East Asian Mythology: China and Japan

The Chinese War in Heaven, Creation, and Flood

What was the Chinese version of the war in heaven?

The Chinese version of the war in heaven is told in many variations over the centuries. It usually involves the rebellion of Chiyou against the first and greatest of the Five August Emperors, the Yellow Emperor and supreme being, Huang Di.

In one variation of this story, the war is one between natural elements. When Chiyou, who according to some sources was a member of the emperor’s court, attacked Huang Di, the emperor ordered his flying dragon, Yinglong, to collect all the water in the world. Chiyou ordered the wind and rain gods to release the water in a massive downpour. Huang Di countered by ordering the goddess of drought to dry up everything, and then Huang Di killed Chiyou. Some say that he killed his enemy with the help of the horrific sound made by his thunderous drum made from the hide of a one-legged monster. There was another war in heaven involving the gods Zhuanxu and Gonggong, which led to the collapse of the sky.


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