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Jinshu / Xiaoshuowang [1]
Editors - Wong Fa Chit (Huang Huajie)
Date of Publication
Frist issue avaliable
Date of Publication
Last issue avaliable
Price for each issue : 20 cents

The front page of Jinshu – which means ‘prohibited books’ – carried a caption warning readers that the magazine would ‘bear zero liability for any death caused by reading this’. Clarifying this statement was a note carried in its first issue saying that it intended to publish ‘devious, obscene, wicked stories of karma’ so as to ‘prohibit people from wrong-doing’. To this end, most of its contents were about ‘thieving, deceiving, kidnapping and cheating (of which extra-marital affairs are the most popular)’, often with a twist of voluptuousness and mystery. The magazine’s principal editorial writer was presumably Huang Huajie.

Jinshu appears to have attracted the attention of censors on occasion, with part of some of its works blanked out and the publication of remarks that a piece was absent because ‘the entire article was censored’. After switching its title to Xiaoshuowang (‘King of Fiction’), although its range of contents broadened, it also continued to publish many items similar to those it had previously featured. For example, a selection of its ‘Top Ten Fiction’ highlighted ‘hotty-spicy-fiction’, ‘sugary-cloying fiction’, ‘bitter-vinegary fiction’, ‘heartsy-tipsy fiction, ‘deathly-twisty fiction’, ‘yummy-yummy fiction’, ‘opera star and film star pictorial fiction’, ‘talent competition fiction’, ‘real life fiction’ and ‘sea-and-soil-relocated fiction’.

While many of these categories are self-explanatory, some are confusing. For instance, ‘talent competition fiction’ refers to detective stories, while ‘sea-and-soil-relocated fiction’ means ‘old-tales retold’ (usually in the most extreme and demeaning manner).

Jinshu/Xiaoshuowang was a magazine that embodied much of the ‘Cantonese style’ – authors and illustrators were mostly Cantonese who chiefly wrote in either Cantonese, ‘Saam Kap Dai’ or simple classical Chinese about folk tales on weird subjects, mysterious or supernatural subjects or to refashion old kinds of story-telling.

Location The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library
Contributors Wong Fa Chit (Huang Huajie) · Wu Ge · Li Duowen · Lao Ran · Nian Xuke · Su Wei · Jiuwenlong · Paolongtao · Yiyunsheng · Xieyacha · Xin Fan · Jinwang Mojie · Si Malong · Ha Mite · Weifeng · Li Nu · Xiao Feng · Li De · Er Shugong · Gongyuan Dashu · Ming Sheng · Yu Yu · Hai Liang · Can Lang · Feng Tu · Wen Yaren · Lingxiaosheng · Qian Jin · Xiao Ling · Chong Ming · Wen Lang · Feng Yuan · De Jun · WU Wuwu · Wang Xiangqin · Bai Long · He Wu · Lu Zhui · Cang Sheng · Huacong Fendie · Lü Bo · Tian Mengsheng · Wei Qin · Deng Jiyu · Chun Jiu · Chun Hua · Ya Cha · Jiang Gong · Tie Gong · Ji Chan

[1] It ceased its publication on January 18, 1941. When it resumed its publication on February 12, 1941, it was titled as Xiaoshuowang.