Stereotypical "Confucian" Wisdom
The comic panel Ching Chow was launched in 1927 by Sidney Smith and Stanley Link, running for sixty years under numerous creators. After Smith died in 1935, the comic was solely credited to Link. The present scrapbook contains clippings from the Stanley Link era of the comic. The single-panel comic was syndicated through the Chicago Tribune - New York Daily News Syndicate.
Like the character of Charlie Chan, Ching Chow has been criticized as reinforcing condescending Asian stereotypes. Yet as an item of popular culture, the Ching Chow comic shines light on the concerns of the time. As a purveyor of pseudo-Confucianism to the American public (one writer described the comic panel as not "as much a strip as it was a daily fortune cookie"), this comic clearly touched the lives of some people in a significant way.
Sample pearls of wisdom from Ching Chow:
- It is written on jade - wisdom rides upon the ruins of folly.
- Who can deny - a man may die old at thirty or young at eighty.
- Wind and fortune are not lasting
- It is heard from the voice of all great men - to endure injuries with a brave mind is one half the conquest.
- Wealth does not always improve us - a man, as he gets to be worth more - may become worth-less.
- Most of the shadows that cross our pathway through life are caused by our standing in our own way.
- It is truly said - in diving for pleasures we bring up more gravel than pearls.