The essential guide to the complex, fascinating world of Chinese myths: retelling the stories and exploring their significance in Chinese culture.
This is a concise and entertaining guide to the complex tradition of Chinese mythology. While many around the world are familiar with some aspects of Chinese myth—through Chinese New Year festivities or the classic adventures of the Monkey King in Journey to the West—not everyone understands the richness of Chinese mythology, influenced by Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
Offering more than an overview of Chinese mythology, The Chinese Myths not only retells the ancient stories but also considers their place within the patterns of Chinese religions, culture, and history. Expert Tao Tao Liu introduces us to an intriguing cast of gods, goddesses, dragons, and monks, including the ancient hero Yi the Archer, who shot suns out of the sky to save humanity from a drought; Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, to whom there are temples dedicated all over East Asia; and Madame White Snake, a water snake spirit in the guise of a mysterious widow, her story adapted into countless films and operas. This illustrated volume is for anyone interested in China or mythology, as knowing China’s myths allows readers to understand and appreciate its culture in a new light.