By day, John works in communications. By night (and weekends), he produces English-language podcasts where he retells classic Chinese tales in a way that makes them more approachable for Western audiences.
From 2014-2018, John produced the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Podcast (3kingdomspodcast.com). Currently, he is working on the Water Margin Podcast (outlawsofthemarsh.com). The stories John covers have been read, told, retold, and cherished by billions of people in China for centuries. Their influence on Chinese culture is the equal of Shakespearean plays and Homeric sagas in the West, yet most Westerners are completely unaware of these amazing works. One of John’s main motivations for creating these podcasts is to introduce non-Chinese audiences to these amazing stories.
Questions now closed.
“The earth rat follows the golden tiger; the villain is shortly doomed!”
In Episode 88, you promised to explain what this meant later, but apparently it never made the final cut of the podcast. What does this prophecy mean? I think it has something to do with the Sima clan taking over Wei, with a reference to the Chinese Zodiac, but I would love a full explanation.
As a long time fan, firstly thank you for the amazing body of work! Any reason why you picked Water Margin over Journey to the West (which is hopefully next?)
I just discovered your podcast about two months ago, and I have almost finished 3 Kingdoms. Looking forward to starting on Water Margin. I’m incredibly grateful for what you’re doing. I love the way you’re retelling the story, your historical comments and your sense of humor. Zhuge Liang would have been proud of you!
Two questions. Could you say something about the history of two character vs one character given names? I read somewhere that Wang Mang banned two character give names, but I was never able to find any details. Is there anybody in 3 Kingdoms with a two character given name?
The second question is about the way you often (always?) say “the general X”, instead of “general X”. I know that you should say “the Kangxi emperor” instead of “emperor Kangxi”. Is there something similar going on here?
Did spending so much time with some of the characters in these stories change your opinion of any if them?
And did spending hundreds of hours on these two stories, writing scripts, etc make you view any plot elements or overall themes differently?
Hi John what are some things people should know before starting a podcast? The good and the bad surprises.