Manchu cropping up in very strange places

A while ago I posted about a guy I bumped into with Manchu script on his shirt.  Now I found something even more odd.  You’ve probably seen those kinds of notebooks that students often buy with forms in them where their classmates are supposed to fill in their contact information and their likes and dislikes.  Look at this example (below the fold): Continue reading Manchu cropping up in very strange places

Manchu script in modern fashion

Having started summer vacation, I brought my kids up to Jilin to see the relatives for a couple weeks. I skipped down to Beijing for a couple days to meet up with Victor Mair, David Moser, Joel Martinsen, Brendan O’Kane, and Syz.  On the way back I had to switch trains in Changchun.  I found a cell phone charger and while I was waiting for it to charge, a guy came up and stood near me.  I glanced at his t-shirt and was very surprised at what I saw. Continue reading Manchu script in modern fashion

Where the story took place

The story of the Nishan Shaman is generally considered to be a legend, undoubtedly because there is no empirical evidence that shamans can travel to the underworld and raise the dead.  But many legends are based on real events.  And of course there is a lot of fiction that is set in real places.  Based on matching geographical information from the story to real geographical information, I believe I have determined the physical setting of the beginning of the story. Continue reading Where the story took place

Where is Lolo?

As soon as my kids got out of school for the Spring Festival (mid-February), I stuffed them in the car and headed up to Harbin to see the Ice Festival. We passed a village on Route 202 called 拉林 (lālín), and it crossed my mind that with a little phonetic change, maybe it used to be Lolo, the village mentioned in the opening sentence of The Book of the Nisan Shaman.  On the way back I stopped there to get some snacks and found that it was a Manchu village and there was Manchu writing on signs everywhere. Continue reading Where is Lolo?