Xu Fu is said to have been an actual person who lived more than 2,200 years ago. A Chinese (Qin Dynasty) scholar who sought to achieve immortality through a combination of magic, prayer, and drugs, he was knowledgeable in medicine, astronomy, and astrology.
As the first to unify China, the first Qin Emperor ordered Xu Fu to find the elixir of immortality. Leading a fleet of ships loaded with several thousand boys and girls, as well as many farming tools and agricultural products, Xu Fu set off on a voyage to find the secret elixir.
Eventually the fleet reached the Japanese coast at Hadasu Town in Kumano City. Xu Fu is said to have shared China's cutting-edge technologies of that time in the fields of medicine, shipbuilding, whaling, steel manufacturing, agriculture, and ceramics. Numerous pieces of evidence of Xu Fu's arrival remain today, including the regional name “Hadasu,” which is said to have been written in ancient times with the same character used to write the “Qin Dynasty”; and the excavation of Ban Liang coins dating from the Qin Dynasty and pottery is said to have been made by Xu Fu himself. Even today, you can find evergreen Lindera—the plant said to be the elixir of immortality that Xu Fu was seeking—growing luxuriantly in the Hadasu area.