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Inspiring tale of philosopher's younger years prompts new IP

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-19 08:39
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A poster for the launch ceremony of the IP series, Adventure of a Young Hero, promoting inspiring stories from the youth of Chinese philosopher Wang Yangming. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A diverse range of cultural products centering on the inspiring story of Wang Yangming's youth will be produced to promote the profound ideas of the preeminent Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) philosophical thinker and politician among young generations.

The multimedia products, including novels, comics, musicals, animated movies and immersive plays, are going to be created under a new intellectual property series Adventure of a Young Hero, which was launched on Thursday.

Wang's philosophical teachings are rooted in the Confucian tradition and are characterized by belief in the mind as the fundamental principle, the unity of knowledge and action, and the extension of good conscience. These doctrines have been extensively discussed by scholars from various parts of the world.

During his two-year sojourn in Guizhou province, Wang's enlightenment marked the beginning of his "school of mind" philosophy, which emphasizes the cultivation of the "heart-mind" and self-awareness as crucial elements in promoting moral development and social harmony. This has been widely regarded by scholars and experts as a significant contribution to Confucianism, a philosophical and ethical system that emphasizes personal and social morality.

The project, initiated by Guizhou Publishing Group's Dandelion Children's Book House and some other cultural institutions, aims to carry out a long-term plan to continuously produce high-quality cultural products that tell Wang's stories.

It is instructed by the provincial publicity department of Guizhou, Guizhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles and Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

"Guizhou province has recently placed a high emphasis on promoting and spreading 'Yangming culture' through various channels. In addition to Peking Opera and drama productions, we have also explored the use of other media, such as movies, TV shows, animation and theatrical plays," says Xie Nian, deputy director of the provincial publicity department of Guizhou.

"Despite their successes, the cultural products related to Wang have predominantly targeted adult audiences and focused on historical depictions or individual works associated with him. Thus, there is still considerable potential for expanding and modernizing the cultural experience to create a more inclusive and comprehensive appeal for a wider audience."

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