Best-selling writer and newspaper co-founder Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known by his pen name Jin Yong, was honored by top Chinese and Hong Kong officials, as well as prominent business and entertainment figures, during a private funeral service at the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point following his death two weeks ago.
Among those who sent wreaths for Cha, considered one of the most influential Chinese martial arts novelists of the 20th century, were President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Han Zheng, and former premiers Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Tung Chee-hwa, former chief executive and incumbent vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body, also sent wreaths.
Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma Yun was among those who attended the funeral service in North Point on Monday night.
Wreaths were also sent by billionaire Li Ka-shing and singer-movie star Andy Lau Tak-wah, who once acted as a protagonist in a television adaptation of Cha’s novel The Return of the Condor Heroes.
Cha died on Oct. 30 at the age of 94. The casket with his remains was transported to Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island for cremation on Tuesday.
Cha, a co-founder Ming Pao newspaper, was famous for his wuxia fiction about virtuous martial arts masters in ancient China. He wrote 15 novels in this genre between 1955 and 1972 and they have been adapted into a number of TV and radio dramas, stage performances, films, comics, animations and video games.
The number of his readers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is estimated to be around 100 million.
An elegiac couplet, which was hung on both sides of the mourning hall at the funeral home, read, “飛雪連天射白鹿，笑書神俠倚碧鴛”, with each of the Chinese characters borrowed from the first characters of the titles of 14 of the novels Cha wrote.
People from literary and entertainment circles also showed up at the hall to pay tribute to Jin Yong, including novelist Ni Kuang, authors Chua Lam and Benny Li Shun-yan, film directors Ann Hui On-wah and Johnnie To Kei-fung, actors Huang Xiaoming and Ray Lui Leung-wai, and actress Joe Chen Chiao-en.
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin set up a condolence book outside the Jin Yong Gallery, which the public can sign until the end of the month.
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