the bedroom, where she was brushing her hair. She said, "Brook, Fontaine, Leah. Your daddy and mommy are going out dancing tonight. But before we go, would like you to go down to the grocery store and buy us some peanuts.

"And make sure you get home before it gets dark outside, because tonight is the night, the Big Chicken comes out!"

"And whatever you do, do not take the shortcut home, through the graveyard, because that is where the Big Chicken lives."

Leah, Fontaine, and Brook went down to the grocery store, found the aisle with the peanuts and got into a big argument. Mommy did not say what kind of peanuts to buy. And there were peanuts in bags, peanuts in sacks cans, peanuts in jars. Salted peanuts. Unsalted peanuts. Peanuts in the shell and peanuts out of the shell. There were roasted peanuts, salt roasted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, and boiled peanuts. There were even raw peanuts.

There were Texas peanuts, and California peanuts. There were Georgia peanuts and Carolina peanuts and Florida peanuts. Peanuts from Mexico even peanuts from Africa. Fancy peanuts and cocktail peanuts and peanuts mixed with other nuts.

Finally they decided to buy a can of salted cocktail peanuts. And when they got outside the store, it was dark!

"Let's take the shortcut home through the graveyard," said Brook.

"But the big chicken lives there," said Leah.

"Ay yay yay yah," said Fontaine.

"Don't be scared. There's no big chicken," said Brook.

So, Leah, and Fontaine and Brook went walking in the graveyard. The moon was up, and they could see their shadows stretch from their feet and slip over the grass and the headstones and the graves in front of them, as they walked down one hill and up another.

Then they saw this big shadow come up behind them and cover their shadows. And they heard, "Buck-Buck! Buck-Buck!"

"What'd you say, Brook?" Leah asked.

"I didn't say anything. It must have been Fontaine," Brook said.

"I…I…I didn't hear anything," Fontaine said.

And Brook, Fontaine, and Leah looked in front of them and still couldn't see their shadows. And they heard, a little louder, "BUCK-BUCK! BUCK-BUCK!"

"Did you hear that, Fontaine?" Brook said.

"I…I…I" Fontaine said chattering his teeth.

"Turn around and see what it is," Leah said.

"I'm not turning around!" Fontaine said.

"Brook? Would…would you turn around? And see if there's anything behind us?"

And Brook slowly turned around and took a look over his shoulder. And he saw the BIG CHICKEN! It had toes as big as Cadillac's. It's legs were as large as telephone poles! Its body was as big as a McDonald's. It's head was as large as a UPS truck. And it had an EYE as big around as a manhole cover! And Brook said, "Run!"

And they ran. Ran up the hills and down the hills. Ran out of the graveyard and into the street. Ran down the street and into their house. They put the cocktail peanuts in the kitchen and ran up the stairs, into the bedroom. They hid under Leah's bed. And waited. And listened.

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the house. "BUCK-BUCK!"

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the kitchen. "BUCK-BUCK!"

The Big Chicken ate the peanuts. "Buck-buck."

The Big Chicken ate everything in the refrigerator. Then the Big Chicken ate the refrigerator! The Big Chicken ate the cupboards, the stove, the sink. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate up all the furniture in the living room.

They heard the Big Chicken climbing the stairs. "Buck-buck!"

They heard the Big Chicken walk into Mom and Dad’s room. It ate up Dad’s golf clubs. “Buck-Buck.” It ate all Mom’s shoes. “Buck-Buck.” It ate their big bed! “Buck-Buck.”

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the bathroom. "Buck-Buck!"

It ate up the toilet! "Buck-Buck!" It ate up the shower, and the tub, and the sink. "Buck-Buck!" It ate up the medicine chest. "Buck-Buck!"

Then they heard the Big Chicken walk the into Leah's room. "Buck-Buck!" It looked at the Leah's dolls. "Buck-Buck!" And ate them up. It looked at the Leah' chest of drawers. "Buck-Buck!" And ate that. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken saw Leah’s bed! "Buck-Buck!" It came closer, and looked.

"Uhhhh!" Leah said.

"Shhh!" Brook said.

The Big Chicken ate the bed quilt. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the blankets. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the sheets. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the mattress! "Buck-buck! Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the box springs! "Buck-buck." There were the kids under the bed. "Buck-buck!" The Big Chicken looked at Brook! "Buck-Buck!" The Big Chicken looked at Fontaine! "Buck-Buck!" The Big Chicken…Boo!


(*) -Le manoir de Rosamonde
published 1894

by Henri Duparc (1848-1933) ,

De sa dent soudaine et vorace,
Comme un chien l'amour m'a mordu...
En suivant mon sang répandu,
Va, tu pourras suivre ma trace...

Prends un cheval de bonne race,
Pars, et suis mon chemin ardu,
Fondrière ou sentier perdu,
Si la course ne te harasse!

En passant par où j'ai passé,
Tu verras que seul et blessé
J'ai parcouru ce triste monde.

Et qu'ainsi je m'en fus mourir
Bien loin, bien loin, sans découvrir
Le bleu manoir de Rosamonde.

Rosamonde's Manor-House

(translated by Peter Low)

Love, like a dog, has bitten me
with its sudden, voracious teeth...
Come, the trail of spilt blood
will enable you to follow my tracks.

Take a horse of good pedigree
and set off on the arduous route I took,
through swamps and overgrown paths,
if that's not too exhausting a ride for you!

As you pass where I passed,
you will see that I travelled
alone and wounded through this sad world,

and thus went off to my death
far, far away, without ever finding
Rosemonde's blue manor-house.


INTERVIEW WITH MAXINE HONG KINGSTON. 1986. By Kay B Bonetti. PP 33-46 in CONVERSATIONS WITH MAXINE HONG KINGSTON. Edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin. University Press of Mississippi. Jackson. (1998)

STORIES FROM CHINESE MYHTHOLOGY Translated and edited from Yuan Ke’s Newly Edited Mythical Stores and Translation of a Hundred Selected Myths by Ke Wen-ii & Hou Mei-xue. Nankai U Press.

CREATION OF THE GODS. Translated by Gu Zhizhong. New World Press. Beijing (1992)

TAI KUNGS SECRET TEACHINGS, in THE SEVEN MILITARY CLASSICS OF ANCIENT CHINA, translation and commentary by Ralph D. Sawyher with Mei-chun Sawyer. Westview Press . Boulder (1993)

THREE KINGDOMS A Historical Novel. Attributed to Luo Guanzhong. Translated from the Chinese with Afterword and Notes by Moss Roberts. Foreign Languages Press/U of California Press. Beijing/Berkeley. (1994)

THREE KINGDOMS China’s Epic Drama by Lo Kuan-chung. Translated and edited by Moss Roberts. Pantheon Books. New York. (1976)

ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS. San Guo Yan Yi. Luo Guan Zhong. Translated by C.H. Brewitt-Taylor. Kelly & Walsh. Shanghai (1925) Graham Brash. Singapore (1985)

OUTLAWS OF THE MARSH by Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong. Translated by Sidney Sahpiro. Foreign Languages Press Beijing. (1980)

WATER MARGIN. Written by Shih Nai-an. Translated by J.H. Jackson. Commercial Press Ltd. Shanghai. (1937)

JOURNEY TO THE WEST, by Wu Cheng’en. Translated by W. J. F. Jenner. Foreign Language Press. Beijing. (1982)

JOURNEY TO THE WEST, translated and edited by Anthony C. Yu. U of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1980

GENERAL YUE FEI. A novel by Qian Cai of the Qing Dynasty. Translated by T. L. Yang. Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd. (1995)

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CHINESE RESTAURANTS, Director-Narrator Chuek Kwan. 15 half hour episodes. TISSA FILMS, Toronto, Canada Tel: +1.416.804.1527 Fax +1.416.231.7532 E-mail:

Frank Chin , by John Goshert. Boise: Boise State University Western Writers Series, 2002.

"Frank Chin Is Not a Part of This Class! Thinking at the Limits of Asian American Literature." By John Goshert. Jouvert 4.3 (May 2000): unpaginated article (39 paragraphs).