East Asian Mythology: China and Japan

Buddhism, Shamanism, and Chinese Mythology

Who is Guanyin?

Guanyin is a goddess of compassion. She is almost always female in China, but does appear from time to time in male form. The myths of Guanyin are often mingled with Taoist or earlier Chinese mythologies, as in the case of the story of Guanyin and the Dragon King’s son. The Dragon King controlled the sea. His son transformed himself into a fish, was caught by a fisherman, and was about to be sold for food when Guanyin intervened and the fish was returned to the sea to become once again a dragon. It was Guanyin’s reminder to the people of the superior importance of compassion that allowed for the release of the fish.

Guanyin also led people to peace after death.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Mythology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App