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Nü Wa Makes Men

It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nü Wa who made men by moulding yellow clay. The work was so taxing that her strength was not equal to it. So she dipped a rope into the mud and then lifted it. The mud that dripped from the rope also became men. Those made by moulding yellow clay were rich and noble, while those made by lifting the rope were poor and low.

from Tai ping yu lan (Taiping Anthologies for the Emperor)

Nü Wa Mends the Sky

In ancient times, the four corners of the sky collapsed and the world with its nine regions split open. The sky could not cover all the things under it, nor could the earth carry all the things on it. A great fire raged and would not die out; a fierce flood raced about and could not be checked. Savage beasts devoured innocent people; vicious birds preyed on the weak and old.

Then Nü Wa melted rocks of five colours and used them to mend the cracks in the sky. She supported the four corners of the sky with the legs she had cut off from a giant turtle. She killed the black dragon to save the people of Jizhou(1), and blocked the flood with the ashes of reeds. Thus the sky was mended, its four corners lifted, the flood tamed, Jizhou pacified, and harmful birds and beasts killed, and the innocent people were able to live on the square earth under the dome of the sky. It was a time when birds, beasts, insects and snakes no longer used their claws or teeth or poisonous stings, for they did not want to catch or eat weaker things.

Nü Wa's deeds benefited the heavens above and the earth below. Her name was remembered by later generations and her light shone on every creation. Now she was travelling on a thunder-chariot drawn by a two-winged dragon and two green hornless dragons, with auspicious objects in her hands and a special mattress underneath, surrounded by golden clouds, a white dragon leading the way and a flying snake following behind. Floating freely over the clouds, she took ghosts and gods to the ninth heaven and had an audience with the Heavenly Emperor at Lin Men(2), where she rested in peace and dignity under the emperor. She never boasted of her achievements, nor did she try to win any renown; she wanted to conceal her virtues, in line with the ways of the universe.

from Huai nan zi (Writings of Prince Huainan)




(1) Jizhou: the central one of the nine regions.
(2) Lin Men:the place where the heavenly gods lived.



Jiang Taigong Meets King Wen

When King Wen decided to go hunting, Bian, his official historian, burnt a tortoise shell to forecast the result. After reading the cracks he said, "Hunting on the north side of the Wei River is bound to bring a great gain. It will not be a dragon or a Chi(1), nor will it be a tiger or a bear. It will be a wise man sent by Heaven to be your minister and mentor." King Wen got on his carriage, started the horses, and set out for the place. There he saw Jiang taigong sitting on the grass and fishing.

from Liu tao (Six Tactics)


Zhou Xibo(2) went hunting and on the north bank of the wei River he met Jiang Taigong. After talking with him, Xibo was very pleased, saying, "Before he died, my father had anticipated that Zhou would become prosperous when a sage came to us. Are you the sage? My father had long expected your arrival!" So he called him Taigong Wang (Father's Expectation). He returned with Taigong, sharing his carriage with him, and was to treat him as his mentor.

from Shi ji (Records of the Grand Historian)


King wen made Taigong the magistrate of Guantan. During the year Taigong was there, there was never a wind that was strong enough to disturb the leaves of the trees. Once in his dream, King Wen saw a beautiful woman weeping before his carriage. When asked the reason, she replied, "I am the daughter of the god of Mount Taishan and married to the god of the East sea. Now I want to go home, but the virtuous magistrate of Guantan makes the trip difficult. For my movements are always accompanied by a violent storm, which damage his good name." After waking up, the king summoned Taigong to ask what had happened. He was told that a violent storm with pouring rain had swept areas outside Guantan that day. King Wen then promoted Taigong to the position of Chief General.

from Sou shen ji (stories of Immortals)




(1) chi: a hornless dragon.
(2) Zhou Xibo: Count of the West, a former title of King Wen's.



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