Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As often said, you apply what you learnt, but only few can practically be able to nourish with what they learnt. Literary Lu Xun, comic book creator Osamu Tezuka, novelist Louis Cha (Gum Yung), all proved that using what they learnt "wisely" were even more important. Seven Little Fortunes' Second Brother Yuen Tai gave up martial arts for business and developed in the North American food industry by relying on his lifetime of intelligence.

According to Yuen Tai, when Yu Jim Yuen fell on hard times in the U.S. the disciples felt confused and helpless with their future. He says, "At the time 20 some of us chose to stay in the U.S. and temporarily stayed at a friend's apartment. In order to make a living, those of us who were strong and able all went to work."

Moved To Seaside, Next To The Water Eat From The Water

With black hair, black eyes and yellow skin, they inevitably were abused and taken advantage of when making a living in a foreign land. Yuen Tai says, "At first when I worked in Los Angeles, the money that I made this week was gone by the next. Later I went to Texas for a change of environment. Once I went to the seaside and saw an endless sea. The sea was very beautiful and had a lot of fishes swimming back and forth. I asked the old lady, let's move to the seaside! After moving to the seaside, I thought about opening a restaurant. So I used several tens of thousands in saving and 20 some days in preparation, I opened my first restaurant."

Next to the mountain you eat from the mountain, next to the sea you eat from the sea. That has been a Chinese philosophy since ancient times. Yuen Tai says, "I never expected the restaurant business to be decent. Between 78 and 79, I opened five to six branches. Looking back now, at first I picked up the fishing fork, fishing net, and several bags of rice to start a restaurant I only wanted foreigners to try some Chinese seafood. I never expected to do it for 30 years. Now I have branches in the U.S. and Canada, nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose."

Although Yuen Tai is in the food business and seems to have little to do with what Yu Jim Yuen taught, did Master Yu not always say "Master brings through the door, learning is on your own"? As American writer Alcott said, "A true teacher defends his students against his own personal influences." Today when the Beijing Opera business has become more and more narrow, Yu Jim Yuen's foresight then was even more evident.

No Chance To Cook To Thank Master

Yuen Tai says, "Perhaps when we were little and studied with Master, the food was too bad. Only when we performed outside did we have a chance to eat better. My principle in the restaurant business is being able to live with myself and others. Back then Si Mo came to support me in my restaurant, every time I personally cooked for her. I really wanted to personally cook a meal for Master, but I never had the chance." (47)

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