Tea Fight!


Tea Fight (Dou Cha) was released in 2008 and directed by Yeming Wang. I haven’t seen it myself yet, but will very soon. It’s a curious and fast paced melange of Japanese and Chinese tea cultures merged into contemporary and legendary story lines. It appears to be quite overblown, and a little absurd, but there are parts of it that look awfully pretty.

first trailer:

second trailer:

The dialog is in Mandarin and Japanese and it was filmed in Taiwan and Japan: Taipei, Kyoto and Tokyo specifically. Excerpted from a comment on IMDB:

“And this is just my personal preference, but I find it extremely annoying to have actors speak in their non-native languages. I speak both Japanese and Chinese, but I had hard time understanding what they were saying, not to mention it was weird how every main Chinese character somehow knows Japanese and vice versa. Even the some of the Chinese actors were Cantonese-speaking HK actors speaking in heavily accented Mandarin. The tea master (I think his name is Chin Shih-jie) did spoke absolutely fluent Chinese and Japanese though, it was a pleasant surprise.”

Here’s a review of the film on YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features, and Here is the official website for the film.

The fact that it’s a film called “Tea Fight” is really enough to get me to see it.


  1. Hm… well, is this set in Taiwan, and is it set before/within a generation or so after WWII? Seeing as Taiwan was a part of the Japanese empire for a while–my maternal grandparents were fluent in Japanese, and apparently that’s what they spoke at home. (Er, my mother’s side of the family being Taiwanese Chinese.)

    OK, I skimmed the summary and the setting seems… complicated, but anyway, there are actually ways to justify this! should you not want to accept things as is. Assuming WWII even occurred in this universe.

    But actors speaking languages other than their native tongues can be good for a laugh–and that just seems to be how crossover entertainment works in Asia.

    • It sounds like your comment is in response to my quote from IMDB written by someone else. The fact that the movie’s dialog is in Japanese and Chinese is perfectly logical because part of it takes place in each country and the language changes accordingly.

      It is set both considerably before WWII, during an ambiguous and legendary “ancient China,” and after WWII, in 2007.

      • Oh yes, I was responding to the imdb quote (though the imdb link actually does not go to imdb, btw). Well, anyway, that person sounded perturbed about the chinese characters all knowing japanese and the japanese characters all knowing chinese, but there are possible ways to get around that, if it annoys anyone else. (Not only is it just convenient for the plot, how else are they supposed to market this thing to both countries, anyway?)

        Well, I hope the movie provides you fodder for at least another post on it. XD

        • Thanks for pointing out that broken link so I could fix it. I think you’re right that the mix of languages (and tea cultures) is a pretty good way to make it accessible to a broader audience. If I hadn’t read anything about it and just watched the trailers I would have guessed that it was a fight between the Japanese way of tea and the Chinese way of tea, which would be a very odd story line for a film!

  2. haha it has tea in the name i want to see it to now.