The Thunder God is Defiled

《雷神圖》明 佚名

Shen Yutan(沈雨潭) also said, on a day in the twenty-seventh year of Qianlong, thunder and lightning raged, and thunderbolts spun over the Huai’an(淮安) Orphanage. It was about to strike an old woman in the courtyard. At that time, this old woman was urinating. Suddenly, a loud thunder directly struck above her head. The old woman panicked, immediately lifted the chamber pot, and threw it in the direction of the thunder. Afterwards, a golden-armored Thunder God circled around the roof for a few rounds and then landed on the ground. 

The Double Flower Temple

《荷香清暑》現代 華三川

During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng, there was a scholar named Cai in Guilin, young and handsome with an elegant demeanor.

One spring, Cai went to the theater to watch a play. While engrossed in the performance, he felt someone touching his buttocks from behind. Enraged, Cai prepared to scold the person and even raised his fist to strike. However, when he turned around, he discovered that the one who touched him was also a young man, even more handsome than himself. 

Copper Men Perform the West Chamber

In the twenty-ninth year of the Qianlong reign, Westerners presented eighteen copper-made robots as tribute to the imperial court. These eighteen robots were capable of performing the play “The West Chamber.”

Each of these robots was a little over a foot tall, and their bodies, ears, eyes, hands, and feet were all made of copper. They had mechanisms connecting their hearts, stomachs, kidneys, intestines, etc., similar to the construction of a self-playing clock. 

Chuxiong Strange Tree

Jijia Prefecture(嘉州) in Chuxiong Prefecture(楚雄府), Yunnan, is a place where ethnic minorities live. There, there is a tall holly tree with twisted roots, extending for more than ten miles. From a distance, it looks like dozens of woodenware shops have opened under the tree, with tables, chairs, beds, couches, kitchens, and cabinets all complete inside, enough to accommodate more than ten households. Unfortunately, the leaves of this holly tree are too sparse to provide shelter from wind and rain. 

Infatuated Ghost’s Love for His Wife

吳鎮 《墨竹譜》冊 十幅

In the capital, there was an elderly woman who could see ghosts. She once told people, “I once saw a ghost at a certain family, utterly infatuated to the extreme. However, the situation was pitiful, evoking a poignant and touching feeling. The ghost’s name was unknown, residing in a certain village. The family was moderately well-off, and the ghost died at the age of around twenty-seven or twenty-eight. About a hundred days after his death, the deceased’s wife invited me to accompany her. 

The God of Mount Taibai

《神龍沛雨圖》宋 陳容

The god of Mount Taibai(太白山神) in central Qin is considered the most efficacious. At the summit of Mount Taibai, there are three ponds known as the Big Taibai, Middle Taibai, and Three Taibai. If leaves, weeds, or mud fall into these ponds, flocks of birds will come and carry away these impurities. Therefore, the local people refer to these birds as the ‘Pond-cleaning Birds(淨池鳥).’

Once, a carpenter accidentally fell into the Taibai Pond and discovered another world beneath its surface. 

The Fox Daoist

《雙鉤竹石圖》李衎

In the maternal family of Fa Jiasun(法嘉蓀)’s grandmother, there was a nephew named Sun who was a wealthy man in the local area. In the early Qing Dynasty, piracy was rampant along the coastal areas, so Sun moved his family to Jintan(金壇). One day, an old man surnamed Hu, accompanied by dozens of descendants and servants, along with some valuable luggage, passed by Sun’s house. The old man claimed to be from Shanxi(山西) and, due to the chaos of war, couldn’t proceed further, requesting to borrow an empty room in Sun’s house for temporary residence. 

Elder Brother Ding

《柳蔭醉歸》南宋 佚名

During the Kangxi era, in the countryside near Yangzhou(揚州), there was a man named Yu Er(俞二) who made a living as a farmer. One day, Yu Er went into the city to collect the payment for the wheat he had sold. The owner of the grain store insisted on treating him to some drinks. By the time Yu Er was on his way back, it was already dark. As he reached Hongqiao(紅橋), a dozen or so small figures appeared and approached him, pulling and tugging at him. 

Chiyou/蚩尤: Chinese God of War

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Chiyou/Chi You?
  2. Chi You As the God of War and Master Weapon Smith
  3. Chiyou in Chinese Mythology
  4. Different Versions of the Chiyou Myth
  5. Chiyou’s Cultural Influence
  6. Reference

Who is Chiyou/Chi You?

Chiyou/Chi You, the god of war in Chinese Mythology
  • Name: Chiyou
  • Parentage: Offspring of Yan Di, also known as the Flame Emperor
  • Title: God of War
  • Attributions: Credited with inventing military weapons
  • Rebellion Against Huang Di:
    • Rebelled against Huang Di, his father
    • Faced defeat in the ensuing war and met his demise
    • The chains that bound him transformed into a maple tree
  • Weapon Creation:
    • Created weapons such as the spear, dagger-axe, sword, and halberd
    • Different versions depict him with numerous brothers, each possessing unique features
      • Animal body, bronze head, iron forehead
      • Ability to speak human language
      • Human body, horned head, ox hooves, four eyes, six hands
      • Ears and temples resembling swords and spears
  • Central Event in Shanhaijing:
    • Attack on Huang Di(the Yellow Emperor), described as one of the fiercest battles in Chinese mythology
    • War involved powerful gods on both sides
    • Chiyou’s formidable abilities posed a challenge for Huang Di
  • Strategies Used Against Chiyou:
    • Use of a drum made from the hide of Kui to prevent Chiyou from flying away
    • Use of horns sounding like dragons to ward off Chiyou’s mythical animals
    • Chiyou’s manipulation of clouds and mist countered by Huang Di’s invention of the compass
  • Post-Death Reputation:
    • Huang Di used Chiyou’s image to maintain peace in troubled times
    • Revered as the god of war by military leaders during the Qin and Han dynasties
  • Influence on Customs and Beliefs:
    • “Chiyou’s Game,” a horn-butting tradition, emerged in Ji Province during the Han period
    • Sacrifices to Chiyou in Taiyuan excluded ox heads, reflecting Chiyou’s ox-headed portrayal
    • Miao ethnic group regarded Chiyou as their remote ancestor
    • Oxen worshipped as symbols of luck and heroism
    • Ox horn designs adorn clothes and silver decorations
  • Miao Mythology and Festivals:
    • Jiangyang, an ancestor in Miao mythology, born from a goddess hatched from a maple tree’s egg
    • Festivals like “Trembling the Flower Mountain” in Yunnan Province trace their origins to the Chiyou myth
    • After defeat, Chiyou planted a trunk with a red waistband, encouraging dancing and reed pipe playing to gather scattered tribes
    • “Chiyou’s flag” commemorates the ancestral struggle against Huang Di and the migration of the Miao people to southern mountains

Read on for more details and learn about Chi You’s story in Chinese mythology. 

The Water Monster’s Breath

《夏山圖》屈鼎

There was a man named Cheng Zhizhang(程志章) from Hangzhou who once traveled from Chaozhou(潮州) through Huanggang(黃崗) by boat, crossing a sea channel. Halfway through the journey, a strong wind suddenly arose, and a black vapor surged from the water. Within this vapor was a figure, entirely black, with only the eye sockets and lips as white as powder. He boarded the boat Cheng Zhizhang was on, sat at the bow, and blew air toward the people on the boat. 

The City God’s Naked Plea for Clothing

《幽竹枯槎圖》王庭筠

Daoist Zhang Ting(張挺) was in charge of repairing the City God Temple in Huzhou(湖州). He ordered craftsmen to carve a three-zhang tall statue of the City God out of sandalwood and embroidered a ceremonial robe to dress the statue. Just three days after the new City God statue was enshrined, Zhang Ting dreamt of a giant standing before him. This giant wore a celestial crown on his head but was completely naked.