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Chinese mythology

Chinese mythology is the mythology of Chinese civilization. Many of the legends of Chinese mythology take place during the period of Sanhuangwudi.


Important mythologies and deities

  • Nwa 女娲补天: Nwa seals the broken sky using stones of seven different colours -- the patch becomes the rainbow. She is also said to creates humanity -- the story has been retold through many Chinese cartoons.
  • FuXi Fuxi, HuHsi was the brother and husband of Nuwa
  • Shen Nong Inventor of agriculture.
  • Great Yu 大禹治水: Great Yu regulates the courses of rivers (to control floods)
  • Gong Gong 共工 Evil water demon who crushed Mount Buzhou.
  • Zhu Rong God of fire. Defeated Gong Gong.
  • Pangu 盘古开天辟地 Pangu cleaves open heaven and earth -- the traditional story of the Earth's creation in Chinese mythology.
  • Cangjie 仓颉造字: Cangjie creates the characters
  • Chi You (蚩尤 chi1you2) A war god who fought Huang Di. Inventor of metal weapons.
  • Huang Di (黃帝) fathers of medicine
  • Xuan Nu (玄女 (xuan2nu3) who assisted Huang Di (黃帝) to subdue Chi You (蚩尤).
  • Three Pure Ones Daoist / highest deities
  • Jade Emperor Daoist / ruler of Heaven and Earth
  • Eight Immortals Daoist / He Xiangu, Cao Guojiu, Li Tieguai, Lan Caihe, Lu Dongbin, Han Xiang Zi, Zhang Guo Lao, Zhongli Quan
  • A Xiang (阿香 a4xiang1) the girl driver of the chariot of God of Thunder
  • Bi Fang (必方 bi4fang1) mythical god of fire (also write as 畢方).
  • Bi Gan , Cai Shen God of Wealth; Rides on a Tiger
  • Chang E Yi's wife, moon Goddess.
  • Che Kung
  • Erlang Shen
  • Fei Lian or Feng Bo Wind God. Enemy of Shen Yi.
  • God of North (Bei Di, Pak Tai)
  • Guan Yin
  • Guan Yu
  • Hai Re (海若 hai3re4) god of the sea.
  • Hau Wong
  • Hung Shing
  • Kam Fa
  • Kua Fu -- Kua Fu chases the sun. (夸父追日)
  • K'ueihsing God of examinations
  • Lei Gong (雷公 lei2gong0) god of thunder
  • Lung Mo
  • Man Cheong
  • Man Mo
  • Matsu (Tin Hau)
  • Meng Po
  • Nezha
  • Nu Ba Ancient goddess of drought.
  • The Cowherd and Weaver Girl.
  • Qi Yu
  • Sam Po , sister of Matsu
  • Shen Yi The saviour of China. A great archer. (See note in solar deity)
  • Shing Wong
  • Sun Wukong The Monkey King from the story Journey to the West
  • Tam Kung, sea god
  • Tou Tei , or Tou Dei
  • Wong Tai Sin
  • Xi Wangmu (西王母) The Queen Mother of the west.
  • Yan Luo (閻羅 yan2luo2) ruler of Hell (short from 閻魔羅社 Sanskrit Yama Raja).
  • Yuk Wong
  • Zao Jun popular god of the Kitchen.
  • Zhong Kui (鍾馗 [zhong1kui2) or Jung Kwae mythical person reputed for subjugating demons.

Mythical creatures

  • Ba She (巴蛇 ba1she2) a snake reputed to swallow elephants
  • Birds:
    • Fenghuang (Chinese Phoenix)
    • Ji Guang (吉光 ji2guang1)
    • Jian (鶼 jian1) A mythical bird supposed to have only one eye and one wing: 鶼鶼 a pair of such birds dependent on each other, inseparable, hence, represent husband and wife.
    • Jing Wei (精衛) a mythical bird which tries to fill up the ocean with twigs and pebbles.
    • Shang-Yang (a rainbird )
    • Nine-headed Bird Used to scare children.
    • Su Shuang (鷫鵊 su4shuang3) a mythical bird, also variously described as a water bird, like the crane.
    • Peng (鵬, a mythical bird of giant size and terrific flying power) Also known as Chinese roc.
    • Qing Niao (青鳥 qing1niao3) a mythical bird, the messenger of Xi Wangmu.
    • Zhu (a bad omen)
  • Chinese dragon
    • Yinglong, a powerful servant of Huang Di.
    • Dragon King
    • Fucanglong, the treasure dragon
    • Shenlong, the rain dragon
    • Dilong, the earth dragon
    • Tianlong, the celestial dragon
    • Li (hornless dragon) , lesser dragon of the seas. Is hornless.
    • Jiao , another hornless dragon. Lives in the swamps. The lowest dragon.
  • Qilin (in Japanese, Kirin), chimeric animal with several variations.
  • Long Ma Similar to the Qilin- the dragon-horse.
  • Kui (夔 kui2) a mythical one legged monster.
  • Kun (鯤 kun1) a mythical giant monsterous fish.
  • Hopping corpse
  • Yougui - demons.
  • Fox Spirit
  • Nian, the beast
  • Ox heads & horse faces 牛頭馬面 messenger boy in Hell.
  • Rui Shi (瑞獅)
  • Tao Tie (饕餮 tao1tie4) a mythical gargoyle like figure, often found on ancient bronze vessels, representing greed. It is said to be the fifth son of dragon and has such an appetite that it even eats its head.
  • Xiao (魈 xiao1) A mythical mountain spirit or demon.
  • The Transcendent pig

Mythical places

  • Xuan Pu (玄圃 xUan2pu3), a mythical fairyland on Kunlun Mountain (崑崙).
  • Yao Chi (瑤池 yao2chi2), abode of immortals where Xi Wang Mu lives.
  • Fu Sang (扶桑 fu2sang1), a mythical island, often interpreted as Japan.
  • Que Qiao (鵲橋 qUe4qiao2) the bridge formed by birds across the milky way.
  • Peng lai (蓬萊 peng2lai2) the paradise, a fabled Fairy Isle on the China Sea.
  • Long Men (龍門 long2men2) the dragon gate where a carp can transformed into a dragon.
  • Feng Du the Chinese hell

Literary Sources of Chinese Mythology

  • Zhiguai , a literary genre that deals with strange (mostly supernatural) events and stories
  • Journey to the West, by Wu Cheng'en, with a bestiarium of malevolent animal yougui
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio, by Pu Songling, with many stories of fox demons
  • Creation of the Gods or Fengshenyanyi
  • Heian Zhuan or Epic of the Darkness : the only collection of legends in epic form preserved by a population classified as part of the Han nationality of China, namely, inhabitants of the Shennongjia mountain area in Hubei, containing accounts from the birth of Pangu till the historical era.
  • Imperial historical documents and confucian cannons such as Shiji, Lushi Chunqiu , Liji , Shangshu
  • Verse poetry of ancient states such as Lisao by Qu Yuan of the Chu state.

See also

External links

Last updated: 12-21-2004 10:20:21