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The Shaolin MonasteryHistory, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts$
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Meir Shahar

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831103

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831103.001.0001

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Defending the Nation

Defending the Nation

(p.55) Chapter 3 Defending the Nation
The Shaolin Monastery

Meir Shahar

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the Shaolin's military reputation during the late Ming period, which witnessed a tremendous growth in the commercial publishing of travel guides, encyclopedias, memoirs and local histories, military treatises and martial arts manuals, as well as novels and short stories. The Shaolin martial arts figured in each of these literary genres as these fighting techniques had been celebrated in the writings of generals and martial arts experts, scholars and statesmen, and monks and poets. By the sixteenth century, Shaolin martial arts were recorded in every corner of the empire, from Yunnan, in the remote southwest, to the eastern seaboard of China. These documentaries differ from the preceding Tang sources not only in scope but also in the precise information it provides.

Keywords:   military reputation, Ming period, Shaolin martial arts, Yunnan

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