Through a Lens Darkly (39): The Strength of Chinese Boxers

Kung Fu Tea

Vintage photography, circa 1860-1900. Photographer unknown. Vintage photography, circa 1860-1900. Photographer unknown.

Introduction

Some of the most popular posts at Kung Fu Tea have examined vintage images of traditional martial artists.  These are also among my favorites to research.  Yet it seems that I have neglected this subject with all of the other projects that have come up this summer.  Hopefully this post will go some distance towards rectifying that oversight.

The internet is both a blessing and curse to those doing research.  It allows us to regularly discover new treasures.  Yet such finds are often presented in a decontextualized way that makes interpreting them challenging.

This post adds two new vintage images to our discussion.  Unfortunately both are “orphaned,” meaning that I have yet to locate the exact place and date of their creation.  Nor do they share a single medium.  Nevertheless, these images are thematically linked in ways that suggest an interesting moment in…

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