Xu Fu and the Exploration of Japan

In 219 BCE, Xu Fu, a Chinese explorer and alchemist, would set out in search of the elixir of life. Instead, legend says he discovered Japan.


Xu Fu and the Exploration of Japan
The Chinese sorcerer is dispatched to find the elixir of life on the legendary island of Penglai – the home of the Immortals. Xu would go on to reach Japan – and perhaps set himself up as the island’s first emperor.

Download this episode or listen online.



The expedition in search of the medicine for immortality. Woodcut by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, circa 1843.

Images courtesy of WikiPedia.