Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Buddhism arrives in America: Kung Fu (TV)

David Carradine, Kwai Chang Caine (Kung Fu) via Grasshopper, 4/28/18; Wisdom Quarterly
Master and Grasshopper in Shaolin Buddhist temple where Kwai Chang Caine was trained

Kung Fu: Caine vs. Apache Leader (Part 1)
This clip taken from the episode in Series 1 called "Dark Angel," starring David Carradine as Caine, Keye Luke as Master Po, Paul Harper as Davey Peartree, and Larry Duran as the Apache leader.

Guide to Buddhist America (Morreale)
Kung Fu probably had more to do with the sudden popularity of Buddhism in North America than WW II and the discovery of Zen Buddhism and Japanese customs by U.S. troops overseas.

D.K. Suzuki and other translators, and the great British cultural translator, Alan Watts, may also have had a great deal to do with it. But for popularity's sake, this brought the Dharma to the West and incited a martial arts craze.

Kung Fu is an American action-adventure martial arts western drama television series starring David Carradine (as the grown up "Grasshopper"). The series follows the adventures of Kwai Chang Caine.

He's portrayed by David Carradine as an adult, Keith Carradine as a teen, and Radames Pera as a boy.

The character is a Shaolin Buddhist monk who travels through the American Old West, armed only with his Buddhist spiritual training and his skill in martial arts, as he seeks Danny Caine, his half-brother.

Many of the aphorisms used in the series are adapted from or derived directly from the Tao Te Ching ("The Book of Changes"), a famous text of ancient Taoist philosophy attributed to the sage Lao-tzu. More

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