The Religious Affiliation of
Chinese delegation

Religion: Buddhist CBR Scale: S

Name: Chinese delegation

Classification: supporting characters supporting characters   group group  

Publisher(s): DC

First Appearance: Detective Comics (vol. 1) #45 (Nov. 1940): "The Case of the Laughing Death!"

Creators: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, George Roussos

Number of Appearances: 1

Enemy of: The Joker

Defended or Helped by: Batman

Type of Organization/Group: representative

Gender: male

Note: sold Jade Buddha to raise war relief funds

A Chinese delegation was bringing a very valuable Jade Buddha statue from China to the United States. They were planning to sell the Buddha in order to raise funds for their "war-stricken" people back home. The Joker tried to steal the Jade Buddha. Fortunately, Batman and Robin intervened and retrieved the statue from the villain. Batman returned the statue to the Chinese delegation.

While Batman was chasing the Joker, the Chinese delegation momentarily misunderstood what was happening and thought that the Joker (who was carrying the Buddha at the time) was actually trying to save the statue from the frightening-looking Batman. The Chinese delegates tried to close in on Batman and prevent him from catching the Joker. Robin ran interference for Batman and plowed into the Chinese delegates so that Batman had a clear path to pursue the Joker. Shortly after this, Batman caught up to the Joker and retrieved the Buddha, so the Chinese delegates realized who was really on their side

When receiving the statue from Batman, one Chinese delegate said, "We apologize deeply for our mistake! Forgive us!"

Another told Batman, "You have done our people a great service!"

Batman responded, "It's everyone's duty to make things easier -- for war-stricken people! I hope you sell this, the proceeds will do much to remedy their plight!"

After Batman and Robin flew away in the Batplane, one Chinese delegate said, "Just think! There goes a man who places his very life in danger so that others may live in greater security!"

Another delegate said, "No man can make a greater sacrifice for his people! He is truly a great man, this Batman!"

Given the manner and speech of the Chinese delegates, the time period this story takes place in (1940), and the fact that they were selling a Buddha statue, we surmise that the Chinese delegates in this story were themselves Buddhists, at lease nominally. The Communist takeover of China did not take place until 9 years later, in 1949, and the Cultural Revolution, which violently destroyed and purged most Buddhism from China, did not begin until 1966. So there is every reason to believe that these Chinese men were themselves Buddhists who regarded the Jade Buddha as a not only a great artistic and cultural treasure, but also an object of religious and spiritual significance.

Given what they said as well as their cultural millieu, one can also assume that there was considerable Confucian influence on these Chinese delegates. A good case could be made for classifying them as "Chinese traditional religionists." This is in some ways a "less specific" category that recognizes the melding of Confucianism, Taoism and traditional ancient folk beliefs along with Buddhism. But we have classified the delegation simply as Buddhists because their role revolved around the sale of the Buddhist statue and nothing in the story overtly refers to Confucianism, Taoism, etc.

This character is in the following story which has been indexed by this website:
Detective Comics (vol. 1) #45 (Nov. 1940): "The Case of the Laughing Death!" (4-panel cameo)

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: