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
Xu Fu Yu Riben [Xu Fu and Japan ]
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.
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.
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.
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.