Wednesday, September 28, 2005

War Legacy In a Little White To-Go Container

There is no doubt that Go has been changed by the mange, Hikaru No Go. The mass of players flocking to internet Go servers because of the manga has renewed popularity of the game in Japan, and created new market overseas. You can expect that when a large group of people begin to play a game based on a comic book that there will be plenty of bad with good. I am not really interested in debating the pro's and con's of the manga's influence, but I have heard one thing more than once: You mean Honinbo Shusaku was a real person? History twists it's legacies in strange ways and I fear Go's greatest player will one day only be known as a puppet-body of a fictional character, Fujiwara-No-Sai. It reminded me of another strange twist of history.

General Zuo Zongtang was a brilliant Qing dynasty leader who helped put down both the Taiping and Nian Rebellions in China. While in China he is still known for his wise leadership and battlefield skills, in the West, his name has somehow found a home with a dish of fried chicken parts, spicy sauce, and rice. History cannot tell us for sure how one famous General became stuck with America's favorite Chinese food. No doubt a Chinese restaurant owner used the name to add "spice" to one of his dishes. And so the West is left with the legacy of General Zuo Zongtang, that General with that Chinese fried thing-chicken dish that you always order when we go out. History........ Masters of Go and General Tso's Chicken dance to a strange tune.


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