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26

It is important to note that East Asian dragons are in fact quite unrelated to Western dragons. While they may have influenced each other, the two traditions emerged separately. They share the same name essentially only because of translation choices; there is fundamentally no reason why Chinese dragons shouldn't be different to European ones. Hence, the ...


18

They are not really the same. In fact, they are not both fox spirits with nine tails. Left: A nine-tailed fox depicted in the ancient Chinese bestiary Classic of Mountains and Seas (山海經) | Right: A distinctly single tailed kitsune depicted in the Japanese almanac kin mou zui (訓蒙図彙) The fox spirits of later Chinese traditions do not necessarily have nine ...


15

To expand on @plannapus' answer: Chinese folk religion or Taoism doesn't worship Sun Wu Kong (孫悟空) per se, but rather a monkey deity usually referred to as the Great Sage (大聖) or Heaven Rivaling Great Sage (齊天大聖). Historically, this has been particularly prevalent in Fukien, but stories similar to Sun Wu Kong's backstory can be found in several regions. ...


14

It actually was a gradual process. It was primarily driven by his personal popularity in a society where ancestor worship has long been an integral element. Moreso than his fame as a general, his personality traits (loyalty, bravery, honesty) appealed to traditional Chinese sensibilities. Among the general population, Liu Bei and Guan Yu have set a more ...


12

Unlike the Zeus or Norse pantheons, Chinese supreme deities are not very well defined. Generally speaking the chief deity of Chinese traditional beliefs is a personification of the sky; this character however evolved through the centuries as Chinese religious beliefs developed. Strictly speaking the haotian shang-ti (昊天上帝) is the supreme deity of ...


11

From the original, historical account of the pilgrimage of Xuangzang (i. e. The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions) supposedly compiled in 646 AD to Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West written during the 16th Century, there have been several novels relating the same story. The english translation of Journey to the West by WJF Jenner contains in ...


10

I thought I'd do this using a mapping tool. So the map and list of locations for Guan Yu's journey (at least before he diverted for Runan) is: Xuchang Dongling Pass (south of modern day Dengfeng) Luoyang Sishui Pass (actually Hulao Pass in real life) Xingyang The last location is by the bank of the Yellow River, but it isn't specified where. Also for ...


9

The problem with this question is that it asks for comparisons to a "canonical Chinese mythology" which is not really a thing. However, the basic theme of traditional Chinese folklore does feature an emperor in heaven who is essentially a mirror of the emperor on Earth. The depiction of the Jade Emperor in Journey to the West matches much of this. 1. ...


8

This comes from the Journey to the West, when the monkey king Sun Wukong "visited" the Dragon King of the East Seas for a weapon. Each of the dragon kings produced a treasure to appease him into leaving in a full set of armaments. Theses were: The According-To-Your-Wishes Gold-Banded Rod, from the Dragon King of the East Seas. The Lotus-Threaded Cloud-...


7

'The Cult of the Fox' by Xiaofei Kang, is a good reflection on how the 'Huxian'/'Huli Jing' myths predate the popular kitsune myth, and shows the establishment of a lot of the concepts taken for granted by pop-cultural depictions today, such as foxes feeding on human essence, associating with ghosts, or taking human form. There is also some brief mention ...


7

Even though the geographical locations might be very near, it has to be noticed that there hasn't been a considerable mixture of both the cultures due to the following reasons: The Himalayas acted as a very big barrier between the geographical locations of India and China, which made it very difficult for the cultures to mix. The China mainland and India ...


6

Sun Wukong used multiple methods. These included gobbling up a bunch of Laozi's elixer pills, gobbling down all of the magic peaches before the big banquet he wasn't invited to, and slugging down all of the Jade Emperor's wine. (Although he was sort of an immortal before all that, having been born from a magic stone representing the merger of Heaven and ...


6

Since it has hooves (not paws), scales, and horns, it is almost certainly a qilin or "Chinese unicorn". I don't know why it is standing on four turtles, except that the turtle and qilin were two of the sishou or "four divine creatures", along with the phoenix and dragon. They could be guarding dragon and phoenix eggs (the red spheres are different sizes) ...


6

The Dakini connection Here is an extract of Chinese Magical Medicine by Michel Strickmann implying the direct connection between the Inari and the Dakini (p. 272). The “Dakini” or “Dagini” for which this complex of modern Japanese possession-rites is named is, of course, the dakini of older Tantric sources, identified since at least the ...


6

First I think that's important look for the beginning of the myth of Yellow Emperor, based in literary evidences. He's referenced as an "divine hero" by Birell in the book Chinese Mythology: An Introduction (1). Later, she says: This concept [axis mundi] has been particularly rewarding in discussing symbolic opposites, such as Ch'ih Yu and the Yellow ...


6

The origin of dragons in the Eastern tradition is disputed. The leading explanation is perhaps that the dragon was originally crocodiles. However, one proposed alternative does argue that dragons (龍) was historically a word describing tornadoes. In Chinese scholarship, there are mainly two hypotheses concerning the essential characteristics of the dragon. ...


6

There are two ways to answer this: the reputation according to the highly-romanticised ROTK, and the historical person. According to fiction, he is completely without achievement yet his greatness speaks for itself once you meet him. In reality, he was a highly intelligent, well-connected, but inexperienced young man, with the reputation to match, i.e. not ...


5

Before we can derive the meaning behind the word, we need to first understand where the term originates. These sages can be considered philosophers that use their wisdom to help shape the foundation of Chinese culture, society, and even politics. But is that all? Because much of Eastern Asian culture, language, and philosophy were borrowed from the Chinese ...


4

The Father is the deity Tien... but not really. Firstly, "Heaven" (天, tian) refers to the supreme sky deity. Sinologist Herrlee Glessner Creel says in The Origins of Statecraft in China: For three thousand years it has been believed that from time immemorial all Chinese revered T'ien 天, "Heaven," as the highest deity, and that this same ...


4

The term sage usually seems to be a translation of the character: 聖 (simplified: 圣, Pinyin: shèng) Or a combination of it with other characters. Sun Wukong's title in Journey to the West, for instance, is 齊天大聖, and is translated "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven" (or similar), where 大聖 is the "Great Sage" bit (大 for large, great). So, what does the character 聖 ...


4

Legend of the White Snake is definitely worth mentioning, as it is one of the most well known Chinese folk tales. Madame Whitesnake has been the subject of numerous traditional operas, and widely fictionalized in all narrative mediums. "Lü Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals, disguises himself as a man selling treats at the Broken Bridge near the West Lake ...


4

Here is a list of how the 8 Immortals did it: He Xiangu "When she was about 14 or 15, a divine personage appeared to her in a dream and instructed her to eat powdered mica so that her body might become etherealised and immune from death. She did as instructed and also vowed to remain a virgin. She also gradually decreased her food intake. One day she ...


4

The narrative villifying Cao Cao predates Luo Guanzhong's work by a wide margin. His slant against Cao Wei is a product of his culture's bias, rather than the cause of it (though it likely did serve to solidify that bias). The Han dynasty is seen as something of a golden age. It represented a time of prosperity, and technological and social advancement. To ...


4

This reminded me of the unique "Kill Bill" (Vols. I & II) movies. Found the following on Pinterest: Pai Mei played by Kung Fu movie legend Gordon Liu in Kill Bill - character is based off of the villain White Lotus with Gordon Liu as the hero. It was a 1980 Shaw Brothers Kung Fu film called Fist of the White Lotus. In that movie after delivering ...


4

To answer my own question: the Weaver girl is the daughter of the Jade Emperor therefore his wife must be the Jade Empress, the Queen Mother of the West, even though it's not stated in the story itself.


4

If you mean something like this: that's actually a case of "retroactive incorporation" of a fairly recent story into movies about much older stories. White-Haired in Chinese is called 白髮 baifa, and this actually originates from stories collected in China in the 1930's. The folklore of the white-haired girl is believed to have spread widely in the areas ...


3

The cloud walking boots allow him to fly (although Wukong doesn't strictly need them to fly, having cultivated formidable powers of his own, and being able to cover 108,000 li in a single leap;) Likewise with the golden chainmail—Wukong's body subsequently becomes fairly invulnerable during his time in Laozi's eight-way trigram Crucible—but it never hurts ...


3

Well, Marco Polo (scan down to Chapter XLIX) describes "vast serpents" that are found in the province of "Carajan" (probably Yunnan). He didn't say he actually saw them and didn't call them "dragons". But all dragon myths probably have a common origin deep in humanity's past: A deep instinctual fear of snakes. It appears that primates are hardwired to ...


3

There appears to be two theories that I can find regarding Wu Song's origin. The first theory (source, source) seems to suggest that Wu Song's deeds were based on the bare-handed tiger slaying of Water Margin author Shi Nai An's friend and cousin Bian Yuan Hen. 《水浒传》中那位赤手空拳的打虎英雄武松,生活中确有其人。他是《水浒传》作者的好友卞元亨。据《盐城县志》、《古盐卞氏族谱》记述:元末两淮盐运副使卞仕震的儿子卞元亨,家住盐城便仓,...


2

As an addendum: While kitsune are associated with Japanese Shinto deities Inari and Ukanomitama, as well as the Buddhist-originated Dakini-ten; Huxian or Huli Jing are, meanwhile, associated with the Chinese deities Nüwa and Xi Wangmu. Daji has also been venerated to some extent as a sort of divine entity of her own accord, and the Huxian is also directly ...


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