Bu Tian Gang Lore Glossary


Chapter 1

Water Monkey (水猴子) = legendary creature that lives in a water and looks like an ape. They commonly known as water ghosts/water lion ghost/water corpses in folklore.

[Water Monkeys usually live in the water, and sometimes go ashore, and are more common in wild water sources such as mountain ponds and reservoirs. Water monkeys are dependent on water and lose their limbs within ten minutes of being out of water. In the water, the water monkey’s strength is several times stronger than that of humans, so once they pull you in, it become life-threatening. According to legends, water monkeys have a huge and mysterious power in the water. They can dig through different ponds and river underwater. They catch drowning people and drag them to the bottom. Some say they like to drink human blood and eat human fingernails and eyeballs.]

Kappa = An amphibious demon (yokai) found in Japanese folklore. They are depicted as green, human-like beings with webbed hands and feet and have a turtle like carapace on their back.

Lady Zhurong = Sometimes referred to as Madam Zhurong, is a fictional character from the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. She claims descent from the Chinese fire deity Zhurong, from whom she acquires her name. Zhurong is the only woman in the novel who participates in fighting and battles against Shu forces alongside her husband.


Chapter 3

Ba-Zi (Four Pillars of Destiny) Source

Four Pillars of Destiny is a Chinese term that comprises of four elements of a person’s destiny or fate. The four components are taken from the moment of birth. They are the year, month, day, and time (hour). Each of these elements are important in Chinese astrology, the zodiac and fortune telling.

Ten Heavenly Stems are the yin and yang components of the Five Elements: Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water, Yin Water.

The Twelve Earthly Branches are more popularly represented by the twelve animals of the Zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

The culture of Chinese Fortune Telling (中华吉祥文化 Zhōnghuá jíxiáng wénhuà) is based on five principles that to the skilled can be judged from the balance found in the Eight Characters determined by the Ten Heavenly Stems and the Twelve Earthly Branches that are associated with the time and date of your birth. The five principles are:

  • Fu, 福 (fortune) signifying luck;
  • Lu, 禄 (affluence) for fame and recognition;
  • Shou, 寿 (longevity) for health;
  • Xi, 喜 (happiness) for joy;
  • Cai, 财 (wealth) for abundance and riches.

The talisman is composed of five elements:

  1. <Head>: represents the person’s head.
  2. <Gods and Buddhas>: oversees the person’s mind and heart.
  3. <Belly>: represents the person’s stomach where the effect of the talisman is described.
  4. <Feet>: represents the person’s feet.
  5. <Gallbladder>: represents the person’s liver. It’s a very important position in the talisman. It’s like a lock to a door. Without it, bad spirits can freely enter.

Since ancient times there have been many talisman sects, but each worships its ancestors differently, and because of this, the ciphers of the talismans are also different. So, while they may represent the same thing, they are drawn differently. Different types of talismans vary according to their sect. Generally, they are used to invite gods, dispatch troops, or as “decrees”. 


Chapter 6

The 5 Elements are part of the yin and yang philosophy and are interconnected. It’s usually used in divination for naming a person, in Chinese medicine, and acupuncture. Each element has their interaction with each other.

Wood promotes fire, fire promotes earth, earth promotes metal, metal promote water, and water promotes wood.

Wood controls earth but is suppressed by metal, fire controls metal but is suppressed by water, earth controls water but is suppressed by wood, metal controls wood but is suppressed by fire, and water controls fire but is suppressed by earth.


Chapter 9

Yaksha also known as “Yaksa”.

In folklore, Yaksha ghosts are mostly “sea monsters” or “water ghosts”. They can eat people and animals, and are related to the Dragon King, and the Evil God. It’s a unique ghost creature in the underworld and its whole body is black.

Dakini Yaksha has two wings and can fly in the air. It is ever-changing. Sometimes it is red, sometimes blue, sometimes yellow. No matter what color it is, it possess a kind of dark light that is very powerful. Its body sometimes turns into the head of a human beast, or the head of a cow, or a horse, which is terrifying, and it likes to cause trouble.

Earthwalking Yaksha is even more frightening. Its hair is a green flame, several feet high, burning like a candle. One of its eyes is on its forehead while the other grew on its chin. They are strangely shaped, some triangular, while others are half-moon.

The Yaksha in this novel is not referring to the Yaksha from Hindu, Jain, and Buddhism text, which are generally benevolent.


Chapter 10

Onmyoji

Practitioner of Onmyodo. It has an eclectic blend of Wu Xing, Godai (Five elements), Yin and Yang, shikigami, divination, and alchemy.

A practitioner of onmyodo is called an onmyoji. Traditionally, the only ones able to legally practice onmyodo were appointed by the Imperial government, and were in fact, civil servants of the Bureau of Onmyō. During the Heian period, onmyōji had quite a bit of political clout, but when the imperial court fell into decline, their status as civil servants was lost. Their original responsibilities included keeping track of the calendar, divination, and protection of the capital from evil spirits. They also watched for auspicious and/or harmful influences in the earth, (earthquake detection).

The most famous onmyoji is Abe no Seimei who is roughly analogous to Merlin of Arthurian legend.

Shikigami

Shikigami are conjured beings, made alive through a complex conjuring ceremony. Their power is connected to the spiritual force of their master, where if the invoker is well introduced and has much experience, their shiki can possess animals and even people and manipulate them, but if the invoker is careless, their shikigami may get out of control in time, gaining its own will and consciousness and can even raid its own master and kill them in revenge. Usually, shikigami are conjured to exercise risky orders for their masters, such as spying, stealing and enemy tracking. Shikigami are said to be invisible most of the time, but they can be made visible by binding them into small, folded and artfully cut paper manikins. There are also shikigami that can show themselves as animals.


Chapter 13

Amaterasu

Goddess of the sun in Japanese mythology. She was born from the left eye of her father, Izanagi, who bestowed upon her a necklace of jewels and placed her in charge of Takamagahara (“High Celestial Plain”), the abode of all the gods.

She is the Queen of Heaven, the kami, and creation itself. Though she did not create the universe, she is the goddess of creation, a role she inherited from her father, Izanagi, who now defends the world from the land of the dead.

Amaterasu’s primary role is that of the sun goddess. In this position, she not only serves as the literal rising sun that illuminates all things, but also provides nourishment to all living creatures and marks the orderly movement of day into night.

The sun represents order and purity, two of Shinto’s most important concepts. All things in creation are ordered, from Amaterasu down to the denizens of Jigoku and other hells and this order is reflected in Japanese society as well.

Source


Chapter 17

Five Ghosts

The five ghosts are also known as the five plagues, five plague messengers, or the gods of plague in Chinese folklore. Every year, some temples will worship these five to ensure the safety of their livestock.

They are:

  1. Zhang Yuanbo (fortune-ghost of the east)
  2. Liu Yuanda (fortune-ghost of the west)
  3. Zhao Gongming (fortune-ghost of the south)
  4. Zhong Shigui (fortune-ghost of the north)
  5. Shi Wenye (fortune-ghost of the Chinese side/general manager of the 5 ghosts).

A second version in Chinese folklore refers to the five ghosts are bringers of fortune who will transport the wealth of others to the giver’s horoscope. They can do this without opening the door or breaking any boxes. Often monks would charge high fees for their talismans that can ward off these ghosts.


Chapter 22

Naihe Bridge

In Chinese folklore, after death, all souls must cross the bridge on the Naihe River. The bridge is divided into 3 layers. The good souls can pass safely through the bridge on the upper layer. The half-good souls cross the middle section, and the wicked and evil the lower section. These souls are often stop by ghosts in the filthy water and bitten by copper snakes and iron dogs.

At the end, they will meet an elderly female deity called Meng Po who feeds them Meng Po Soup that makes them forget all the memories of their past life before they reincarnate.

Heart Connection [Xintong] (心通)

Buddhist term and one of the six links of Buddhism. Xintong is telepathy, which means that you can understand what others think without language. It referred to as “thinking sensing”, which means that this super ability can sense the thinking (thought waves) between people or animals, and can transmit perception in unknown ways.

The characteristics of xintong is that when interacting with people, you don’t need any internal information. You will be able to analyze their inner world to know who they are, their characteristics, what they are thinking, ect.

Applied spirituality, it is divided into three categories:

  1. Spirit Healing: it refers to channeling to cure diseases, which is similar to the miracle doctor in China. It can cure diseases with hands or voice.
  2. Geodesy: it is a method of measuring underground water sources or minerals with psychic power.
  3. Psychometry: a psychic can know everything about something someone has used, or can detect sealed letters, or items placed in the next room.

Chapter 23

3 Souls

The three souls more commonly refer to as the three souls and seven souls governs the spiritual part of the body.

In Taoism, the three souls refer to the “heaven soul, earth soul, and human soul” which are respectively named “fetal light, cool spirit, and secluded spirit”. In ancient times this was called “main soul, awakened soul, and living soul” or “primitive spirit, yang spirit, yin spirit”.

  • Fetal light: is in charge of your life. If this is gone, that means you’re dead.
  • Cool spirit: is in charge of your wisdom, inspiration, and everything you need to think about. It is says that people who are stupid lacks this soul.
  • Secluded spirit: is in charge of your lineage and any personality that comes with it. This includes such things like your hobbies, sexual orientation, your earthly wants and desires, ect.

When a person dies the three souls return to their three lines.

  • Heavenly soul/fetal light returns to the Heavenly Road as it is only a conscious and is immortal.
  • Soul of the Earth/cool spirit returns to the underworld because it knows the karma and retribution of everything in your main soul.
  • Human soul/secluded spirit lingers among the cemeteries.

The three souls will reunite again when the main soul reincarnates.

The seven souls refer to:

  1. Joy
  2. Anger
  3. Sorrow
  4. Fear
  5. Love
  6. Evil
  7. Desire

3 Religions and 9 Streams

The three religions are:

  1. Confucianism: Confucianism revolves around the pursuit of the unity of the individual self and the God of Heaven, or, otherwise said, around the relationship between humanity and Heaven.
  2. Buddhism: As expressed in the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, the goal of Buddhism is to overcome suffering caused by desire and ignorance of reality’s true nature, including impermanence and the non-existence of the self.
  3. Taoism: Is the concept that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (natural order of the universe) and achieve perfection through self-cultivation.

These religions are further divided into 9 streams that are classification of people’s status and occupational name in ancient China. They are:

  1. Emperors
  2. Scribes
  3. Officials
  4. Doctors
  5. Monks
  6. Solders
  7. Peasants
  8. Craftsmen
  9. Merchants

Chapter 25

Bagua gang method

For Taoist practitioners, step, gang and tread are all spells that must be learned when fasting, drawing talisman, practicing methods, and channeling spirits.

The gang method that has been circulated in modern times include fighting gang method, innate bagua gang method, acquire bagua gang method among others. The fighting method, the innate bagua method, and the acquired bagua method are mostly passed down in the folk.


Chapter 27

Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio – Painted Skin by Pu Songling

An academician from Taiyuan, referred to only by his surname, Wang, chances upon a homeless girl who claims to be an ill-treated concubine. Noting her beauty as well as feeling pity for her, Wang agrees to let her stay at his residence temporarily. They make love in his study, unbeknownst to anybody else. A few days afterward, Wang’s spouse, Chen, discovers their affair and is unhappy with the arrangement; but she fails to change her husband’s mind.

At the marketplace, a Taoist priest informs Wang that he has been possessed by an evil spirit. The incredulous Wang dismisses this. Returning home, he finds the gates locked but manages to find a way into the courtyard, where he finds that the front door is bolted too. Peeking through the window, Wang makes a startling discovery: the girl is actually a “green-faced monster, a ghoul with great jagged teeth like a saw.” All this while, she had been wearing a mask made of human skin, on which her attractive features were painted.

Shocked, Wang returns to the Taoist priest and begs him to help. The priest agrees but ambivalently wishes to be lenient with a fellow sentient being, and thus offers Wang only a charm meant to ward off demons. Wang returns home and hangs the charm outside his bedroom; but it has no effect on the demon. Instead, she turns enraged and rips out Wang’s heart. Wang’s spouse reports this to the priest who, incited to fury, launches a full-scale offensive against the demon. The priest and Chen find that the demon has transformed itself into an elderly helper working at Wang’s brother’s place. In the climax, the demon reverts to its original form, and the priest beheads it with his wooden sword. The demon’s remains dissolve into smoke which the priest stores in his calabash. He also rolls up the demon’s “painted skin” and stores it away.

Later, the priest tells Chen to visit a lunatic beggar at the marketplace if she wishes to revive her husband. The madman treats her with disrespect by continuously demeaning her, but she takes this in stride and patiently pleads with him for help. Finally, he coughs forth some phlegm and makes her swallow it. The beggar departs and Chen is left feeling deeply ashamed. Back home, during funeral preparations, the phlegm gradually hardens and rises from Chen’s stomach to her throat. Ultimately she disgorges a throbbing heart, which she places into the gaping wound in Wang’s chest; slowly, his life is restored.


Chapter 31

Jiao/Jiaolong

Type of dragon in Chinese mythology that is hornless and scaled. It is aquatic or river-dwelling. English translations have referred to it as “jiao-dragon”, “crocodile”, “flood dragon”, “scale/scaly dragon”, or even “kraken”.

Though called “dragon” it is in fact not a dragon but a species of water beast that has dragon blood. They like to hide in ponds and rivers for several hundreds to thousands of years and if they can survive a calamity, they can ascend to become a real dragon.

Depending on text, its descriptions varies but generally it agreed that it’s aquatic in nature, hornless, and scaley. It is said that they control the water and can make clouds and rains as well as summon floods. They are flightless by nature and only have a pair of claws.


Chapter 32

Gu/Poison (蛊)

Is a venom-based poison associated with cultures of south China, particularly Nanyue. The traditional preparation of gu poison involved sealing several venomous creatures (e.g., centipede, snake, scorpion) inside a closed container, where they devoured one another and allegedly concentrated their toxins into a single survivor, whose body would be fed upon by larvae until consumed. The last surviving larva held the complex poison. Gu is used in black magic practices such as manipulating sexual partners, creating malignant diseases, and causing death. According to Chinese folklore, a gu spirit could transform into various animals, typically a worm, caterpillar, snake, frog, dog, or pig.

See the Wikipedia for deeper details.

Aoyu (鳌鱼)

Legendary aquatic creature (turtle/fish). Legends has it that in ancient times, gold and silver carps wanted to jump over the dragon gates and fly into the clouds and ascend the sky to transform into dragons, but they swallowed the dragon balls in the sea and could only turn into a fish body with a dragon’s head, giving them the name Aoyu.

Male Aoyu have golden scale with a gourd tail while female Aoyu have silver scales with a hhibiscus tail.

This is what they supposedly look like.


Chapter 37

Spiritual Descent (灵降)

A kind of head taming technique that uses one’s willpower to make the victim hallucinate or lose consciousness and do unimaginable strange things. This kind of abilities must be performed with many spells. The effect is very fast, and it can control a person’s will in an instant.


Chapter 38

Three Swords of Feijing (飞景三剑)

Also called [Baipi Baojian] (百辟宝剑) were 3 swords commissioned by Emperor Wen of Wei/Cao Pi. They each have their own names:

  1. Feijing Sword – Was like a shooting star. It’s 4 feet and 2 inches long and weigh about pound and 15 taels.
  2. Luicai Sword – The color is like a ranbow. It’s 4 feet and 2 inches long 1 catty (11/3 lbs) and 14 taels.
  3. Huafeng – Decorated with jade and the hilt is made by a rhino’s horn. It’s 4 feet and 2 inches long.

Gan Jiang and Mo Ye

Were a swordsmith couple, discussed in the literature involving the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. Some aspects of this material may be considered historical; others are certainly mythological. A pair of swords was forged by and named after them.

According to the historical text Wuyue Chunqiu, King Helü of Wu ordered Gan Jiang and Mo Ye to forge a pair of swords for him in three months. However, the blast furnace failed to melt the metal. Mo Ye suggested that there was insufficient human qi in the furnace, so the couple cut their hair and nails and cast them into the furnace, while 300 children helped to blow air into the bellows. In another account, Mo Ye sacrificed herself to increase human qi by throwing herself into the furnace. The desired result was achieved after three years, and the two swords were named after the couple. Gan Jiang kept the male sword, Ganjiang, for himself and presented the female sword, Moye, of the pair to the king. The king was already very displeased since he ordered the sword made in three months’ time but Ganjiang did not come back in three years, when he discovered Gan Jiang had kept the male sword, he was angered and had Gan Jiang killed.

Before his death, Gan Jiang had already predicted the king’s reaction, so he left behind a message for Mo Ye and their unborn son telling them where he had hidden the Ganjiang Sword. Several months later, Mo Ye gave birth to Gan Jiang’s son, Chi (赤), and years later she told him his father’s story. Chi was eager to avenge his father and he sought the Ganjiang Sword. At the same time, the king dreamed of a youth who desired to kill him, and, in fear, he placed a bounty on the youth’s head. Chi was indignant and, filled with anguish, he started crying on his way to enact his vengeance. An assassin found Chi, who told the assassin his story. The assassin then suggested that Chi surrender his head and sword, and the assassin himself will avenge Ganjiang in Chi’s place. He did as tell and committed suicide. The assassin was moved and decided to help Chi fulfill his quest.

The assassin severed Chi’s head and brought it, along with the Ganjiang sword to the overjoyed king. The king was however uncomfortable with Chi’s head staring at him, and the assassin asked the king to have Chi’s head boiled, but Chi’s head was still staring at the king even after 40 days without any sign of decomposition, thus the assassin told the king that he needed to take a closer look and stare back in order for the head to decompose under the power of the king. The king bent over the cauldron and the assassin seized the opportunity to decapitate him, his head falling into the cauldron alongside Chi’s. The assassin then cut off his own head, which also fell into the boiling water. The flesh on the heads was boiled away such that none of the guards could recognize which head belonged to whom. The guards and vassals decided since all three should be honored as kings (With Chi and the assassin being so brave and loyal). The three heads were eventually buried together at Yichun County, Runan, Henan, and the grave is called “Tomb of Three Kings”.


Chapter 41

Horizontal Training (横练)

Referred to as the “three trainings”, it encompasses:

  1. Boxing method: It’s the orthodox practice of boxing that focuses on attack and defense and using this as the guideline for its application for the purpose of self-cultivation. During training, the fist is capable of hitting air even if there’s no physical obstacle.
  2. Martial arts method: Hitting the object quickly using martial arts. Training involves rapidly punching sandbags, hitting wooden stakes, kicking objects such as trees, brick walls, ect. to stimulate oneself but by no means is it comparable to “heavy” kungfu or an experience boxer. This method is for the inexperience that cannot refine qi and regulate their dantian and training is more impromptu than following a set of guidelines, thus could result in hidden damage to oneself and affecting one’s body.   
  3. Horizontal training method: Special training in Chinese boxing that exceeds the physical capabilities of an ordinary boxer. Training method includes strengthen all parts of one’s body to the extreme, such as using your body, legs, arms, chest, ect. to break objects like bricks, wooden boards ect. In short, this method is designed to cultivate a special offense and defensive skill that surpasses ordinary people. It is a combination of combining kungfu and boxing together.

[Jiangshi] (僵尸)

Also known as the Chinese hopping vampire/ghost. It’s a reanimated corpse in Chinese legends. They are typically depicted as a stiff corpse dressed in Chinese shroud and moves around by hopping with its arms outstretched. It kills living creatures to absorb their qi, or “life force”. It usually moves at night and during the day would hide in their coffin or dark places.

The Qing Dynasty scholar Ji Xiaolan mentioned in his book Yuewei Caotang Biji (閱微草堂筆記) (c. 1789 – 1798) that the causes for a corpse to be reanimated can be classified in either of two categories: a recently deceased person returning to life, or a corpse that has been buried for a long time but does not decompose. Some causes are described below:

  • The use of supernatural arts to resurrect the dead.
  • Spirit possession of a dead body.
  • A corpse absorbs sufficient yang qi to return to life.
  • A person’s body is governed by three huns and seven pos. The Qing Dynasty scholar Yuan Mei wrote in his book Zi Bu Yu that “A person’s hun is good but the po is evil, the hun is intelligent but the po is not so good”. The hun leaves his/her body after death but their po remains and takes control of the body, so the dead person becomes a jiangshi.
  • The dead person is not buried even after a funeral has been held. The corpse comes to life after it is struck by a bolt of lightning, or when a pregnant cat (or a black cat in some tales) leaps across the coffin.
  • When a person’s soul fails to leave their deceased body, due to improper death, suicide, or just wanting to cause trouble.
  • A person injured by a jiangshi is infected with the “jiangshi virus” and gradually changes into a jiangshi over time, as seen in the Mr. Vampire films.

You can read more about it at the Wikipedia link.

Licker

The Licker is a fictional creature from Capcom’s Resident Evil series. It first appeared in the video game Resident Evil 2. It has appeared outside video games, including in films. It is one of the most iconic creatures in the game series, as result of a further mutation in zombies infected with certain strains of T-virus. This process is known as V-ACT. The Licker is noted for its large, exposed brains; lack of skin; sensitivity to sound and their eponymous tongues.

The Licker has lost the use of its eyes and cannot track prey by sight. Their super-developed hearing, however, more compensates for the loss. Upon detecting potential prey it will attack full force with teeth, tongue and claws, often alerting others of its kind in the vicinity as well. Weapons that emit very little sound, such as the bowgun, are especially useful.

There are also different forms of Licker. Once it has ingested flesh it will mutate into a stronger, faster hunter. It has been regarded by critics as the most terrifying monster in Resident Evil.


Chapter 48

Gao Ming/Qian Liyan & Gao Jue/Shufeng’Er

They are fictitious character in the novel Investiture of the Gods of the Ming Dynasty.

Gao Ming is known for his clairvoyancy. It is said that he has eyes that can see every action for thousands of miles.

Gao Jue is known for his omniscience. It is said that he has ears that could hear every sound that comes with the wind.

Several legends exist about their origins. One tells that they were originally golden essence that were transformed by water essence. The second, tells that they were brothers, Gao Ming and Gao Jue, who severed as generals for King Zhou and died in battle. They eventually became the peach spirt and willow ghost that haunted Taohua Mountain until they were subdued by Mo Niang. After suppression, they vow to follow Taoism and help the world together.  

There are other iterations of this their origins, but they all fall within the same lines of being brothers that possess their unique traits of clairvoyance and omniscience.


Chapter 49

Water Sprite/Kelpie (水鬼)

A shape-shifting spirit in Scottish folklore that usually describe as a black horse-like creature that’s able to adopt human form. Some accounts states the kelpie retains its hooves when appearing as a human leading to its association with Satan. It is often seen in bodies of waters like rivers and lakes.

Legends varies though the most famous association with it is the Loch Ness Monster.

You can read more about it in the Wikipedia.

Flying Stiff (飞僵) / Lich

A zombie that becomes a demon after years of gathering resentment. After turning into a scorpion it gains the ability to fly/float thus its giving it it’s flying aspect. Stiff refers to the corpse of its original zombie form that’s stiff since rigor mortis has set in. Wherever it goes, it is said to be the king of zombies.

It can cause drought and therefore when there’s a drought, people will search for zombies and burn them to ashes. According to legends, it can also suck human blood within a hundred paces.

I have decided to translate this to lich because flying stiff sounds awkward and one of the results from baidu gave me the Dota 2 hero lich.

Text to the dead (殄文)

Also known as the water book, or ghost book, or anti-book, is written text for the dead. Legends has it that it was created by a man name Lu Duogong. It’s ancient writings that mainly record cultural information such as astronomy, geography, religion, folklore, ethnics, and philosophy.


Chapter 51

Yasakani-no-Magatama

One of the Three Sacred Treasures of the Imperial Family. It’s a large magatama that’s been handed down for generations. According to Japanese mythology, the jewel was made by Tamanooya and is an object commonly used to demonstrate status for regional rulers in Japan. 


Chapter 54

Qilin/Kirin (麒麟)

Is a legendary hooved chimerical creature that appears in Chinese mythology and is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler. Qilin are a specific type of the lin mythological family of one-horned beasts.

Qilin generally have Chinese dragon-like features: similar heads with antlers, eyes with thick eyelashes, manes that always flow upward, and beards. The body is fully or partially scaled and often shaped like an ox, deer, or horse. They are always shown with cloven hooves. While dragons in China (and thus qilin) are also most commonly depicted as golden, qilin may be of any color or even various colors and can be depicted as bejeweled or exhibiting a jewel-like brilliance. Common color choices for depictions are often associated with the elements, precious metals, stars, and gemstones, but can additionally include earth-tones and modest browns.

The qilin is depicted throughout a wide range of Chinese art, sometimes with parts of their bodies on fire. On occasion, they will have feathery features or decorations, fluffy curly tufts of hair, as depicted in Ming Dynasty horse art on various parts of the legs, from fetlocks to upper legs, or even with decorative fish-like fins as embellishments, or carp fish whiskers, or scales. It is said their auspicious voice sounds like the tinkling of bells, chimes, and the wind.

You can read more in the Wikipedia.


Chapter 61

Budong Mingwang /Acala (不動明王)

A wrathful deity and protector of Dharma prominent in Vajrayana Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism. In Chinese modern times, he is revered as one of the eight Buddhist guardians of the Chinese zodiac and specifically considered to be the protector of those born in the year of the Rooster. He is also frequently invoked during Chinese Buddhist repentance ceremonies, such as the Liberation Rite of Water and Land, along with the other Wisdom Kings where they are given offerings and intreated to expel evil from the ritual platform. You can read more in the Wikipedia.


Chapter 64

Hontu

Goddess Queen of the Earth, also known was Dimu (Mother Earth), is the deity of deep earth and soil in Chinese religion and mythlogy. She is the overlord of all the Tu Di Gong worldwide. Equivalent God outside of China would be like Gaia.


Chapter 67

Pangu (盘古)

A primordial being and creation figure in Chinese mythology who separated heaven and earth and became geographic features such as mountains and rivers.

In the beginning, there was nothing and the universe was in a featureless, formless primordial state. This primordial state coalesced into a cosmic egg for about 18,000 years. Within it, the perfectly opposed principles of yin and yang became balanced and Pangu emerged (or woke up) from the egg. Pangu inside the cosmic egg symbolizes Taiji. Pangu is usually depicted as a primitive, hairy giant who has horns on his head. Pangu began creating the world: he separated yin from yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating the earth (murky yin) and the sky (clear yang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the sky. With each day, the sky grew ten feet (3 meters) higher, the earth ten feet thicker, and Pangu ten feet taller. This task took yet another 18,000 years. In some versions of the story, Pangu is aided in this task by the four most prominent beasts, namely the Turtle, the Qilin, the Phoenix, and the Dragon.

After the 18,000 years had elapsed, Pangu died. His breath became the wind, mist and clouds; his voice, thunder; his left eye, the Sun; his right eye, the Moon; his head, the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood, rivers; his muscles, fertile land; his facial hair, the stars and Milky Way; his fur, bushes and forests; his bones, valuable minerals; his bone marrow, precious jewels; his sweat, rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became animals.

You can read more about him in the Wikipedia.

Azure Dragon/Qinglong/Seiryu

Also known as Qinglong in Chinese or Seiryu in Japanese, is one of the Dragon Gods who represent the mount or chthonic forces of the Five Regions’ Highest Deities.

White Tiger/Baihu/Byakko

Also known as Baihu in Chinese and Byakko in Japanese, represents the west in terms of direction and the season of autumn.

Black Tortoise/Xuanwu/Genbu

Also known as Xuanwu in Chiense and Genbu in Japanse, represent the north in terms of direction and the season of winter. Usually portrayed as a turtle with a snake as its tail.

Vermillion Bird/Zhuque/Suzaku

Also known as Zhuque in Chinese and Suzaku in Japanese, represents the south in direction and also the fire element and the season of summer. It is described as a red bird that resembles a pheasant with five-color plumage and is perpetually covered in flames.


Chapter 69

The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl

The story tells of the romance between Zhinü (織女; the weaver girl, symbolizing the star Vega) and Niulang (牛郎; the cowherd, symbolizing the star Altair). Their love was not allowed, and thus they were banished to opposite sides of the heavenly river (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for a single day.


Chapter 75

Bao Jiaxian (保家仙)

Title of feudal folk god, usually written on paper and pasted on the wall or tablet made of wood. Some people would build small temples as well. Usually tributes it paid to them on the first and fifteenth day of each month

Ma Xian( 仙的)

Local god but is female.


Chapter 76

Nezha

Protection deity in Chinese folk religion given the name “Third Lotus Prince” when he became a deity.

You can read the story on the Wikipedia link. TLDR: Nezha offended the dragon king Ao Guang who threatened to flood his hometown in response. He then sacrificed himself to appease Ao Guang’s anger and cut off his bones to return to his parents as repayment for giving birth to him. He later became enshrined, and his Master Taiyi eventually brought him back to life using lotus roots and he was given his two most famous weapons, the Wind Fire Wheels and the Fire-tipped spear.

Taiyi Zhenren

A deity in Chinese religion and Taoism. Taiyi (lit. ’great 2nd Celestial stem’) means “primordial unity of yin and yang” and Zhenren (lit. ’true person’) is a Daoist term for “Perfected Person”. According to the opening of the classical novel Fengshen Bang, he is the reincarnation of the first emperor of the Shang dynasty, Tang of Shang.


Chapter 82

Ou Yezi

Legendary master of sword-making during the Spring and Autumn period. According to Yuejueshu, he forged five treasured words for Gan Jiang and King Zhao of Chu named, respectively, Zhanlu (湛卢), Juque (巨阙), Shengxie (胜邪), Yuchang (鱼肠) and Chunjun (纯钧). He also made three swords for King Goujian of Yue, named Longyuan (龙渊), Tai’e (泰阿) and Gongbu (工布). See Kinky notes for details of each sword or the Wikipedia.

Swords made by Ou Yezi

(纯钧, 纯钩, or 淳钧) Chúnjūn, Chúngōu, or Chúnjūn (Purity) – Its patterns resembled a row of stars in a constellation.

(湛卢) Zhànlú/Pilü (Black) – A sword made from the finest of the Five Metals and imbued with the essence of Fire. Said to be sensitive to its owner’s behaviour, it left of its own accord for the state of Chu when Helü’s conduct offended it. When Helü became aware of King Zhao of Chu’s possession of Zhanlu, he attacked Chu.

Haocao/Panying (Bravery/Hard) – Said to have been imbued with the aspect of lawlessness and was therefore of no use to anyone. It was used as a burial object.

(鱼肠) Yúcháng (Fish Intestines) – A short dagger said to be capable of cleaving through iron as if it were mud. Used by Helü of Wu to assassinate his uncle, Liao of Wu. It was hidden in a cooked fish presented to King Liao at a banquet. As a result of the assassination, the blade gained a reputation for causing its user to be disloyal.

(巨阙) Jùquē (Great Destroyer) – Said to be incredibly durable, being able to withstand even hitting or stabbing rock.

(胜邪) Shèngxié (Victor over Evil)

Swords made with Gan Jiang

(龙渊) Lóngyuān (Dragon Gulf) – Its shape resembled that of a high mountain and a deep gulf. Goujian used it to cut a gash in his thigh as an act of self-punishment when he mistakenly executed an innocent person.

(泰阿) Tàiā (Great Riverbank) – It had patterns like the waves of a flowing river. Tai’a was used by the king of Chu to direct his army against a Jin invasion.

(工布) Gōngbù (Artisanal Display) – Gongbu patterns like flowing water that stop like pearls at the spine.


Chapter 85

Vishnu

One of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme being within Vaishnavism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism.

Vishnu is known as “The Preserver” within the Trimurti, the triple deity of supreme divinity that includes Brahma and Shiva.In Vaishnavism tradition, Vishnu is the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. In the Shaktism tradition, the Goddess, or Devi, is described as one of the supreme, yet Vishnu is revered along with Shiva and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with Lakshmi the equal complementary partner of Vishnu. He is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism.

You can read more about him in the Wikipedia.


Chapter 87

Five Emperors Money

Refers to copper coins with round square holes in them. Ancient copper coins are cast according to the “outer circle and inner square” and “the unity of heaven and man”, which is like heaven, law, and earth. With heavy cultural attributes, in traditional culture, the money of the Five Emperors has the functions of warding off evil spirits and bringing blessings. The five emperors, in the original sense, refer to the five heavenly emperors of the east, south, west, north, and middle.

The Small Five Emperor coins refers to the copper coins cast by the five emperors of the Qing Dynasty, including Shunzhi, Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong and Jiaqing. They are the coins in the last row represented in the picture above.

The Great Five Emperor coins refers to Qin Banliang, Han Wuzhu , Kaiyuan Tongbao , Songyuan Tongbao and Yongle Tongbao. They are the coins in the first two rows represented in the picture above.

Overall these coins can be use to make a “sword” that can ward off evil spirits and bring blessing.


Chapter 88

Mara

Is a celestial king who tempted Prince Siddhartha (Buddha) by trying to seduce him with visions of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara’s daughters. He tries to stop Prince Siddhartha path to enlightenment proclaiming that seat belongs to him and in the end failed. In Buddhist cosmology, Mara is associated with death, rebirth and desire.


Chapter 93

Three Realms and Six Paths.

The three realms referred to:

  1. The Realm of Desire: From hell to heaven, there’s a mixture of good and evil and men and women live together, tainted by desire
  2. The Realm of Form: From the first to the fourth meditation heaven, there is no female form and thus no desire are tainted, and everything is incarnated by pure colors
  3. The Realm of Immateriality: From the heavens to the void, there is but colorless emptiness.

The six paths refers to Samsara. Each path (realms) are split into 3 higher realms (representing good, fortunate) and 3 lower realms (representing evil, unfortunate). Below is a description of each realm courtesy or Wikipedia:

  1. Gods realm: the gods (devas) is the most pleasure-filled among the six realms, and typically subdivided into twenty six sub-realms. A rebirth in this heavenly realm is believed to be from very good karma accumulation. A Deva does not need to work, and is able to enjoy in the heavenly realm all pleasures found on earth. However, the pleasures of this realm lead to attachment (Upādāna), lack of spiritual pursuits and therefore no nirvana. The vast majority of Buddhist lay people, states Kevin Trainor, have historically pursued Buddhist rituals and practices motivated with rebirth into Deva realm. The Deva realm in Buddhist practice in southeast and east Asia, states Keown, include gods found in Hindu traditions such as Indra and Brahma, and concepts in Hindu cosmology such as Mount Meru.
  2. Human realm: called the manuṣya realm. Buddhism asserts that one is reborn in this realm with vastly different physical endowments and moral natures because of a being’s past karma. A rebirth in this realm is considered as fortunate because it offers an opportunity to attain nirvana and end the Saṃsāra cycle.
  3. Demi-god realm (Asura): the demi-gods (asuras) is the third realm of existence in Buddhism. Asura are notable for their anger and some supernatural powers. They fight with the Devas (gods), or trouble the Manusya (humans) through illnesses and natural disasters. They accumulate karma, and are reborn. Demi-god is sometimes ranked as one of the evil realms as there are stories of them fighting against the Gods.
  4. Animal realm: is state of existence of a being as an animal (tiryag). This realm is traditionally thought to be similar to a hellish realm, because animals are believed in Buddhist texts to be driven by impulse and instinct, they prey on each other and suffer. Some Buddhist texts assert that plants belong to this realm, with primitive consciousness.
  5. Hungry ghost realm: hungry ghosts and other restless spirits (preta) are rebirths caused by karma of excessive craving and attachments. They do not have a body, are invisible and constitute only “subtle matter” of a being. Buddhist texts describe them as beings who are extremely thirsty and hungry, very small mouths but very large stomachs. Buddhist traditions in Asia attempt to care for them on ritual days every year, by leaving food and drinks in open, to feed any hungry ghosts nearby. When their bad karma demerit runs out, these beings are reborn into another realm. According to McClelland, this realm is the mildest of the three evil realms. According to Yangsi Rinpoche, in contrast, the suffering of the beings born in the realm of the hungry ghosts is far more intense than those born in the animal realm.
  6. Hell realm: beings in hell (naraka) enter this realm for evil karma such as theft, lying, adultery and others. The texts vary in their details, but typically describe numerous hellish regions each with different forms of intense suffering, such as eight extremely hot hellish realms, eight extremely cold, being partially eaten alive, beating and other forms of torture in proportion to the evil karma accumulated. These beings are reborn in another realm after their evil karma has run its course, they die, and they get another chance. This realm is not similar to afterlife hell in Christianity, states Damien Keown, because in Buddhism there is no realm of final damnation and existence in this realm is also a temporary state.