Han Xian-zi quan-z^uan

"The complete story of" (p. xv) Han Xian-zi


pp. 329-344 – 23. "Arduous Cultivation Leadeth Tui-z^i to an Awakening; Lu-yin Remaineth Willingly Guarding Her Chastity"

pp. 332-335 traveling to master Mu-mu with an epistle of introduction from Xian-zi

p. 332

Tui-z^i having retired from office, when they met again at the Blue Pass in the Qin mountains, " "to the southeast of here there is a mountain called Mount Zhuowei," Xiangzi told him. "Below it is a grotto called Zhuowei Grotto, in which dwells the Perfected Man Mumu. ["The two characters of Zhuowei ... put together become the surname Han ... . The combination of the two characters used to write Mumu ... results in the character xiang ... . Hence these names are a hidden reference to Han Xiang(zi) himself." (p. 470, n. 23:2)] He is my sworn friend and is very close to me. I will write a letter that you will deliver to him, asking him to take you into his hermitage and transmit the marvelous formulae of the Great Elixir to you. ... If you encounter tigers or wolves blocking your way, just hold my letter over your head and the beasts will back off. ..." ...

Tuizhi took the letter and placed it in his shirt. ... Xiangzi said, "Uncle, there’s another immortal coming from the east." When Tuizhi turned his head to look, Xiangzi vanished into thin air".

p. 333

Tui-z^i "saw in the distance a high mountain ... . ... When he finally reached the summit, there was indeed a thatched hut, above whose door was written : "Pure Chamber of Zhuowei." ... from inside one could hear a man chanting a poem :

"I transcend the world ... on the Penglai Isles, ...

The immortal youths are ... gathering medicinal herbs." ...

p. 335

When a young Daoist opened the door, instead of creaking its hinges the door emitted a sound like singing simurghs and phoenixes. The inside of the hermitage was ... a rival to the jade chambers of celestial palaces. In the middle sat a perfected man, dressed in clothes made of feathers and wearing a bamboo hat and straw sandals. His hair was violet, ... his skin was like ice and snow."


pp. 345-360 – 24. "At Home, Han Xian Manifesteth His Transformative Powers; Mme. Dou Shooting a Parrot"

pp. 345-346 audiences with Jade Emperor, with Queen-Mother of the West, & with Guan-yin

p. 345

Xian-zi "went to see Master Zhong and then proceeded with him to an audience with the Jade Emperor ... . ... A golden lad transmitted the following decree of the Jade Emperor :

Mme. Dou was originally a Venerable Dame of the Upper Realm who was banished to undergo suffering in the ordinary world

p. 346

because she stole a sunflower at the Immortality Peach Banquet. Luying was originally a jade maiden at the Empyrean Palace. Once, when the Dark Emperor dispatched celestial generals to vanquish demons, she stole a peek at the world below before the Gate of Heaven was closed again. {this is similar to the Iroquois myth of why a goddess was exiled from heaven to earth : because she surreptitiously viewed the earth from heaven} Therefore she was banished to the common world, there to sleep alone, without a husband, so as to warn others against hankering after the mortal world."


"Xiangzi ... then went on to an audience with the Queen Mother of the West. ... The Queen Mother of the West said, "... You must go to Mahasattva Guanyin at Mount Putuo and borrow from her some objects used in effecting magical transformations. ..." ...


Xiangzi ... rode on a cloud to the Southern Sea for an audience with Guanyin. Having obtained a parrot from her, they left right away for Chang’an."

pp. 347-349 attempt by Xian-zi to convince Mme. Dou

p. 347

"Han Qing ... called the doaist. The latter ..., on seeing Mme Dou, said, "... I dwell beyond the Islands of the Immortals and thus do not fall under the usual rules of propriety. ... I have no choice but to tie that thick skin onto a bamboo tube, which is called a ‘drum of stupidity.’ ["the Chinese term for "fisher drum" (yugu ...) is a homonym of yugu ... (stupid drum, drum of stupidity)." (p. 470, n. 24:1)] ...

p. 348

I went to the Gate of Southern Heaven to have a word with my master Zhong ... . ... It’s 108,000 miles each way ... . ... After meeing with Master Zhong, I also went to visit the mahasattva Guanyin on Mount Putuo in the Southern Sea, ... from here ... a little more than 84,700 miles. ... Uncle ... now enjoys a free and unfettered existence as Chonghezi in the immortals’ palaces of Great Veil Heaven. ... My uncle’s death wasn’t real, but merely staged with the immortals’ marvelous method of release ... . ...

p. 349

I made a point of borrowing a white parrot from the Mahasattva Guanyin to show to you." ...

Flying and dancing in circles, the parrot sang ... . ... Mme. Dou ... had the parrot shot dead."

pp. 354-357 attempts by master Lu: to convince Mme. Dou

p. 354

" "... we have come from the Palace of the Eight Immortals in the Great Veil Heaven," Master Lu: said. ...

p. 355

With a wave of his hand ... there appeared a picture of the Immortal of the Rotten Axe-handle. Master Lu: said, "... once Master Wang went out to seek immortalhood, to refine the elixir and enter the Nine Heavens. He spent only seven days in the mountains, but on his return a thousand years had already passed in the world outside. ["The legend of the Immortal of the Rotten Axe-handle (Lanke Xianzi ...) tells of a certain Wang Zhi ... (4th cent.), who went to cut wood in the mountains. There he came across two immortals playing chess. ... When he finally came out of his trance, many years had passed and the handle of his ax had rotted away." (p. 470, n. 24:3)] In front of the gate white mineral deposits had split the gilded well, and at the entrance of the grotto blue fungus covered what had once been a field of white jade. ..." ...


He called in a loud voice, "Wang Zhi, come down ... ." ... the Immortal of the Rotten Axe-handle stepped lightly down out of the picture, giving Mme. Dou and Luying such a scare that they were dumbstruck ... . ... Wang Zhi began to sing a song ... .

p. 356

"Wang Zhi, you may return to the grotto palace," Master Lu: said. "Now I’ll call down a golden lad and a jade maiden ... ." When Wang Zhi had returned into the painting, suddenly a golden lad and a jade maiden stood in front of Mme. Dou. Master U: said, "Immortal Brother and Sister, take out your magical fruit and wine and sing a little song ... ." And together the lad and the maid sang a song ... . ...

p. 357

When they had finished, Master Lu: said, "Immortal Brother and Sister, you may return to the grotto palace.""

p. 357 miraculous levitations aboard clouds

slough (dead skin) from the body of __

was eaten by __, who thereupon arose, upon a cloud, to Heaven


old Wo

master Lu:

old Quan

Lan Cai-he

"a slave girl named Golden Lotus", belonging to Mme. Dou & to Lu-yin

pp. 358-359 reputed levitations aboard 5-colored clouds

p. 358

Mme. Dou told that when her husband "was still alive he often mentioned a certain Cloud Terrace Monastery which was located on a mountain. More than one hundred Daoists lived in this monastery. It was said that whenever five-colored clouds filled the mountain valleys, they were sent by Heaven to welcome immortals. Those among the Daoists in the monastery who didn’t want to remain in this world then ... entered the five-colored clouds. ... One day, an itinerant Daoist who was passing by this place ... traced the Steps of Yu and uttered a wind and thunder spell. ...

p. 359

As for the clouds we saw today, how do we know whether they are true or false? It is not impossible that these three Daoists are monsters who have transformed themselves."


pp. 361-373 – 25. "Master Lu: Sendeth a Dream; Mother Z^an Maketh a Marriage Proposal"

pp. 361-362, 364-372 proposal of marriage by Cui S^i-cun to Lu-yin; rejection of that proposal

p. 361

The son of ministre Cui Qun, namely Cui Cui S^i-cun, had married the daughter of viceministre Hu, but she died; so he wished to remarry.

p. 362

Master Lu: appeared in a dream of ministre Cui Qun, suggesting that his (Cui Qun’s) son marry Lu-yin, daughter of minister Lin. For negotiations toward this proposed marriage, the "matchmaker was surnamed Zhang and was her parents’ second child. She lived in the Alley of Loyal Purity, and everyone called her Mother Zhang Two."

p. 364

Mother Z^an 2nd listed, to Cui Qun’s wife, the available maidens in families of the ministre Cui Qun’s social peers : the daughter of the Metropolitan Governor, the 2 daughters of the Ministre of Revenue, the daughter of the Viceministre of Revenue, and the daughter of the senior compiler at the Historiography Institute.

p. 365

"Another matchmaker, called Mother Jiang Five, was headed in the opposite direction. Originally she had been a concubine in the Chen family, but when after three or four years she still wasn’t pregnant, the head wife provided her with a dowry and gave her as a daughter-in-law to the tradeswoman Jiang ... . ...

p. 366

Then Zhang Two pulled Jiang Five into Pissing Alley and whispered in her ear.

p. 367

"... I’m willing to split the fee forty/sixty, with you getting the larger share," Zhang Two said."

p. 370

" "Pigeons only fly to prosperous places," Mme. Dou remarked. "... Gongye Chang who knows the language of birds, ... Ge Jielu who understands the braying of donkeys ... would ... know what the pigeons are saying ... ." ...

p. 371

Cursing them repeatedly, she scolded Zhang Two and Jiang Five".

p. 372

report by Z^an 2nd to mister Cui Qun and his wife : "When I went to see Master Lin, he promised to cooperate ... . It was just MMe. Dou who scolded me so much ... . She also cursed you ... . She said that if young Master Cui wanted to marry Luying as his second wife, it was really like a toad lying in a covered drain hoping to eat a swan’s meat. She also said she would lodge an official complaint to have you, sir, banished as a commoner to a distant prefecture".


"Minister Cui said angrily. "... I’ll head her off by submitting a memorial at court tomorrow that her monthly emoluments be annulled and she be expelled to her native district. Then I’ll order the local official there to trump up some charges against her and wipe out her property holdings ... . ...""

p. 373 illustrative poe:m

"Thus is made a net of blue silk for simurgh and phoenix,

A cage of azure jade for the mandarin ducks."


pp. 374-390 – 26. "Minister Cui Praetendeth to Act in the public Interest; 2 Fishermen Sit Together as They Cast their Lines"

pp. 374-376 destruction of the Han family’s mansions by the family of the Dragon King

p. 374

Han Xian-zi "went straight to the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea. A great crowd of

turtle grand councilors and palace secretaries,

dragon advisors and grand masters, ...

Carp marshals,

bream superintendents,

mackerel defenders-in-chief, and

crab office managers ...

sturgeon squad leaders,

water-lizard vanguards,

shrimp warriors, and

culter soldiers

turned out ... to welcome him."

p. 375

"That night the Dragon King ... opened wide his lightning eyes ..., manifesting his awesome powers ... . ... The Han family’s houses, mansions, and honorific arches by the drum tower ... were completely washed away."

p. 376

"in Guangdong a crocodile ... was chased away without good cause ... by Han Yu. The crocodile is seeking revenge, that’s why this great flood came and transformed the foundations of his walls into deep pits."

pp. 376-377 memorial praesented by ministre Cui to emperor Xian-zon

p. 376

"Han Yu, the deceased prefect of Chaozhou, ... was banished for life to a distant prefecture. His nephew Han Xiang has ... thrown in his lot with the School of Mysteries! ...

p. 377

Han Yu’s adopted son Han Qing has the feeble constitution of the earworm which ends up continuing the line of the sphex. ["the sphex (a kind of wasp) catches earworms and carries them to its nest where ... the worms serve as food for the wasp larvae." (p. 471, n. 26:1)] ... Strip Han Yu’s wife Mme. Dou of her monthly emoluments".

pp. 377-378 instances of unjust accusations which were miraculously refuted

p. 377

"When three men made up wild rumors,

The mother of Zeng jumped over the wall in fear.

p. 378

For a wronged woman frost flew to proclaim her sorrow.

[Dou E : "Snow falling in summer is a sign from Heaven proclaiming her innocence" (p. 471, n. 26:2).]


For Jing Ke a rainbow gave forth a ray of light."

pp. 378-379 counter-memorial by ministre Lin Gui to emperor Xian-zon

p. 378

"the former Minister of Rites Han Yu reinvigorated literature after eight generations ... . ... When he prayed for snow, his sincerity reached the gods. ...

p. 379

His son Han Qing should be spared military duty, so that he may serve his mother".

p. 379 resultant decree by the emperor

Xian-zon "approved Lin Gui’s request and ordered Han Qing to return with his mother Mme. Dou ... to live ... in Changli."

pp. 380-382, 384-385 mixed omens; travel into banishment

p. 380

"When a flock of crows and magpies flew noisily by, ... ‘A magpie’s cry has never indicated a good omen, and a crow’s cawing surely is not a bad one.’ "

p. 381

Han Qin "took leave of Minister Lin and led Mme. Dou and Luying home towards Changli County."

p. 382

"Xiangzi and Lan Caihe ... took on the appearance of two fishermen, who sat in the shade of a willow tree and cast their lines".

p. 384

To them, Han Qin said, " ‘Fish that roam in pairs are like bubbles on water; swimming against the stream they never turn their heads.’ Fishermen should not fish in pairs."

p. 385

"the two fishermen suddenly vanished. ... Imploring Heaven and earth, Mme. Dou wailed, "... ghosts will play tricks on humans. Today I have seen ghosts"".

pp. 385-386 arrival at Can-li

p. 385

Han Qin "reached the county capital of Changli. ... he reached the Chaotian Bridge, ... he rode his horse to Drum Tower Alley".

p. 386

Their old neighbor Qian Xin-yu recognized Han Qin as Z^an Er-guan.

pp. 387-389 phantom Xian-zi standing the dozing Mme. Dou

p. 387

"When Xiangzi went into his aunt’s chamber, he saw that she was sleeping soundly. He called into her ear ... . ...

p. 388

Mme. Dou awoke with a start, and said, "When I dozed off, I saw Xiangzi standing before me and mocking me. When I looked closely, he was gone. ...


At the second watch,

A strange wind howls, ...

My soul ascends the paper bridge. ...


At the third watch,

I still have not woken from my dream,

When I see Xiangzi’s shape and shadow. ...


At the fourth watch,

... suddenly I see Xiangzi arrive.

p. 389

At the fifth watch,

I see Xiangzi coming to save us.

I clearly heart him speak ... .

But on awakening, I see him not.""


Yang Erzeng (trans. by Philip Clart) : The Story of Han Xiangzi. U of WA Pr, Seattle, 2007.