Handbook of Chinese Mythology

Handbook of Chinese Mythology

by Lihui Yang, Deming An, Jessica Anderson Turner
     
 

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Every year, at the Wa Huang Gong temple in Hebei Province, China, people gather to worship the great mother, Nuwa, the oldest deity in Chinese myth, praising her for bringing them a happy life. It is a vivid demonstration of both the ancient reach and the continuing relevance of mythology in the lives of the Chinese people.
Compiled from ancient and scattered

Overview

Every year, at the Wa Huang Gong temple in Hebei Province, China, people gather to worship the great mother, Nuwa, the oldest deity in Chinese myth, praising her for bringing them a happy life. It is a vivid demonstration of both the ancient reach and the continuing relevance of mythology in the lives of the Chinese people.
Compiled from ancient and scattered texts and based on groundbreaking new research, Handbook of Chinese Mythology is the most comprehensive English-language work on the subject ever written from an exclusively Chinese perspective. This work focuses on the Han Chinese people but ranges across the full spectrum of ancient and modern China, showing how key myths endured and evolved over time. A quick reference section covers all major deities, spirits, and demigods, as well as important places (Kunlun Mountain), mythical animals and plants (the crow with three feet; Fusang tree), and related items (Xirang-a kind of mythical soil; Bu Si Yao-mythical medicine for long life). No other work captures so well what Chinese mythology means to the people who lived and continue to live their lives by it.
With more than 40 illustrations and photographs, fresh translations of primary sources, and insight based on the authors' own field research, Handbook of Chinese Mythology offers an illuminating account of a fascinating corner of the world of myth.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Information about Chinese mythology has been limited by language and access to primary sources. This volume attempts to fill a gap by providing a resource written in English by Chinese mythologists. . . . The authors' credibility and in-depth scholarship offer a rare opportunity to experience Chinese mythology through Chinese eyes." - Booklist

"ABC-CLIO's wonderful handbooks on world mythology offer in-depth explorations linking traditional cultural myths to insights on behavior and ideals. . . . Handbook of Chinese Mythology is an essential reference for any high school to college-level collection with a Chinese studies program." - Midwest Book Review

"Overall, The Handbook of Chinese Mythology is an important and interesting work that will appeal to popular audiences. . . . [I]t is a significant contribution to the study of mythology, folklore, and East Asia." - Journal of Folklore Research

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195332636
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/13/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
777,560
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Lihui Yang is Professor of Folklore and Mythology at the College of Chinese Language and Literature at Beijing Normal University. Deming An is Professor and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing. Jessica Anderson Turner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

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