Guanshen’s Fishing: A Story of a Daoist Fisher in the Song Dynasty

Explore the life of Guanshen, a Daoist fisherman from the Song Dynasty who lived by the Sui River, cultivated balsam pear, and left a lasting legacy.

Guanshen was a man from the Song Dynasty. He made a living by fishing and lived by the banks of the Sui River for over a hundred years. After catching fish, he would sometimes release them, sell some, and keep others for his own consumption. He often wore a hat and a belt. He enjoyed cultivating the balsam pear plant and eating its flowers and fruits. When Duke Jing of Song sought his advice on Daoism, he remained silent and was subsequently killed. Decades later, he sat on the city gate of Song and played the zither, only leaving after several tens of days. Every household in Song offered sacrifices to him.



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