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San Mao. San Mao was created by the Chinese creator Zhang Leping and appeared in comic strips, comic books, cartoons, movies, plays, television shows, and online games from 1935 to the present, beginning with “San Mao” (Xiaochenbao, 1935).

San Mao is a homeless Chinese boy, called “San Mao” (three hairs) because of the sparse hair on his head, who has a variety of adventuress. Initially his adventures are of the ordinary sort for a child, involving bullies and widdle kittens, but following the end of World War Two San Mao is shown fighting the Japanese, defeating a platoon of the enemy, and serving as a “dare to die” soldier. Following the downfall of the Republic of China and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, San Mao’s adventures took on an overtly class-based tinge, with the starving, shivering San Mao trying to outwit the gluttonous bourgeois of Shanghai.

* I'm including the San Mao narratives in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their historical importance. The San Mao comic strips, comic books, etc., were initially popular but kept on growing in popularity so that by the establishment of the PRC in 1949 San Mao was a kind of national mascot or icon for the Chinese. After 1949 his cartoons became increasingly class-based, voicing (in variously subtle and unsubtle ways) the official policy of the government--whatever else the government did, they knew that many people would listen to San Mao's advice. 

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