Wuxia Films

Wuxia Films

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 武俠
Simplified Chinese 武侠
Literal meaning martial hero
- Hanyu Pinyin wǔxiá
- Hokkien POJ bú-kiap
Cantonese (Yue)
- Jyutping mou5-hap6
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese võ hiệp

Wuxia, which literally means "martial hero", is a broad genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms like Chinese opera, manhua (Chinese comics), films, television series, and video games. Wuxia is a component of popular culture in many Chinese-speaking communities around the world.

The word "wuxia" is a compound word composed of the words wu (Chinese: 武; Mandarin Pinyin: ; Jyutping: mou5), which means "martial", "military", or "armed", and xia (traditional Chinese: 俠; simplified Chinese: 侠; Mandarin Pinyin: xiá; Jyutping: haap6 / hap6), meaning "honourable", "chivalrous", or "hero". A martial artist who follows the code of xia is often referred to as a xiake (traditional Chinese: 俠客; simplified Chinese: 侠客; Mandarin Pinyin: xiákè; Jyutping: hap6-haak3; literally "follower of xia"; Vietnamese: hiệp khách) or youxia (traditional Chinese: 游俠; simplified Chinese: 游侠; Mandarin Pinyin: yóuxiá; Jyutping: jau4-hap6; literally "wandering xia"; Vietnamese: du hiệp). In some translated works of wuxia, the martial artist is sometimes termed as a "swordsman" even though he may not necessarily wield a sword.

Typically, the heroes in Chinese wuxia fiction do not serve a lord, wield military power or belong to the aristocratic class. They are often from the lower social classes of ancient Chinese society. Wuxia heroes are usually bound by a code of chivalry that requires them to right wrongs, especially when the helpless or the poor are oppressed. The wuxia hero fights for righteousness and seeks to remove an oppressor, redress wrongs, or to bring retribution for past misdeeds. The Chinese xia traditions can be contrasted with martial codes from other countries, such as the Japanese samurai's bushido tradition, the chivalry of medieval European knights and the gunslingers of America's Westerns.

Read more about Wuxia Films:  Themes, Plots and Settings, Books and Writers, Comics, Films, Video Games, See Also

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