Episode 88 – The Quest for Immortality

This week; a mad emperor on a quest to live forever, and the sorcerer who led an expedition to make it happen and may just have founded Japanese civilization in the process (but probably not). It’s the likely untrue but still fun and interesting story of Xu Fu!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Tsingsheng Wei, Xu Fu Yu Riben [Xu Fu and Japan]

Yuning Li, The First Emperor of China.

The Cambridge History of China, Vol 1.

Mie Prefecture has a nice piece about the history of Jofuku Shrine here. The Japan National Tourism Office has another here.

This article by the Japan Times covers some of the DNA evidence used to suggest the Xu Fu-Yayoi Japan link.

Qin Shi Huang, the mad emperor whose quest for immortality sparked Xu Fu's sea voyages.
Qin Shi Huang, the mad emperor whose quest for immortality sparked Xu Fu’s sea voyages.
Mount Penglai (Horai in Japanese), the mystical island supposedly home to the elixir of immortality.
Mount Penglai (Horai in Japanese), the mystical island supposedly home to the elixir of immortality.
Xu Fu's fleet on its second expedition. This later rendering is from the Qing Dynasty.
Xu Fu’s fleet on its second expedition. This later rendering is from the Qing Dynasty.
A statue of Xu Fu in modern Weihai, Shandong.
A statue of Xu Fu in modern Weihai, Shandong.
Jofuku Shrine, where Xu Fu (Jofuku in Japanese) was enshrined as a kami by Tokugawa Yorinobu in the 1630s. Courtesy of the Mie Prefecture Tourism Bureau.
Jofuku Shrine, where Xu Fu (Jofuku in Japanese) was enshrined as a kami by Tokugawa Yorinobu in the 1630s. Courtesy of the Mie Prefecture Tourism Bureau.
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3 thoughts on “Episode 88 – The Quest for Immortality

  1. Quxxy

    The link to the episode doesn’t appear to go anywhere. I just get a page saying “No posts!”. The previous episode had a direct link to an .mp3 on traffic.libsyn.com. I tried taking the episode 87 link and changing it to 88, but that led nowhere, either.

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