Tokusatsu is a Japanese term for live-action film or television drama that makes heavy use of special effects. Tokusatsu entertainment deals with science fiction, fantasy or horror, but films and television shows in other genres can sometimes count as tokusatsu as well; the most popular types of tokusatsu include kaiju monster films like the Godzilla and Gamera film series. Some tokusatsu television programs combine several of these subgenres, for example the Ultraman and Super Sentai series. Tokusatsu is one of the most popular forms of Japanese entertainment, but despite the popularity of films and television programs based on tokusatsu properties such as Godzilla or Super Sentai, most tokusatsu films and television programs are not known outside Asia. Tokusatsu has origins in early Japanese theater in kabuki and in bunraku, which utilized some of the earliest forms of special effects puppetry. Modern tokusatsu, did not begin to take shape until the early 1950s, with the conceptual and creative birth of Godzilla, one of the most famous monsters of all time.
The special-effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya and the director Ishirō Honda became the driving forces behind 1954's Godzilla. Tsuburaya, inspired by the American film King Kong, formulated many of the techniques that would become staples of the genre, such as so-called suitmation—the use of a human actor in a costume to play a giant monster—combined with the use of miniatures and scaled-down city sets. Godzilla forever changed the landscape of Japanese science fiction and cinema by creating a uniquely Japanese vision in a genre dominated by American cinema. In 1954, Godzilla kickstarted the kaiju genre in Japan called the "Monster Boom", which remained popular for several decades, with characters such as the aforementioned Godzilla and King Ghidorah leading the market. However, in 1957 Shintoho produced the first film serial featuring the superhero character Super Giant, signaling a shift in popularity that favored masked heroes over giant monsters called the "Henshin Boom" started by Kamen Rider.
Along with the anime Astro Boy, the Super Giant serials had a profound effect on the world of tokusatsu. The following year, Moonlight Mask premiered, the first of numerous televised superhero dramas that would make up one of the most popular tokusatsu subgenres. Created by Kōhan Kawauchi, he followed-up its success with the tokusatsu superhero shows Seven Color Mask and Messenger of Allah, both starring a young Sonny Chiba; these original productions preceded the first color-television tokusatsu series, Ambassador Magma and Ultraman, which heralded the Kyodai Hero genre, wherein a regular-sized protagonist grows to larger proportions to fight large monsters. Popular tokusatsu superhero shows in the 1970s included Kamen Rider, Warrior of Love Rainbowman, Super Sentai and Spider-Man. Suitmation in Japanese identifies the process in tokusatsu movies and television programs used to portray a monster using suit acting; the exact origin of the term remains unknown. At the least, it was used to promote the Godzilla suit from The Return of Godzilla.
The many productions of tokusatsu series have general themes common throughout different groups. Kaiju productions feature monsters, or giant monsters; such series include Ultra Q, the Godzilla film series, the Gamera series, the Daimajin series, films such as Frankenstein Conquers the World, War of the Gargantuas, The X from Outer Space. Kaijin productions feature supervillains as their central character; this includes films such as The Secret of the Telegian, The Human Vapor, The H-Man, Half Human, Tomei Ningen. Since about 1960, several long-running television-series have combined various other themes. Tsuburaya Productions has had the Ultra Series starting with Ultra Q and Ultraman in 1966. P Productions began their foray into tokusatsu in 1966 with the series Ambassador Magma, they had involvement in the Lion-Maru series which concluded in November 2006. Toei Company has several series that fall under their Toei Superheroes category of programming, starting in 1961 with the single series, Moonlight Mask.
They produced several other long running series, starting with Shotaro Ishinomori's Kamen Rider Series in 1971, the Super Sentai series in 1975, the Metal Hero Series in 1982, the Toei Fushigi Comedy Series in 1981. Toei produced several other television series based on Ishinomori's works, including Android Kikaider and Kikaider 01, Robot Detective and Inazuman Flash, Kaiketsu Zubat. Toei was involved in the Spider-Man television series, which influenced their subsequent Super Sentai series. In 2003, TV Asahi began broadcasting the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series in a weekly one-hour block known as Super Hero Time. Toho, the creators of Godzilla had their hands in creating the Chouseishin Series of programs from 2003 to 2006. In 2006, Keita Amemiya's Garo, a mature late-night tokusatsu drama was released, starting a franchise composed of several television series and films. Other mature late-night series followed, including a revival of Lion-Maru in Lion-Maru G, the Daimajin Kanon television series, Shougeki Gouraigan!!.
Various movies classified as tokusatsu work like generalized science fiction films. These include Warning from Space (宇宙人東京に現わる, Uchūjin Tokyo ni arawaru, Spacemen Appear in Toky
Early history of fantasy
Elements of the supernatural and the fantastic were an element of literature from its beginning, though the idea of a distinct genre, in the modern sense, is less than two centuries old. The parallel article History of fantasy deals with fantasy literature in the English language; the history of French fantasy is covered in greater detail under Fantastique. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written over generations following the supposed reign of King Gilgamesh, is seen as a mythologized version of his life; this figure is sometimes an influence and, more a figure in modern fantasy. Some scholars believe The Epic of Gilgamesh is a source used by the authors of the Bible the story of Noah and the flood; the magic part of fantasy is due to the Mesopotamian world: the use of "magical words" that have the power to command the spirits. India has a long tradition of fantastical characters, dating back to Vedic mythology. Several modern fantasy works such as RG Veda draw on the Rig-Veda as a source. Hindu mythology was an evolution of the earlier Vedic mythology and had many more fantastical stories and characters in the Indian epics, such as the Mahabharata by Vyasa, the Ramayana by Valmiki, both of which were influential in Asia.
The Panchatantra was influential in the Middle East. It used various animal fables and magical tales to illustrate the central Indian principles of political science. Talking animals endowed with human qualities have now become a staple of modern fantasy; the Baital Pachisi is a collection of various fantasy tales set within a frame story about an encounter between King Vikramāditya and a Vetala, an early mythical creature resembling a vampire. According to Richard Francis Burton and Isabel Burton, the Baital Pachisi "is the germ which culminated in the Arabian Nights, which inspired the Golden Ass of Apuleius, Boccacio's Decamerone, the Pentamerone, all that class of facetious fictitious literature." Classical mythology is replete with fantastical stories and characters, the best known being the works of Homer and Virgil. The contribution of the Greco-Roman world to fantasy is vast and includes: The hero's journey; the philosophy of Plato has had great influence on the fantasy genre. In the Christian Platonic tradition, the reality of other worlds, an overarching structure of great metaphysical and moral importance, has lent substance to the fantasy worlds of modern works.
The world of magic is connected with the Roman Greek world. With Empedocles, the elements, they are used in fantasy works as personifications of the forces of nature. Other than magic concerns include: the use of a mysterious tool endowed with special powers. Myths important for fantasy include: The myth of Titans; the figures of Chinese dragons were influential on the modern fantasy use of the dragon, tempering the greedy evil diabolical Western dragon. Chinese traditions have been influential in the vein of fantasy known as Chinoiserie, including such writers as Ernest Bramah and Barry Hughart. Taoist beliefs about neijin and its influence on martial arts have been a major influence on wuxia, a subgenre of the martial arts film, sometimes fantasy, when the practice of wuxia is used fictitiously to achieve super-human feats, as in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; the most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of many ancient and medieval folk tales.
The epic reached its final form by the fourteenth century. All Arabian fairy tales were called "Arabian Nights" when translated into English, regardless of whether they appeared in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, in any version, a number of tales are known in Europe as "Arabian Nights" despite existing in no Arabic manuscript; this epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th century, first by Antoine Galland. Many imitations were written in France. Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba. Part of its popularity may have sprung from the increasing historical and geographical knowledge, so that places of which little was known and so marvels were plausible had to be set further "long ago" or farther "far away". A number of elements from Persian and Arabian mythology are now common in modern fantasy, such as genies, bahamuts, ma
Romantic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction, describing a fantasy story using many of the elements and conventions of the chivalric romance genre. One of the key features of romantic fantasy involves the focus on relationships, social and romantic. Romantic fantasy has been published by both fantasy lines and romance lines; some publishers distinguish between "romantic fantasy" where the fantasy elements is most important and "fantasy romance" where the romance are most important. Others say that "the borderline between fantasy romance and romantic fantasy has ceased to exist, or if it's still there, it's moving back and forth constantly". A teenager either from an overly strict or abusive family runs away and discovers that they possess either magical or psychic powers and a glorious destiny; this destiny involves saving a city, kingdom, or other large group from harm by a powerful villain or a dangerous monster. A somewhat older person a minor noble or someone who has lost a loved one and has left their previous home in search of a new life either overthrows an usurper or saves their kingdom from outside invasion.
Such characters are warriors, uncover the plot through a combination of intrigue and use of their powers. In the course of this adventure, the character falls in love and, by the end of the novel or at least by the end of the series, their lover becomes their life-partner; the complexities of this romance form a significant focus in these novels. In a time of troubles, a group of adolescents or adults are drawn together through circumstance and destiny to form a group or organization, larger than the sum of its parts; these young people are outcasts, orphans, or people on the fringes of society. Most or all of these people possess some form of special powers; the groups' special powers sometimes form a complementary set, such as a group comprising four people each of whom has the ability to command one of the four classical elements. These characters find friendship and sometimes love with the others in their newly formed group; this group ends up either overthrowing the current social order or overcoming some threat that no one else is aware of or able to face.
Characters may start as solitary wanderers in romantic fantasy, but they never remain that way for long. One of the key features of romantic fantasy involves the focus on social, to a lesser extent, political relationships; the characters all find close friends and other companions with whom they either live or travel, as well as a larger social circle where they all belong. In addition, many character have significant ties with the larger world. Many of these characters have a sworn duty to their kingdom; the rootless travelers of sword and sorcery novels are found in romantic fantasy. Catherine Asaro's Lost Continent series. Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. Tamora Pierce's The Immortals quartet. Wen Spencer's Tinker series. Fantasy romance Medieval fantasy Fantasy Romance Writers
Weird West is a subgenre that combines elements of the Western with another genre horror, fantasy or science fiction. DC's Weird Western Tales appeared in the early 1970s and the weird Western was further popularized by Joe R. Lansdale, best known for his tales of the'weird west,' a genre mixing splatterpunk with alternate history Western. Examples of these cross-genres include Deadlands, The Wild Wild West and its film adaptation, Jonah Hex, BraveStarr, The Goodbye Family, many others; when supernatural menaces of horror fiction are injected into a Western setting, it creates the horror Western. Writer G. W. Thomas has described how the two combine: "Unlike many other cross-genre tales, the weird Western uses both elements but with little loss of distinction; the Western setting is decidedly'Western' and the horror elements are obviously'horror.'"Jeff Mariotte's comic book series Desperadoes has been running, off and on, for a decade now and he still remains bullish about the genre: As far as Mariotte is concerned, the potential for Weird West stories is limitless.
"The West was a weird place. There are ghost towns and haunted mines and when you bring Native American beliefs into it the possibilities are greater." The term is of recent coinage, but the idea of crossing genres goes back to at least the heyday of pulp magazines. There was at least one series character. Lee Winters was a deputy whose adventures involved ghosts and creatures from Greek mythology; the Winters stories were published in the 1950s. Around that same time, one of the oddest of all Western characters, Six-Gun Gorilla, appeared; this was an actual gorilla who strapped on a pair of Colts to avenge the death of the kindly prospector who had raised him. His adventures appeared in the British story paper The Wizard. There have been various Weird West novels including Joe R. Lansdale's Dead in the West. In this book an unjustly lynched Indian shaman curses the town of Texas. After dark the dead rise and not the Reverend Jebediah Mercer can save the inhabitants. Examples include: "The Horror from the Mound" "Old Garfield's Heart" The Circus of Dr. Lao "The Dead Remember" "The Mound" ghostwritten by H.
P. Lovecraft for Zealia Bishop in abridged form in Weird Tales, 1940, in full in 1989. Outer Dark Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western Stephen King's Dark Tower saga The Place of Dead Roads Dead in the West Wolf in Shadow, The Haunted Mesa Stinger Razored Saddles The Last Guardian, Walking Wolf: A Weird Western Mad Amos A Fist Full O' Dead Guys For a Few Dead Guys More The "Ned the Seal" trilogy The Sundowners series Dead Man's Hand: Five Tales of the Weird West The Crossings The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl Territory Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter Me'ma and the Great Mountain Jack the Bastard: A Novella The Arrivals Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West Deadlands: Ghostwalkers Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising Deadlands: Boneyard Straight Outta Tombstone The Massacre at Yellow Hill Reno Nevada Rides to Hell In the 1960s, the television series The Wild Wild West brought elements of pulp espionage and science fiction to its Old West setting, the cartoon adventures of the Lone Ranger followed suit by pitting the famous Western hero against mad scientists and other villains not found in the Western genre.
Additionally, Rod Serling's supernatural anthology series The Twilight Zone featured a handful of Western episodes such as "Showdown with Rance McGrew" and "Mr. Denton on Doomsday." Other examples include: Bonanza: "Hoss and the Leprechauns" Black Noon The Hanged Man Cliffhangers: "The Secret Empire" Into the Badlands Wild West C. O. W.-Boys of Moo Mesa The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Legend The Lazarus Man Dead
Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while adding magical elements. It is sometimes called fabulism, in reference to the conventions of fables and allegory. "Magical realism" the most common term refers to fiction and literature in particular, with magic or the supernatural presented in an otherwise real-world or mundane setting. The terms are broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as "what happens when a detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe". Many writers are categorized as "magical realists", which confuses its wide definition. Irene Guenther tackles the German roots of the term, how art is related to literature. Magical realism is associated with Latin American literature authors including genre founders Gabriel García Márquez, Miguel Angel Asturias, Jorge Luis Borges, Elena Garro, Juan Rulfo, Rómulo Gallegos, Isabel Allende.
In English literature, its chief exponents include Salman Rushdie, Alice Hoffman, Nick Joaquin. Whereas, in Bengali Literature, prominent writers of magic realism include Nabarun Bhattacharya, Akhteruzzaman Elias, Shahidul Zahir, Jibanananda Das, Syed Waliullah, Nasreen Jahan and Humayun Ahmed. In Japanese literature, one of the most important authors of this genre is Haruki Murakami. While the term magical realism first appeared in English in 1955, the term Magischer Realismus, translated as magic realism, was first used by German art critic Franz Roh in 1925 to refer to a painterly style known as Neue Sachlichkeit, an alternative to expressionism championed by fellow German museum director Gustav Hartlaub. Roh identified magic realism's accurate detail, smooth photographic clarity, portrayal of the'magical' nature of the rational world, it reflects the uncanniness of our modern technological environment. Roh believed that magic realism was related to, but distinct from, due to magic realism's focus on the material object and the actual existence of things in the world, as opposed to surrealism's more cerebral and subconscious reality.
Magic realism was used to describe the uncanny realism by American painters such as Ivan Albright, Peter Blume, Paul Cadmus, Gray Foy, George Tooker and Viennese-born Henry Koerner, along other artists during the 1940s and 1950s. However, in contrast with its use in literature, magic realist art does not include overtly fantastic or magical content, but rather looks at the mundane through a hyper-realistic and mysterious lens. German magic realist paintings influenced the Italian writer Massimo Bontempelli, called the first to apply magic realism to writing, aiming to capture the fantastic, mysterious nature of reality. In 1926 he founded the magic realist magazine 900. Novecento, his writings influenced Belgian magic realist writers Johan Daisne and Hubert Lampo. Roh's magic realism influenced writers in Hispanic America, where it was translated as realismo mágico in 1927. Venezuelan writer Arturo Uslar-Pietri, who had known Bontempelli, wrote influential magic realist short stories in the 1930s and 40s that focused on the mystery and reality of how we live.
Luis Leal attests that Pietri seemed to have been the first to adopt the term realismo mágico in Hispanic America in 1948. There is evidence that Mexican writer Elena Garro used the same term to describe the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann but dismissed her own work as a part of the genre. French-Russian Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, who rejected Roh's magic realism as tiresome pretension, developed his related concept lo real maravilloso, or marvelous realism, in 1949. Maggie Ann Bowers writes that marvelous realist literature and art expresses "the opposed perspectives of a pragmatic and tangible approach to reality and an acceptance of magic and superstition" within an environment of differing cultures; the term magical realism, as opposed to magic realism, first emerged in the 1955 essay "Magical Realism in Spanish American Fiction" by critic Angel Flores in reference to writing that combines aspects of magic realism and marvelous realism. While Flores named Jorge Luis Borges as the first magical realist, he failed to acknowledge either Carpentier or Pietri for bringing Roh's magic realism to Latin America.
Borges is seen as a predecessor of magical realists, with only Flores considering him a true magical realist. After Flores's essay, there was a resurgence of interest in marvelous realism, after the Cuban revolution of 1959, led to the term magical realism being applied to a new type of literature known for matter-of-fact portrayal of magical events; the extent to which the characteristics below apply to a given magic realist text varies. Every text employs a smattering of the qualities listed here. However, they portray what one might expect from a magic realist text. Magical realism portrays fantastical events in an otherwise realistic tone, it brings fables, folk tales, myths into contemporary social relevance. Fantasy traits given to characters, such as levitation and telekinesis, help to encompass modern political realities that can be phantasmagorical; the existence of fantasy elements in the real world provides the basis for magical realism. Writers do not invent new worlds but reveal the magical in this world, as was done by Gabriel García Márquez who wrote the seminal work of the style, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
In the world of magical realism, the supernatural realm blends with the familiar world. Authorial reticence is the "deliberate withholding of information and explanations about the disconcerting fictiti
History of fantasy
Elements of the supernatural and the fantastic were an element of literature from its beginning. The modern genre is distinguished from tales and folklore, that contain fantastic elements, firstly by the acknowledged fictitious nature of the work, secondly by the naming of an author. Works in which the marvels were not believed, or only half-believed, such as the European romances of chivalry and the tales of the Arabian Nights evolved into works with such traits. Authors like George MacDonald created the first explicitly fantastic works. In the twentieth century, the publication of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien enormously influenced fantasy writing, establishing the form of epic fantasy; this did much to establish the genre of fantasy as commercially distinct and viable. And today fantasy continues as an expansive, multi-layered medium encompassing many subgenres, including traditional high fantasy and sorcery, magical realism, fairytale fantasy, horror-tinged dark fantasy. There is further discussion of the history of fantasy in other languages in "Sources of fantasy" and the history of French fantasy literature is covered in greater detail under "Fantastique".
The most fantastic myths and fairy tales differ from modern fantasy genre in three respects: Modern genre fantasy postulates a different reality, either a fantasy world separated from ours, or a hidden fantasy side of our own world. In addition, the rules, history, etc. of this world tend to be defined if they are not described outright. Traditional fantastic tales take place in our world in the past or in far off, unknown places, it describes the place or the time with any precision saying that it happened "long ago and far away." The second difference is. In traditional tales the degree to which the author considered the supernatural to be real can span the spectrum from legends taken as reality to myths understood as describing in understandable terms more complicated reality, to late, intentionally fictitious literary works; the fantastic worlds of modern fantasy are created by an author or group of authors using traditional elements, but in a novel arrangement and with an individual interpretation.
Traditional tales with fantasy elements used familiar myths and folklore, any differences from tradition were considered variations on a theme. Transitions between the traditional and modern modes of fantastic literature are evident in early Gothic novels, the ghost stories in vogue in the 19th century, Romantic novels, all of which used extensively traditional fantastic motifs, but subjected them to authors' concepts. By one standard, no work created before the fantasy genre was defined can be considered to belong to it, no matter how many fantastic elements it includes. By another, the genre includes the whole range of fantastic literature, both the modern genre and its traditional antecedents, as many elements which were treated as true by earlier authors are wholly fictitious and fantastic for modern readers, but by the more limited definition a full examination of the history of the fantastic in literature is necessary to show the origins of the modern genre. Traditional works contain significant elements which modern fantasy authors have drawn upon extensively for inspiration in their own works.
With increases in learning in the medieval European era, literary fiction joined earlier myths and legends. Among the first genres to appear was romance; this genre embraced fantasy, not only followed traditional myths and fables, but, in its final form, added new fantastical elements. Romance at first dealt with traditional themes, above all three thematic cycles of tales, assembled in imagination at a late date as the Matter of Rome, the Matter of France and the Matter of Britain, although a number of "non-cyclical" romances achieved a great deal of popularity; the romances themselves were fictional, but such tales as Valentine and Orson, Guillaume de Palerme, Queste del Saint Graal were only the beginning of the fantasy genre, combining realism and fantasy. During the Renaissance, romance continued to be popular; the trend was to more fantastic fiction. The English Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, was written in prose. Arthurian motifs have appeared in literature from its publication, though the works have been a mix of fantasy and non-fantasy works.
At the time, it and the Spanish Amadis de Gaula, spawned many imitators, the genre was popularly well-received, producing such masterpiece of Renaissance poetry as Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso and Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata. Ariosto's tale, with its endlessly wandering characters, many marvels, adventures, was a source text for many fantasies of adventure. With such works as Amadis of Gaul and Palmerin of England, the genre of fantasy was inaugurated, as the marvels are deployed to amaze and surprise readers. One English romance is The Faerie Queene of Edmund Spenser; the poem is allegorical and allusive. Leaving allegory aside, the action
Wuxia, which means "martial heroes", is a genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of fantasy literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms such as Chinese opera, mànhuà, television series and video games, it forms part of popular culture in many Chinese-speaking communities around the world. The word "wǔxiá" is a compound composed of the elements wǔ and xiá. A martial artist who follows the code of xia is referred to as a xiákè or yóuxiá. In some translations, the martial artist is referred to as a "swordsman" or "swordswoman" though he or she may not wield a sword; the heroes in wuxia fiction do not serve a lord, wield military power, or belong to the aristocratic class. They originate from the lower social classes of ancient Chinese society. A code of chivalry requires wuxia heroes to right and redress wrongs, fight for righteousness, remove oppressors, bring retribution for past misdeeds.
Chinese xia traditions can be compared to martial codes from other cultures such as the Japanese samurai's bushidō tradition. Though the term "wuxia" as the name of a genre is a recent coinage, stories about xia date back more than 2,000 years. Wuxia stories have their roots in some early youxia tales from 300–200 BCE; the Legalist philosopher Han Fei spoke disparagingly of youxias in his book Han Feizi in the chapter On Five'Maggot' Classes about five social classes in the Spring and Autumn period. Some well-known stories include Zhuan Zhu's assassination of King Liao of Wu, most notably, Jing Ke's attempt on the life of the King of Qin. In Volume 86 of the Records of the Grand Historian, Sima Qian mentioned five notable assassins – Cao Mo, Zhuan Zhu, Yu Rang, Nie Zheng and Jing Ke – in the Warring States period who undertook tasks of conducting political assassinations of aristocrats and nobles; these assassins were known as cike. They rendered their loyalties and services to feudal lords and nobles in return for rewards such as riches and women.
In Volume 124 of the Shi Ji, Sima Qian detailed several embryonic features of xia culture from his period. These popular phenomena were documented in other historical records such as the Book of Han and the Book of the Later Han. Xiake stories returned in the form of chuanqi. Stories from that era, such as Nie Yinniang, The Kunlun Slave, Thirteenth Madame Jing, Red String and The Bearded Warrior, served as prototypes for modern wuxia stories, they featured fantasies and isolated protagonists – loners – who performed daring heroic deeds. During the Song dynasty, similar stories circulated in the huaben, short works that were once thought to have served as prompt-books for shuochang; the genre of the martial or military romance developed during the Tang dynasty. In the Ming dynasty, Luo Guanzhong and Shi Nai'an wrote Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin which are among the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature; the former is a romanticised historical retelling of the events in the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period, while the latter criticises the deplorable socio-economic status of the late Northern Song dynasty.
Water Margin is seen as the first full-length wuxia novel: the portrayal of the 108 heroes, their code of honour and willingness to become outlaws rather than serve a corrupt government, played an influential role in the development of jianghu culture in centuries. Romance of the Three Kingdoms is seen as a possible early antecedent and contains classic close-combat descriptions that were borrowed by wuxia writers in their worksIn the Qing dynasty, further developments were the gong'an and related detective novels, where xia and other heroes, in collaboration with a judge or magistrate, solved crimes and battled injustice; the Justice Bao stories from Sanxia Wuyi and Xiaowuyi, incorporated much of social justice themes of wuxia stories. Xiayi stories of chivalrous romance, which featured female heroes and supernatural fighting abilities surfaced during the Qing dynasty. Novels such as Shi Gong'an Qiwen and Ernü Yingxiong Zhuan have been cited as the clearest nascent wuxia novels; the term "wuxia" as a genre label itself first appeared at the end of the Qing dynasty, a calque of the Japanese "bukyō", a genre of oft-militaristic and bushido-influenced adventure fiction.
The term was brought to China by writers and students who hoped that China would modernise its military and place emphasis on martial virtues, it became entrenched as the term used to refer to xiayi and other predecessors of wuxia proper. In Japan, the term "bukyō" faded into obscurity. Many wuxia works produced during the Ming and Qing dynasties were lost due to the governments' crackdown on and banning of such works. Wuxia works were deemed responsible for brewing anti-government sentiments, which led to rebellions in those eras; the departure from mainstream literature meant that patronage of this genre was limited to the masses and not to the literati, which led to the stifling of the development of the wuxia genre. Nonetheless, the wuxia genre remained enormously popular with the common people; the modern wuxia genre rose to prominence in the early 20th ce