Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Xiang

In , A Xiang is the driver of the chariot of the .

Jin Tian

Jin Tian, also known as Shao Hao, was a mythical emperor in 2600 BC. Legend says that his mother, a weaver goddess, was a beautiful fairy named Huange who fell in love with the planet Venus while drifting on the Milky Way. The two enjoyed many intimate nights together on her raft and they created a son. She soon gave birth to Shao Hao, who grew up to be a handsome young man with a lot of potential. His great uncle, Huang Di, was so impressed with him that he named him God of the Western Heavens. The myth says that Shao Hao created a kingdom in the five mountains of the Eastern Paradise that was inhabited by different types of birds. As the ruler of this bureaucratic land, he captured the identity of a vulture. Other birds worked below him, such as a as his Lord Chancellor, a hawk that delegated the law, and a that was in charge of education. He chose the four seasons of the year to watch over the remaining birds. Although his kingdom was successful for many years, he moved back to the west and left his kingdom of birds to his son Chong. With a different son, Ru Shou, he made his home on Changliu Mountain, where he could rule over the Western Heavens. In union as father and son, they were responsible for the daily setting of the sun. In addition, Shao Hao was thought to have introduced China to the twenty-five string lute.


Jiaolong or jiao is an aquatic in Chinese mythology, variously translated as a "hornless dragon", "scaly dragon", "flood dragon", "alligator", and "crocodile".


蛟 Character

In traditional Chinese character classification, ''jiao'' is a "radical-phonetic" or "phono-semantic character", combining the "insect " with a ''jiao'' "cross; mix; mingle; mate with; exchange" phonetic. This 虫 radical is frequently used in characters for insects, worms, and reptiles, and occasionally for dragons . This phonetic ''jiao'' 交 is also used with the "fish radical" in ''jiao'' "shark" and the "horse radical" in ''bo'' , which is a variant Chinese character for ''bo'' "mixed colors; piebald; confused".

In the Japanese writing system, the kanji 蛟 can be read ''mizuchi'' "a " in native ''kun'yomi'' or ''kō'' in Sino-Japanese ''on'yomi'' .


''Jiao'' 蛟's etymology is obscure. Carr, using Bernhard Karlgren's reconstruction of Old Chinese *kǒg 蛟, explains.
Most etymologies for ''jiao'' < *''kǒg'' 蛟 are unsupported speculations upon meanings of its phonetic *''kǒg'' 交 'cross; mix with; contact', e.g., the *''kǒg'' 蛟 dragon can *''kǒg'' 交 'join' its head and tail in order to capture prey, or moves in a *''kǒg'' 交 'twisting' manner, or has *''kǒg'' 交 'continuous' eyebrows. The only corroborated hypothesis takes *''kǒg'' 交 'breed with' to mean *''kǒg'' 蛟 indicates a dragon 'crossbreed; mixture'. Eberhard notes from an early time, 蛟 was considered an embodiment of the fish, snake, rhinoceros; or the tiger.
Compare the "tiger ''jiao''" below. In addition, Carr cites Wen Yiduo that ''jiaolong'' 交龍 "crossed dragons"' or ''jiaolong'' 蛟龍 were emblems of the mythological creators Fuxi and Nüwa, who are represented as having a human's upper body and a dragon's tail.

Schuessler reconstructs modern ''jiāo'' 蛟 "scaly dragon", "alligator", or "mermaid" as Middle Chinese ''kau'' and Old Chinese *''kr?u''. He suggests possible etymological connections with ''khruB'' or ''khyuB'' "mermaid; serpent" and ''klu'' "nāga; water spirits".


Chinese ''jiao'' is more frequently used in the ''jiaolong'' with the -''long'' "dragon" suffix than by itself. Take, for example, familiar ''chengyu'' "set phrases; 4-character idioms". ''Jiaolong'' occurs in several such as ''jiaolongdeshui'' 蛟龍得水 "in the most congenial surroundings; bold person getting a good opportunity" and ''jiaolongzhizhi'' 蛟龍之志 "a person with great ambitions". ''Jiao'' occurs abbreviating ''jiaolong'' with ''feng'' abbreviating ''fenghuang'' 鳳凰 "Chinese phoenix" in ''tengjiaoqifeng'' 騰蛟起鳳 "a rapidly rising literary/artistic talent; a genius".

Jiaolong occurs in Chinese toponyms. For example, the highest waterfall in Taiwan is Jiaolong Dapu 蛟龍大瀑 "Flood Dragon Great Waterfall" in the Alishan National Scenic Area.


"''Jiao'' < *''kǒg'' 蛟 is defined with more meanings than any other Chinese draconym", writes Carr , " 'aquatic dragon', 'crocodile; alligator', 'hornless dragon', 'dragoness', 'scaled dragon', 'shark' , and 'mermaid'."

In some textual usages, differentiating these ''jiao'' meanings is problematic. For instance, ''jiaolong'' 蛟龍 can be parsed as two kinds of dragons or one. Some contrastive contexts clearly use the former meaning "''jiao'' and ''long'' dragons"; the ''Zhuangzi'' parallels "the sea serpent or the dragon" with "the rhinoceros or the tiger." The latter meaning of "''jiao'' dragon" is evident from usages such as the ''Guanzi'' , "The ''kiao-lung'' is the god of the water animals. If he rides on the water, his soul is in full vigour, but when he loses water , his soul declines. Therefore I say: 'If a ''kiao-lung'' gets water, his soul can be in full vigour'."

Aquatic dragon

''Jiao'' and ''jiaolong'' were names for a legendary river dragon.

The mythological ''Shanhaijing'' "Classic of Mountains and Seas" mentions ''jiao'' and ''hujiao'' 虎蛟 "tiger ''jiao''", but notably not ''jiaolong''. The "Classic of Southern Mountains" records ''hujiao'' in the Yin River 泿水.
The River Bank rises here and flows south to empty into the sea. There are tiger-crocodiles in it. Their bodies look like a fish's, but they have a snake's tail and they make a noise like mandarin ducks. If you eat some, you won't suffer from a swollen abscess, and it can be used to treat piles.
The commentary of Guo Pu glosses ''hujiao'' as "a type of dragon that resembles a four-legged snake." The "Classic of Central Mountains" records ''jiao'' in the Kuang River 貺水 and Lun River 淪水: "There are numerous alligators in the River Grant" and "The River Ripple contains numbers of alligators". Guo adds that the ''jiao'' "has a small head, narrow neck, white scales, is oviparous, can grow up to ten meters long, and eats people."

Wolfram Eberhard quotes the ''Moke huixi'' 墨客揮犀 for the "best definition" of a ''jiao'', "looks like a snake with a tiger head, is several fathoms long, lives in brooks and rivers, and bellows like a bull; when it sees a human being it traps him with its stinking saliva, then pulls him into the water and sucks his blood from his armpits." He concludes that the ''jiao'', which "occur in the whole of Central and South China", "is a special form of the snake as river god. The snake as river god or god of the ocean is typical for the coastal culture, particularly the sub-group of the Tan peoples."

''Jiao'' 蛟 is sometimes translated as "flood dragon". The ''Yuhu qinghua'' 玉壺清話 says people in the southern state of called it ''fahong'' 發洪 "swell into a flood" because they believed flooding resulted when ''jiao'' hatched. The ''Chuci'' uses the term ''shuijiao'' 水蛟 "water ''jiao''": "Henceforth the water-serpents must be my companions, And dragon-spirits lie with me when I would rest."

Crocodile or Alligator

Besides a legendary dragon, ''jiao'' and ''jiaolong'' anciently named a four-legged water creature, identified as both "alligator" and "crocodile". The "Dragons and Snakes" section of the ''Bencao Gangmu'', which is a comprehensive Chinese materia medica, differentiates between ''jiaolong'' 蛟龍 "Saltwater Crocodile, ''Crocodylus porosus''" and ''tolong'' 鼉龍 "Chinese Alligator, ''Alligator sinensis''". Most early references describe the ''jiaolong'' as living in rivers, which fits not only this freshwater "Chinese alligator" but also the "Saltwater crocodile" that spends the tropical wet season in freshwater rivers and swamps. Comparing maximum lengths of 6 and 1.5 meters for this crocodile and alligator respectively, "Saltwater crocodile" seems more consistent with descriptions of ''jiao'' reaching lengths of several ''zhang'' "approximately 3.3 meters".

Three classical texts repeat a sentence about capturing water creatures at the end of summer; 伐蛟取鼉登龜取黿 "attack the ''jiao'' 蛟, take the ''to'' 鼉 "alligator", present the ''gui'' 龜 "tortoise", and take the ''yuan'' 黿 "soft-shell turtle"."

Early texts frequently mention capturing ''jiao''. The ''Hanshu'' records catching a ''jiao'' 蛟in 106 BCE. The ''Shiyiji'' 拾遺記 has a ''jiao'' story about Emperor Zhao of Han . While fishing in the Wei River, he
caught a white ''kiao'', three chang long, which resembled a big snake, but had no scaly armour The Emperor said: 'This is not a lucky omen', and ordered the Ta kwan to make a condiment of it. Its flesh was purple, its bones were blue, and its taste was very savoury and pleasant.
The historicity of such accounts can be dubious. The ''Shiji'' biography of Emperor Gaozu of Han recounts a legend that his mother dreamed of a ''jiaolong'' before his birth.

Hornless dragon

The ''Shuowen Jiezi'' dictionary defines ''jiao'' 蛟 as "A kind of dragon, a hornless dragon is called ''jiao''. It explains that "if the number of fish in a pond reaches 3600, a ''jiao'' will come as their leader, and enable them to follow him and fly away." However, "if you place a fish trap in the water, the ''jiao'' will leave." According to the ''Chuci'' commentary of Wang Yi 王逸 , the ''jiao'' is a "hornless dragon" or a "small dragon", perhaps implying a young or immature dragon.

Note the pronunciation similarity between ''jiao'' 蛟 and ''jiao'' "horn". ''Jiaolong'' 角龍 "horned dragon", which is the Chinese name for the Ceratops dinosaur, occurs in Ge Hong's '' Baopuzi'' "the horned dragon can no longer find a place to swim."

Female dragon

''Jiao'' meaning "female dragon; dragon mother" is first recorded in the Buddhist dictionary ''Yiqie jingyinyi'' 一切經音義 . It defines ''jiaolong'' as "a fish with a snake's tail," notes the Sanskrit name ''guanpiluo'' 官毘羅 "''kumbhīra''; crocodile; alligator", and quotes Ge Hong's ''Baopuzi'' 抱朴子 that ''jiao'' 蛟 means "dragon mother, dragoness" and '''' "horned dragon" means "dragon child, dragonet". However, the received edition of the ''Baopuzi'' does not include this statement. The ''Piya'' dictionary repeats this "female dragon" definition.

Scaly dragon

The ''Guangya'' defines ''jiaolong'' as "scaly dragon; scaled dragon", using the word ''lin'' [[Wikt:鱗|�"scales ". Many later dictionaries copied this meaning, but it lacks textual corroboration.


''Jiao'' 蛟 was an interchangeable graphic loan character for ''jiao'' 鮫 "shark", usually called the ''jiaoyu'' 鮫魚 or ''shayu'' 鯊魚. ''Jiaoge'' 鮫革 means "sharkskin". Several texts record that soldiers from the southern state of made strong armor with skin from ''jiao'' sharks and hides from rhinoceros.


''Jiaoren'' 蛟人 "dragon person" or 鮫人 "shark person" "mermaid" is a later meaning of ''jiao''. The ''Shuyiji'' 遹異記 "Records of Strange Things" first mentions a mythical southern mermaid who spins silk underwater and sheds pearls for tears. The raw silk supposedly spun by mermaids was called ''jiaoxiao'' 蛟綃 "mermaid silk" or ''jiaonujuan'' 蛟女絹 "mermaid woman's silk".

Jade Emperor

The Jade Emperor , is the Taoist ruler of Heaven and all realms of existence below including that of Man and Hell according to a version of . He is one of the most important gods of the Chinese traditional religion .

The Jade Emperor is known by many names including Heavenly Grandfather which is used by commoners, the Pure August Jade Emperor, August Personage of Jade , the Xuanling High Sovereign, and his rarely used formal title, ''Peace Absolving, Central August Spirit Exalted, Ancient Buddha, Most Pious and Honorable, His Highness the Jade-Emperor, Xuanling High Sovereign'' .

A crater on Saturn's moon discovered by Voyager 2 spacecraft was named after him.

Chinese mythology

There are many stories in Chinese mythology involving the Jade Emperor.


It was said that the Jade Emperor was originally the crown prince of the kingdom of Pure Felicity and Majestic Heavenly Lights and Ornaments. At birth he emitted a wondrous light that filled the entire kingdom. When he was young, he was kind, intelligent and wise. He devoted his entire childhood to helping the needy . Furthermore, he showed respect and benevolence to both men and creatures.
After his father died, he ascended the throne. He made sure that everyone in his kingdom found peace and contentment. After that, he told his ministers that he wished to cultivate Tao on the Bright and Fragrant Cliff.
After 1,550 kalpas, each kalpa lasting for 129,600 years, he attained Golden Immortality. After another one hundred million years of cultivation, he finally became the Jade Emperor.

Vanquishing evil

There is a little known myth which tells of how the Jade Emperor became the monarch of all the deities in heaven. It is one of the few myths in which the Jade Emperor really shows his might.

In the beginning of time, the earth was a very difficult place to live; a much harsher place to live in than it is now. Men were having tremendous difficulty coping with existence; not only did men have to deal with harsh conditions, but also with all kinds of monstrous beings. At this time, there were also not many gods or deities to protect men. Furthermore, a lot of powerful, evil demons were defying the immortals of heaven. The Jade Emperor was still at the time an ordinary immortal who roamed earth to help as many people as he could. He was, however, saddened by the fact that his powers were limited and could only ease the sufferings of men. He decided to retreat in a mountain cave and cultivate his Dao. He passed 3,200 trials, each trial lasted for about 3 million years.

Unfortunately, a powerful, evil entity-- a demon of sorts, which dwelt on earth-- had the ambition to conquer the immortals and gods in heaven and proclaim sovereignty over the entire universe. It went into retreat later than the Jade Emperor. This evil entity retreated itself too and went into meditation to expand its power. He passed through 3,000 trials each trial lasting for about 3 million years too. After it passed its final trial, it felt confident that no one could defeat it anymore. It re-entered the world again, and recruited an army of demons with the purpose of attacking heaven.

The immortals being aware of the threat gathered themselves and prepared for war. The gods were unable to stop the powerful demon and all were defeated by it. The Three Pure Ones were leading the celestial beings at the time.

Fortunately, the Jade Emperor finished his cultivation in the midst of this war. He was changing the land to make it more liveable for men and repelling all kinds of monstrous beasts. Suddenly, he saw an evil glow emitting from heaven and knew something was amiss. He ascended and saw that a war was going on, he saw that the demon was too powerful to be stopped by any of the gods present. He went up and challenged the demon, and a battle ensued between them. Mountains shook and rivers and seas toppled; however, the Jade Emperor stood victorious due to his deeper and wiser cultivation, not for might but for benevolence. After defeating the demon, all the other demons were scattered by the gods and immortals.

Because of his noble and benevolent deeds, the gods, immortals and mankind proclaimed the Jade Emperor the supreme sovereign of all.


The world started with according to the Chinese creation myth, Jade Emperor was the head of the pantheon but not responsible to the creation process itself.

According to another version of creation myth, the Jade Emperor fashioned the first humans from clay, but as he left them to harden in the sun, it rained, misshaping some of the figures, thus explaining the origin of sickness and physical abnormalities

The story above is also told as Nüwa who fashions humans out of the mud from the Yellow River by hand. Those she made herself became the richer people of the earth. After getting lazy she used a rope and swung it around. The drops that fell from the rope became the poorer humans.

In The Journey to the West

In the popular novel by Wu Chengen, The Jade Emperor is featured many times in the story.

The princess and the cowherd

''Main article: ''

In another story, popular throughout Asia and with many differing versions, the Jade Emperor has a daughter named Chih'nü . She is most often represented as responsible for weaving colorful clouds in the heaven, in some versions she is instead a seamstress who works for the Jade Emperor. Everyday Chih'nü descended to earth with the aid of a magical robe to bathe. One day, a lowly cowherd named Niu Lang spotted Chih'nü as she bathed in a stream. Niu Lang fell instantly in love with her and stole her magic robe which she had left on the bank of the stream, leaving her unable to escape back to Heaven. When Chih'nü emerged from the water, Niu Lang grabbed her and carried her back to his home.

When the Jade Emperor heard of this matter, he was furious but unable to intercede, since in the meantime his daughter had fallen in love and married the cowherd. As time passed, Chih'nü grew homesick and began to miss her father. One day, she came across a box containing her magic robe which her husband had hidden. She decided to visit her father back in Heaven, but once she returned, the Jade Emperor summoned a river to flow across the sky , which Chih'nü was unable to cross to return to her husband. The Emperor took pity on the young lovers, and so once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, he allows them to meet on a bridge over the river.

The story refers to constellations in the night sky. Chih'nü is the star Vega in the constellation of Lyra east of the Milky Way, and Niu Lang is the star Altair in the constellation of west of the Milky Way. Under the first quarter moon of the seventh lunar month , the lighting condition in the sky causes the Milky Way to appear dimmer, hence the story that the two lovers are no longer separated in that one particular day each year.

The seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is a holiday in China called Qi Xi, which is a day for young lovers much like Valentine's Day in the ; in Japan, it is called Tanabata , and in Korea, it is called Chilseok. If it rains on that day, it is said to be Chih'nü crying tears at being reunited with her husband.

The zodiac

There are several stories as to how the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were chosen. In one, the Jade Emperor, although having ruled Heaven and Earth justly and wisely for many years, had never had the time to actually visit the Earth personally. He grew curious as to what the creatures looked like. Thus, he asked all the animals to visit him in heaven. The cat, being the most handsome of all animals, asked his friend the rat to wake him on the day they were to go to Heaven so he wouldn't oversleep. The rat, however, was worried that he would seem ugly compared to the cat, so he didn't wake the cat. Consequently, the cat missed the meeting with the Jade Emperor and was replaced by the . The Jade Emperor was delighted with the animals and so decided to divide the years up amongst them. When the cat learned of what had happened, he was furious with the rat and that, according to the story, is why cats and rats are enemies to this day.

His predecessor and successor

The Jade Emperor was originally the assistant of the Divine Master of the
Heavenly Origin, Yuan-shi tian-zun. Yuan-shi tian-zun is said to be the supreme beginning, the limitless and eternal creator of Heaven and Earth, who picked Yu-huang, or the Jade Emperor, as his personal successor. The Jade Emperor will eventually be succeeded by the Heavenly Master of the Dawn of Jade of the Golden Door. The characters for both are stamped on the front of the arms of his throne.

Worship and festivals

The Jade Emperor's Birthday is said to be the ninth day of the first lunar month. On this day Daoist temples hold a Jade Emperor ritual at which priests and laymen prostrate themselves, burn incense, and make food offerings.

Chinese New Year's Eve is also a day of worship as it is said to be the day the Jade Emperor makes his annual inspection of the deeds of mortals and rewards or punishes them accordingly. On this day incense is burned in the home and offerings are made to the Jade Emperor and also to Zao Jun, the god of kitchen who reports to the Emperor on each family.

A temple in Hong Kong is located at A Kung Ngam and is also called "Yuk Wong Po Tin" . In the mid 19th century, people from Huizhou and Chaozhou mined stones in the hill for the development of the central urban area. They set up a shrine to worship Yuk Wong. At the beginning of the 20th century, the shrine was developed into a small temple and was renovated many times. The latest renovation was in 1992.

In popular culture

In the television series ''Stargate SG-1'', the Goa'uld System Lord is presumably based on the Jade Emperor, though whether Lord Yu is supposed to be the originator of the related myth, or merely impersonated the deity among the ancient Chinese is unclear.

Akito Sohma, the antagonist of the anime and manga ''Fruits Basket'', is based on the Jade Emperor.

In the manga ''Fushigi Yūgi'', the identity of Tai Yi-Jun , the oracle who created the Universe of the Four Gods, is eventually revealed to be the Jade Emperor.

In the 2008 film ''The Forbidden Kingdom'' the Jade Emperor is one of the minor characters.


Hundun " with the common Daoist usages in a "paradise lost theme".

Daoist texts

''Hundun'' commonly occurs in classics of philosophical Daoism. The ''Daodejing'' does not mention ''hundun'' but uses both ''hun'' graphic variants. One section uses ''hun'' 渾 "bemuddle": "The sage is self-effacing in his dealings with all under heaven, and bemuddles his mind for the sake of all under heaven." Three others use ''hun'' 混 "bound together," "muddled," and "featureless":
*"These three cannot be fully fathomed, Therefore, They are bound together to make unity."
*"plain, as an unhewn log, muddled, as turbid waters, expansive, as a broad valley"
*"There was something featureless yet complete, born before heaven and earth."

The ''Zhuangzi'' has a famous parable involving emperors ''Hundun'' 渾沌, ''Shu'' "a fish name; abrupt; quick", and ''Hu'' "ignore; neglect; sudden". Girardot cites Marcel Granet that Shu and Hu synonymously mean "suddenness; quickness" and "etymologically appear to be linked to the images of lightning and thunder, or analogously, flaming arrows." The "Heavenly Questions" chapter of the ''Chu Ci'' uses Shu and Hu as one name: "Where are the hornless dragons which carry bears on their backs for sport? Where is the great serpent with nine heads and where is the Shu-Hu?"
The emperor of the South Sea was called Shu , the emperor of the North Sea was called Hu , and the emperor of the central region was called Hun-tun . Shu and Hu from time to time came together for a meeting in the territory of Hun-tun, and Hun-tun treated them very generously. Shu and Hu discussed how they could repay his kindness. "All men," they said, "have seven openings so they can see, hear, eat, and breathe. But Hun-tun alone doesn't have any. Let's trying boring him some!" Every day they bored another hole, and on the seventh day Hun-tun died.
Compare Watson's renderings of the three characters with other ''Zhuangzi'' translators.
*Change, Suddenness, Confusion — Frederic H. Balfour
*Sh?, H?, Chaos — James Legge
*Change, Uncertainty, Primitivity — Yu-Lan Fung
*Shu, Hu, Hun Tun — Herbert Giles
*Immediately, Suddenly, Undifferentiation — James R. Ware
*Light, Darkness, Primal Chaos — Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English
*Fast, Furious, Hun-t'un — A.C. Graham
*Lickety, Split, Wonton — Victor H. Mair
*Change, Dramatic, Chaos — Martin Palmer
*Helter, Skelter, Chaos — Wang Rongpei

Two other ''Zhuangzi'' contexts use ''hundun''. Chapter 11 has an allegory about Hong Meng 鴻蒙 "Big Concealment", who "was amusing himself by slapping his thighs and hopping around like a sparrow", which Girardot interprets as shamanic dancing comparable with the ''Shanhaijing'' below. Hong Meng poetically reduplicates ''hunhun-dundun'' 渾渾沌沌 "dark and undifferentiated chaos" in describing Daoist "mind-nourishment" meditation.
"You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless. Undo the mind, slough off spirit, be blank and soulless, and the ten thousand things one by one will return to the root – return to the root and not know why. Dark and undifferentiated chaos – to the end of life none will depart from it. But if you try to know it, you have already departed from it. Do not ask what its name is, do not try to observe its form. Things will live naturally and of themselves."
Chapter 12 tells a story about the Confucian disciple becoming dumbfounded after meeting a Daoist sage. He reported back to Confucius, who denigrated ''Hundun Shi zhi shu'' 渾沌氏之術 "Mr. Hundun's techniques/arts".
"He is one of those bogus practitioners of the arts of Mr. Chaos. He knows the first thing but doesn't understand the second. He looks after what is on the inside but doesn't look after what is on the outside. A man of true brightness and purity who can enter into simplicity, who can return to the primitive through inaction, give body to his inborn nature, and embrace his spirit, and in this way wander through the everyday world – if you had met one like that, you would have had real cause for astonishment. As for the arts of Mr. Chaos, you and I need not bother to find out about them."

The ''Huainanzi'' has one occurrence of ''hundun'' 渾沌 in a cosmological description.
Heaven and earth were perfectly joined , all was chaotically unformed ; and things were complete yet not created. This is called of the Great One. . All came from this unity which gave to each thing its differences: the birds, fish, and beasts. This is called the lot of things.
Three other ''Huainanzi'' chapters use ''hun'', for example, the compound ''hunhun cangcang'' 渾渾蒼蒼 "pure and unformed, vast and hazy".
The world was a unity without division into classes nor separation into orders : the unaffectedness and homeliness of the natural heart had not, as yet, been corrupted: the spirit of the age was a unity, and all creation was in great affluence. Hence, if a man with the knowledge of I appeared, the world had no use for him.

The ''Liezi'' uses ''hunlun'' 渾淪 for ''hundun'', which is described as the confused state in which ''qi'' 氣 "pneuma; breath", ''xing'' 形 "form; shape", and ''zhi'' 質 "matter; substance" have begun to exist but are stilled merged as one.
There was a Primal Simplicity, there was a Primal Commencement, there were Primal Beginnings, there was a Primal Material. The Primal Simplicity preceded the appearance of the breath. The Primal Beginnings were the breath beginning to assume shape. The Primal Material was the breath when it began to assume substance. Breath, shape and substance were complete, but things were not yet separated from each other; hence the name "Confusion." "Confusion" means the myriad things were confounded and not yet separated from each other.

Other texts

The ''Shanhaijing'' collection of early myths and legends uses ''hundun'' 渾敦 describing a '''' 神 "spirit; god" on Tian Shan 天山 "Heaven Mountain".
There is a god here who looks like a yellow sack. He is scarlet like cinnabar fire. He has six feet and four wings. He is Muddle Thick. He has no face and no eyes. He knows how to sing and dance. He is in truth the great god Long River.
This "great god Long River" translates Di Jiang 帝江 "Emperor Yangtze River", which is identified with Huang Di 黄帝 "Yellow Emperor". Toshihiko Izutsu suggests that singing and dancing here and in ''Zhuangzi'' refers to shamanic trance-inducing ceremonies, "the monster is said to be a bird, which is most probably an indication that the shamanistic dancing here in question was some kind of feather dance in which the shaman was ritually ornamented with a feathered headdress."

The ''Shen yi jing'' 神異經 "Classic of Divine Wonders" records a later variation of Hundun mythology. It describes him as a divine dog who lived on Mt. Kunlun, the mythical mountain at the center of the world.
It has eyes but can't see, walks without moving; and has two ears but can't hear. It has the knowledge of a man yet its belly is without the five internal organs and, although having a rectum, it doesn't evacuate food. It punches virtuous men and stays with the non-virtuous. It is called. Hun-tun. ] Hun-tun was Meng-shih's untalented son. He always gnaws his tail, going round and round. Everyone ridiculed him.

A poem in the Tang Dynasty collection refers to the ''Zhuangzi'' myth and reminisces about ''Hundun''.
How pleasant were our bodies in the days of Chaos, Needing neither to eat or piss! Who came along with his drill And bored us full of these nine holes? Morning after morning we must dress and eat; Year after year, fret over taxes. A thousand of us scrambling for a penny, We knock our heads together and yell for dear life.
Note the addition of two holes to the original seven .


''Hundun'' myths have a complex history, with many variations on the "primordial chaos" theme and associations with other legends.

The sociologist and historian Wolfram Eberhard analyzed the range of various ''hundun'' myths in his book on local cultures in South and East China. He treated it as a World egg mythic "chain" from the southern Liao culture, which originated in the Sichuan and Hubei region.
#''Hundun'' creation myths involving humanity being born from a "thunder-egg" or lump of flesh, the son of an emperor, the Thunder god represented as a dog with bat wings, localized with the Miao people and Thai people.
#''The animal Lei'' "is a creature like a lump, without head, eyes, hands, or feet. At midnight it produces noises like thunder."
#''The hundun dumplings'', etymologically connected with "round", "unorganized; chaotic", and perhaps the "round mountain" Kunlun.
#''The world-system huntian'' 渾天 in ancient Chinese astronomy conceptualized the universe as a round egg and the earth as a yolk swimming within it.
#''The sack and the shooting of the god'' connects sack-like descriptions of ''hundun'', perhaps with "sack" denoting "testicles", legends about Shang Dynasty king who lost a game of chess with the god Heaven and suspended a sack filled with blood and shot arrows at it, and later traditions of shooting at human dolls.
#''Pangu'' 盤古 is the mythological creator of the universe, also supposedly shaped like a sack, connected with dog mythologies, and who grew into a giant in order to separate Heaven and Earth.
#''Heaven and earth as marital partners'' within the world-egg refers to the theme of Sky father and Earth Mother goddess.
#''Zhongli'' 重黎 or 融黎 is identified with 祝融 "god of fire", which is a mythology from the southern state , with variations appearing as two gods Zhong and Li.
#''Zhongli'' 重黎 clan, which has variant writings, originated in the Ba , near present-day Anhui.
#''The brother-sister marriage'' is a complex of myths explaining the origins or mankind , and their first child is usually a lump of flesh, which falls into pieces and populates the world. In later mythology, the brother Fu Xi and sister Nüwa, who lived on Mt. Kunlun, exemplify this marriage.

Norman J. Girardot, professor of Chinese religion at Lehigh University, has written articles and a definitive book on ''hundun''. He summarizes this mythology as follows.
#The ''hun-tun'' theme in early Taoism represents an ensemble of mythic elements coming from different cultural and religious situations.
#The symbolic coherence of the ''hun-tun'' theme in the Taoist texts basically reflects a creative reworking of a limited set of interrelated mythological typologies: especially the cosmic egg-gourd, the animal ancestor-cosmic giant, and primordial couple mythologies. The last two of these typologies are especially, although not exclusively, linked to what may be called the deluge cycle of mythology found primarily in southern local cultures.
#While there may also be a cultural connection between the southern deluge cycle and the cosmogonic scenario of the cosmic egg , the fundamental linkage for all these typologies is the early Taoist, innovative perception of a shared symbolic intention that accounts for, and supports, a particular cosmogonic, metaphysical, and mystical vision of creation and life.

Interpretations of ''Hundun'' have expanded from "primordial chaos" into other realms. For instance, it is a keyword in ''Neidan'' "Chinese internal alchemy". Robinet explains, "Alchemists begin their work by "opening" or "boring" ''hundun''; in other words, they begin from the Origin, infusing its transcendent element of precosmic light into the cosmos in order to reshape it."

Huang Long (mythology)

Huang Long is a hornless dragon who once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Xi with the elements of writing. According to legend, when it appeared before Fu Xi, it filled a hole in the sky made by the monster Kung Kung. Its waking, sleeping and breathing determined day and night, season and weather.

In East Asian culture, there's sometimes a fifth Guardian Beast of the . This deity is the guardian of the center and it represents the element earth, the Chinese quintessence, as well as the changing of the seasons.

Huang Long doesn't appear in Japanese mythology: the fifth element in the Japanese elemental system is Void. So there cannot be an animal representing it. Because of this, Huang Long is often forgotten. However, some consider the ''Ouryu'' as the Japanese counterpart of Huang Long since they share some similarities.

The dragon as symbol of imperial authority

At the end of his reign, the first legendary Emperor was said to have been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his emblem, and ascended to Heaven. Since the Chinese consider Huang Di as their ancestor, they sometimes refer to themselves as "the descendants of the dragon". This legend also contributed towards the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power.


In legend, hsigo are flying monkeys with human faces and wings.

The flying monkeys in ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'' could be considered hsigo.