Jade Emperor

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Chinese Mythology


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Jade Emperor

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A painting of the Jade Emperor.

The Jade Emperor is a very prominent figure in Chinese Mythology.  It is said that he was born as the crown prince of "the kingdom of Pure Felicity and Majestic Heavenly Lights and Ornaments."  He essentially radiated light when he was born.  During his early years, he was a very kind and charitable child.  He would spend his time helping the sick and the poor, among other afflicted people.  Even after his father passed away, he still continued to look after the needs of his people and made sure they were able to find peace and contentment.

The Jade Emperor had to pass through several kalpas before he could actually become the Jade Emperor.  It is said that he passed through 1,550 kalpas, or periods of time lasting 129,600 years each, in order to cultivate Tao, or a particular view of the world.  Upon completing this and another hundred million years, he became the Jade Emperor.  All-in-all, the period of time it took for him to become the Jade Emperor is 200,880,000 years.

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The Monkey King - Part I

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A picture from the old Journey to the West book of Chinese mythology. Pictured here is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, with his indestructible weapon staff, the Ruyi Jingu Bang.

Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, is a mythical being that has a very interesting story.

According to legend, Sun Wukong was born from a stone that formed from the primeval forces of chaos.  After his birth, he joined a clan of monkeys and eventually earned their respect.  This led to him becoming their king.  Sun Wukong, however, realized that he was just like these other monkeys and subject to death.  He desired immortality and therefore set out on a quest to obtain it.  Through his travels, he learned human speech and manners, allowing him to communicate with those he met.

Sun Wukong eventually became a disciple of a Buddhist/Taoist Priest named Bodhi, who was at first reluctant to accept him as a disciple, but eventually did so because he was impressed with the monkey's perseverence and determination.  The monkey then began learning from the Priest at the temple where the Priest lived.

The monkey also learned from other disciples of the Priest and was able to acquire the power of shapeshifting known as the "72 Transformations" (each one being a type, such as people, plants, etc).  Another thing he learned was cloud-traveling, which included the cloud-somersault, a jump allowing him to travel 33,750 miles in one flip.  He also learned how to transform each of the 84,000 hairs on his body into various things, including clones of himself.  He became boastful of his abilities and the Priest asked him to leave the temple because of that.  The Priest also made him promise not to reveal how he obtained his powers.

Sun Wukong then began his quest to find a weapon that would suit himself.  He searched out the Ruyi Jingu Bang, or the "As-you-will Golden-bound Cudgel" - an indestructable staff.  He traveled into the oceans in search of the staff and found it.  Upon approaching it, the staff began to glow, signifying that it had found its true master.  The Ruyi Jingu Bang was very versatile, being able to change its length to fit the needs of the user.  Thus Sun Wukong was able to change it to the size of a needle and keep it behind his ear when the staff was not in use.  With a weapon equal to himself, Sun Wukong continued on in his adventures.

Sun Wukong was also part of the story of The Forbidden Kingdom, a movie released in early 2008.

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The Monkey King - Part II

Coming soon.
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Mid-Autumn Festival

The story of the Mid-Autumn Festival begins long ago when two immortals, Houyi and Chang'e, became involved in a very unusual event.

The Jade Emperor had ten sons who decided they wanted to change themselves into suns.  They did so and the earth had ten suns which severly burned the surface, destroying crops and causing thousands to perish.  The Jade Emperor was unable to control his sons, so he went to Houyi for help.

Houyi was very famous because he was an archer with exceptional skills.  Houyi thought that the best way to fix the problem would be to shoot down each of the suns.  He stopped before shooting down the last one because the earth needed at least one sun.  The Jade Emperor was not happy with this solution, of course, and banished both Houyi and Chang'e to live as mortals on the earth.

Chang'e was very sad because she was changed from an immortal to a mere mortal.  Houyi saw that she was sad and set out on a quest to find a pill of immortality.  On his quest, he met the Queen Mother of the West, who gave him a pill for immortality.  He instructed him that he only needed half of the pill to become immortal.  Houyi returned home and placed the pill in a box before leaving on a new quest, instructing Chang'e to not look in the box.

While Houyi was on his quest, Chang'e became more and more curious.  She finally decided to open the box and look in it.  At that moment, Houyi returned from his quest and Chang'e became frightened.  She ate the pill and quickly put the box back.  Houyi came and saw Chang'e beginning to float up into the sky, towards the moon.  Eventually, Chang'e did reach the moon where a rabbit that would make elixirs for the gods lived.  She has been there ever since.

Henpecked Men Jokes

Some jokes from Chinese Story Online.

My Own Grape frame Is falling Down

A government official asked his attendant how he got the scratches on his face. The embarrassed attendant said, "Last night, when I was walking in the yard, a grape frame fell on me and scratched my face."
The official declared: "It must be your wife who did this. Have her brought here right now."<br>
But the official's own wife happen to overhear this, she stormed into the office. The terrified magistrate official shouted, "You may go now. My own grape frame is falling down!”<br>

Till Death Do We Part

Many henpecked men were in a meeting to discuss how to regain their dignity.
A bachelor prankster wanted to make a joke on them. He walked into their midst and said, "Your wives heard of this gathering and are all on their way here to deal with you."
All but one dashed out the door with great panic.
"He’s the only one with courage to stand up to his wife!" the bachelor exclaimed. But closer examination revealed he'd died of fright.

Contributor: jwalgren
Created: September 30, 2008 · Modified: September 14, 2010

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