Mini FAQ

Mini FAQ

What is xianxia? Meaning literally ‘immortal hero’, xianxia is essentially Chinese high fantasy. Stories often feature ghosts, fairies, magical beasts, magic, and other supernatural events.

What is a cultivation novel? A cultivation novel is one that centers on the idea that ‘cultivating‘, a process by which the body distills qi and refines it to become closer to the Tao, can lead to eternal life if undertaken with seriousness. Cultivation novels follow the actions of one or many heroes as they undertake the trials of reaching for immortality through martial combat, self-reflection, and discipline.

I really recommend heading over to Immortal Mountain to read more in-depth about these types of Chinese fantasy media.

What is transmigration? Transmigration refers to the movement of a person’s consciousness from one world to another. Sometimes this involves changing bodies as well; a young man from Japan becomes a slime monster in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, for example. Transmigration may also be a kind of ‘time travel’, so someone with a general education wakes up in a pre-Industrialized world and is able to guide people with this knowledge. Part of the appeal of these stories is a kind of power fantasy (ex: understanding sanitation and germ theory in medieval times) as well as fantasy of the novel, new, or unfamiliar (ex: a high school student who transmigrates and becomes a magician.)

What is danmei? Homoerotic art and literature in China, predominantly produced by women or women-aligned persons. Its relatively recent development belies the centuries-long history of queer relationships in China. Since homosexual content is currently outlawed in mainland China, the vague nature of danmei as a ‘women’s genre’ allows danmei to function as a haven for queer narratives in a hostile political environment. Derived from and analogous to the Japanese ‘boys love‘ genre.


Is there a place I can see what characters are used in proper names? Yes, I have a cast list that will be updated as new cast members appear or are mentioned in the text. The names are in Traditional Chinese.

Do you have a map of the sects’s lands? I do, but except for a rough copy, it’s in my head. I’d like to have an actual map done, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. Click here to read more about the sects.

There are some differences between ysys and standard xianxia conventions, but I don’t know that I can talk about them here without spoilers. If you have other questions about how the world of ysys works but want to remain anonymous, please send me a curiouscat! I’ll do my best to answer things in a non-spoilery way. I don’t check it often, honestly, but I’ll try to do better about that.


Is there a way I can add Yu Shou Yi Shi to my RSS reader? Add https://yushouyishi.wordpress.com/feed to your reader, and that should work.