Xi Wang Mu, Goddess of Immortality; Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy; Guan Gong, God of War; Zhong Kui, God of Healing—what a lineup!Some of these 17 colorful beings come from the Daoist tradition, some from Buddhism, some from traditional religions, and some from other sources, but all of them add to the richness of Chinese life.
Fisher succinctly describes their origins, their powers, and their importance in Chinese culture. Each entry covers a boldly colored spread framed with a brightly contrasting border. These dramatic deities are pictured as mostly fierce and strong and somewhat distant, reflecting their power.
Chops, or name seals, created for each god and goddess by Mou-sien Tseng, are shown, but their significance is not explained. A useful pronunciation guide is included.
Song Nan Zhang's Five Heavenly Emperors (Tundra, 1994) and Tao Tao Liu Sanders's Dragons, Gods and Spirits from Chinese Mythology (Peter Bedrick, 1994; o.p.) cover some of the same material, but their focus is on the stories. Fisher concentrates on the individuals themselves and includes material not readily available elsewhere for children.
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