Undead with Chinese Characteristics
Are you still looking for a Halloween costume? It’s not too late! Just grab your bathrobe and your mandarin’s cap and you’ll be a jiāngshī – a Chinese zombie, that is.
Jiāngshī aren’t quite the same as the brain-eating undead of the West. In Mandarin, jiāngshī literally means “stiff corpse,” in reference to rigor mortis. They are reanimated corpses, either ancient and undecomposed or freshly undead, but with Chinese characteristics. For one, they wear the outfits of Qing dynasty officials: robes and domed hats. If they catch up with you, they suck out your life energy, your qì, instead of your brains. Their limbs are stiff, so they move by ...hopping. George Romero wasn’t consulted on this point.