Louis Cha (or Jin Yong), who is best known for his martial arts and literary novels, received a hero’s sendoff before his funeral this afternoon (Nov 13). The prolific Chinese writer passed away on Oct 30 at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital at the age of 94; he had liver cancer and dementia, according to Hong Kong media reports.
Although his funeral was not open to the public, throngs of TV media, reporters and members of the public gathered along the road leading to the funeral parlour to bid farewell to the Chinese writer.
Hundreds of flower stands lined the hallway which led to the entrance of his funeral, and the main hall was decorated with a fresh flower altar made with more than 30,000 stalks of fresh flowers.
Louis is hailed as the master of pugilistic novels and has penned a total of 15 books during his lifetime, some of these titles such as The Swordsman, The Return of the Condor Heroes, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, to name a few, have been adapted for television over the years.
Actors such as Huang Xiaoming and Joe Chen, who have played his literary characters, and filmmakers Johnnie To and Ann Hui also turned up to pay their final respects yesterday. In an interview with the media, the Chinese actor expressed immense respect for the prolific writer and thanked him for giving TV audience a chance to know him via his roles in The Return of the Condor Heroes and The Deer and the Cauldron.
“That’s why I had to come see him off on his final journey and at the same time visit his wife,” he added.
Taiwanese actress Joe, who played Dong Fang Bu Bai in 2013’s Swordsman (an adaptation of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer), is known to share a close-knit relationship with Louis and his wife as the latter is a fan of her TV shows. The actress visits the elderly couple in Hong Kong every year and specially flew in yesterday to pay her last respects to him.
Hong Kong actor Ray Lui, who starred in Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge (a TV adaptation of novel The Book and the Sword) as well as The Legend of the Condor Heroes, reported that the atmosphere in the mourning hall was not very sad.
"I really like the character Qiao Feng from Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils and wish to have the chance to play him," said Ray. "Louis watched me in The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain (adapted from novels Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain and The Young Flying Fox) and praised my acting. It was very encouraging to me."
Apart from family members, close friends hailing from the political and business world also turned up to pay their last respects to the novelist, including Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma, fellow novelist and Louis’ good friend Ni Kuang.
Photos: PBE Media