East Asian Mythology: China and Japan

Chinese Heroes

Who are the heroes in Chinese mythology?

It is difficult to distinguish gods from heroes in Chinese mythology. There are culture heroes who taught certain aspects of civilized life to their people: Ling Lun invented music, Cangjie invented writing, Shennong invented agriculture. But there are also hero figures such as Fuxi, Qi, Yi, Gun, and Yu who, although sometimes thought of as gods, are marked by characteristics which in most mythologies we associate with the archetypal hero, the man or demigod who is born miraculously and who possesses qualities that make possible a difficult quest.


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