Jump to content


Photo
* * * - - 1 votes

The Legend of Chang E (A Chinese fairy tale)


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Ahkr

Ahkr

    County Magistrate (Xianling 县令)

  • CHF Rookie Member
  • 7 posts

Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:55 AM

No one is certain of all the details of the Chang E legend, but the story goes something like this:

Chang E was a beautiful young girl working in the Jade Emperor's palace in heaven, where immortals, good people and fairies lived. One day, she accidentally broke a precious porcelain jar. Angered, the Jade Emperor banished her to live on earth, where ordinary people lived. She could return to the Heaven, if she contributed a valuable service on earth.

Chang E was transformed into a member of a poor farming family. When she was 18, a young hunter named Hou Yi from another village spotted her, now a beautiful young woman. They became friends.

One day, a strange phenomenon occurred -- 10 suns arose in the sky instead one one, blazing the earth. Hou Yi, an expert archer, stepped forward to try to save the earth. He successfully shot down nine of the suns, becoming an instant hero. He eventually became king and married Chang E.

But Hou Yi grew to become a despot. He sought immortality by ordering an elixir be created to prolong his life. The elixir in the form of a single pill was almost ready when Chang E came upon it. She either accidentally or purposely swallowed the pill. This angered King Hou Yi, who went after his wife. Trying to flee, she jumped out the window of a chamber at the top of palace -- and, instead of falling, she floated into the sky toward the moon.

King Hou Yi tried to shoot her down with arrows, but without success. Once on the moon, Chang E became a three-legged toad, as punishment from the Queen Mother, according to one version of the legend. Her companion, a rabbit, is constantly pounding the elixir of immortality in a large mortar.

The moon is also inhabited by a wood cutter who tries to cut down the cassia tree, giver of life. But as fast as he cuts into the tree, it heals itself, and he never makes any progress. The Chinese use this image of the cassia tree to explain mortal life on earth -- the limbs are constantly being cut away by death, but new buds continually appear.

Meanwhile, King Hou Yi ascended to the sun and built a palace. So Chang E and Hou Yi came to represent the yin and yang, the moon and the sun.




and more league..........
http://www.moonfestival.org/index.htm




Did you the story?

#2 Inst

Inst

    General of the Guard (Hujun Zhongwei/Jinjun Tongshuai 护军中尉/禁军统帅)

  • CHF Rookie Member
  • 132 posts

Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:13 PM

The moon is also inhabited by a wood cutter who tries to cut down the cassia tree, giver of life. But as fast as he cuts into the tree, it heals itself, and he never makes any progress. The Chinese use this image of the cassia tree to explain mortal life on earth -- the limbs are constantly being cut away by death, but new buds continually appear.


Lol Anti-Sisyphus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus

#3 TMPikachu

TMPikachu

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • CHF Grand Historian Award
  • 2,545 posts

Posted 19 February 2006 - 12:55 AM

I thought the rabbit made mochi/those sticky rice yummy things

I'd like to hear more Chinese fairytales, but they're always written in such a jarring way.
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#4 Pattie

Pattie

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,954 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sprung from cages out on highway 9, Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line...
  • Interests:All things mythic
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Shan Hai Jing

Posted 22 June 2007 - 02:16 PM

http://www.geocities.../storyboard.htm

Just thought I'd share. ^__^
Cheers,
 

Pattie


_________________________________________________________
I had begun to cherish words excessively for the space they allow around them, for their tangencies with countless other words that I did not utter. Andre Breton

#5 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,281 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:12 AM

Nice comic about Chang E
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#6 Mok

Mok

    The Tigerheart

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 4,091 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:All things Chinese
  • Languages spoken:Cantonese, Mandarin, English, French, Spanish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Cantonese
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Cantonese language, Art of War, CMA, Translation, World History & International Politics, Women in Chinese History, Song Dynasty

Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:28 AM

Cool! ^_^ Thanks for sharing. :)

Mok
Quality isn't Job One. Being totally effing amazing is Job One.

#7 Pattie

Pattie

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,954 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sprung from cages out on highway 9, Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line...
  • Interests:All things mythic
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Shan Hai Jing

Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:59 PM

I thought the rabbit made mochi/those sticky rice yummy things


I think the mochi rabbit of the moon is Japanese.
In Chinese stories the rabbit is pounding herbs for the elixir of immortality.

More often than not, you see the rabbit of the moon, accompanied by a dancing frog and nine-tailed fox, with the more historic version of Xīwngmǔ.
Cheers,
 

Pattie


_________________________________________________________
I had begun to cherish words excessively for the space they allow around them, for their tangencies with countless other words that I did not utter. Andre Breton

#8 shunyadragon

shunyadragon

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 682 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NC
  • Interests:Jade, Arts of the Way (Martial Arts), Oriental Gargens, Chinese culture and history, Chess (international, Chinese, Indian, Mongul, Korean, Turkish and Japanese). Artist, and Poet.
  • Languages spoken:English, Spanish, and marginal Chinese
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Caucasian (Irish descent)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Jade Culture of the Orient, Oriental Gardens, poetry and Martial Arts

Posted 02 October 2007 - 06:19 PM

I think the mochi rabbit of the moon is Japanese.
In Chinese stories the rabbit is pounding herbs for the elixir of immortality.

More often than not, you see the rabbit of the moon, accompanied by a dancing frog and nine-tailed fox, with the more historic version of Xīwngmǔ.


I have been researching this tale, because it is a jade legend. I may post my composite of the different tales related to this legend in full, Here are a few important points. First, the nine suns shot down fell on Kunlunshan and became jade, and this was the main ingrediant for the elixir of mortality.


The different characters on the moon are said to sent to the moon to be punished for there desire for immortality or missusing the elixar. The rabbit on the moom is called the 'jade rabbit', and may have been sent to the moon as punishment for revealing the formula to the elixar of immortality. There is no nephrite on the moon to make the ellixar. The following is from my dictionary concerning the 'jade rabbit.'

玉兔yt: Jade rabbit. The traditional Chinese legend of Chang E tells of a jade rabbit that lives on the moon. The jade rabbit may have been sent to the moon, because he was the only one who knew how to mix the elixir of eternal life containing jade and apparently may have devulged the secret to Chang E. 玉兔 is one of the traditional names for the moon.

玉兔东升 Jade rabbit (Moon) rising in the east.
yt dōng shēng

Edited by shunyadragon, 02 October 2007 - 06:20 PM.

Frank

Go with the flow the river knows.

化干戈为玉帛 Turn weapons into peace and friendship with gifts of jade-silk.

www.shunyadragon.com

#9 Pattie

Pattie

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,954 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sprung from cages out on highway 9, Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line...
  • Interests:All things mythic
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Shan Hai Jing

Posted 02 October 2007 - 07:43 PM

First, the nine suns shot down fell on Kunlunshan and became jade, and this was the main ingrediant for the elixir of mortality.


I've never seen/read this version. Can you share your source?

The rabbit on the moom is called the 'jade rabbit', and may have been sent to the moon as punishment for revealing the formula to the elixar of immortality.


Another variant that's new to me. And the source for this?
Cheers,
 

Pattie


_________________________________________________________
I had begun to cherish words excessively for the space they allow around them, for their tangencies with countless other words that I did not utter. Andre Breton

#10 shunyadragon

shunyadragon

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 682 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NC
  • Interests:Jade, Arts of the Way (Martial Arts), Oriental Gargens, Chinese culture and history, Chess (international, Chinese, Indian, Mongul, Korean, Turkish and Japanese). Artist, and Poet.
  • Languages spoken:English, Spanish, and marginal Chinese
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Caucasian (Irish descent)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Jade Culture of the Orient, Oriental Gardens, poetry and Martial Arts

Posted 03 October 2007 - 09:22 AM

I've never seen/read this version. Can you share your source?
Another variant that's new to me. And the source for this?


I will post my version with varients. The problem is that there are many varients as wikipedia indicates. My written references are in China with my wite, whom I hope to get a visa soon to come to the USA. I traveled around China teaching English, and what i did is I asked the students to tell or write versions of these and other mythical tales that they heard from their elders, most (95%) gave verbatum or writen memorized 'official' versions from modern writen sources I already knew about, but some gave various other versions of the tales with interesting twists. These tales evolved over time and changed regionally.

Another problem with folk tales is that the government press has contoled them and standardized them for the past fifty years or so. I have collected a few rather interesting darker folk tales from students that many including the government would not admit as being true folk tales. The 'saving face' issue compells the government to cleanup and standardize things to present a uniform 'standard' civilized image. Westerners would say'Why the big deal with the standardization of these tales?' But from the perspective of the Chinese control and unity in all things is a big big deal, sometimes in rediculous details.
Frank

Go with the flow the river knows.

化干戈为玉帛 Turn weapons into peace and friendship with gifts of jade-silk.

www.shunyadragon.com

#11 kaiselin

kaiselin

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • Supreme Scholar (Jinshi)
  • 5,530 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Northwest OHIO
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Esoteric symbols, and the intangible yin world as expressed in classical Chinese art, culture and mythology.

Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:09 PM

I will post my version with varients. The problem is that there are many varients as wikipedia indicates. My written references are in China with my wite, whom I hope to get a visa soon to come to the USA. I traveled around China teaching English, and what i did is I asked the students to tell or write versions of these and other mythical tales that they heard from their elders, most (95%) gave verbatum or writen memorized 'official' versions from modern writen sources I already knew about, but some gave various other versions of the tales with interesting twists. These tales evolved over time and changed regionally.

Another problem with folk tales is that the government press has contoled them and standardized them for the past fifty years or so. I have collected a few rather interesting darker folk tales from students that many including the government would not admit as being true folk tales. The 'saving face' issue compells the government to cleanup and standardize things to present a uniform 'standard' civilized image. Westerners would say'Why the big deal with the standardization of these tales?' But from the perspective of the Chinese control and unity in all things is a big big deal, sometimes in rediculous details.


Sounds horrible when you describe it, but in reality the harm in standardizing the tales is exactly what Disney and overly passive socailly correct psychologists have done to the western fairy tales, Standardized them, cleaned them up of all excessive violence and lost a great deal of the beauty of the variations. There is a very valid reasoning behind those old tales being scary. It was to teach children that the world can be a dangerous and scary place, that there are bad people out there and that you should listen to your parents.
I hope that in coming over to the states that you will be able to find some of the lost or passed down variations that have not been been standardized. Keep me informed, I am very interested in your results.

You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.


CHF Newsletter
http://www.chinahist...hp?showforum=57
Han Lin Journal
http://www.chinahist...hp?showforum=26
Mail box for Letters to the Editor
http://www.chinahist...p...=21509&st=0


#12 shunyadragon

shunyadragon

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 682 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NC
  • Interests:Jade, Arts of the Way (Martial Arts), Oriental Gargens, Chinese culture and history, Chess (international, Chinese, Indian, Mongul, Korean, Turkish and Japanese). Artist, and Poet.
  • Languages spoken:English, Spanish, and marginal Chinese
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Caucasian (Irish descent)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Jade Culture of the Orient, Oriental Gardens, poetry and Martial Arts

Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:26 PM

Sounds horrible when you describe it, but in reality the harm in standardizing the tales is exactly what Disney and overly passive socailly correct psychologists have done to the western fairy tales, Standardized them, cleaned them up of all excessive violence and lost a great deal of the beauty of the variations. There is a very valid reasoning behind those old tales being scary. It was to teach children that the world can be a dangerous and scary place, that there are bad people out there and that you should listen to your parents.
I hope that in coming over to the states that you will be able to find some of the lost or passed down variations that have not been been standardized. Keep me informed, I am very interested in your results.



A side note to this tragedy is that during the revolution and forced more adamitrly during the cultural revolution is that it was forbidden for the elders to pass on these legends and stories, as well as many other traditions for the obvious reasons of the natur of the Communist Revolution and the efforts to cleanse China of its past. It was after the cultural revolution that the government alowed back the limited 'standard' civilized' versions for primarilly tourism reasons.
Frank

Go with the flow the river knows.

化干戈为玉帛 Turn weapons into peace and friendship with gifts of jade-silk.

www.shunyadragon.com

#13 Pattie

Pattie

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,954 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sprung from cages out on highway 9, Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line...
  • Interests:All things mythic
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Mythology
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Shan Hai Jing

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:19 PM

http://www.princeton...org/m_exhib.cfm

Interesting that the Mayan people also saw a rabbit in the moon...
Cheers,
 

Pattie


_________________________________________________________
I had begun to cherish words excessively for the space they allow around them, for their tangencies with countless other words that I did not utter. Andre Breton




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users