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THE GRANDMASTER

Historical Timeline
1911-12: A Republican revolution inspired by Dr Sun Yat-sen brings to an end China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu Qing (1644-1911). The Republic of China is born. The Northern Martial Arts Union is founded to unite the martial artists of the north for patriotic ends.

1916-28: Warlord Era. Across the country, military warlords commanding independent armies challenge the authority of the central government. The country is in danger of being torn apart.

1931: The Japanese invade the three states of Northeast China, which included the traditional homelands of the Manchurian people (the rulers of China in the Qing Dynasty). They commit innumerable atrocities against the local citizenry.

1932: The Japanese place the last Qing emperor, Henry Puyi, on the throne of their puppet kingdom of Manchukuo. They then recruit collaborators from amongst the local people.

1936: The southern provinces of China move to secede from the nation. Master Gong Baosen arrives in Foshan to hold his retirement ceremony.

1937: The Japanese march south. After manufacturing an incident at the Marco Polo Bridge in the southwest area of Beijing, they cross the bridge and invade China proper. For eight years, the Japanese inflict a cruel and violent occupation on China, against which Chinese patriots fight a war of resistance.

1938: The Japanese invade Foshan. Japanese troops occupy Ip Man's home. He and his family fall into poverty and starvation.

1940: Ma San becomes a collaborator with the Japanese puppet government of Manchukuo in the northeast.

1945: The occupation ends with Japan's surrender at the end of World War II.

1946-49: Civil War breaks out between the governing Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek (with whom Ip Man is aligned) and the Communists under Mao Zedong.

1949: Communist victory; Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek flees with his troops and supporters to Taiwan.

1950: Ip Man and The Razor arrive separately in Hong Kong. Gong Er is already there, working as a doctor of Chinese medicine.

1951: The border between the British-run territory Hong Kong and mainland China is closed. Ip Man will never be able to return to Foshan again.

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