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Sons of suns: myth and totemism in early China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009


The ‘problem of myth’ for Western philosophers is a problem of interpreting the meaning of myths and explaining the phenomenon of myth making. The ‘problem of myth’ for the sinologist is one of finding any myths to interpret and explaining why there are so few—for myth-making is generally assumed to be a universal faculty of mankind. One explanation for the paucity of myth in the traditional sense of stories of the supernatural in ancient Chinese texts is the nature of Chinese religion. In China, gods, as well as ancestors and ghosts, were believed to be dead men, spirits who had lived in this world at a certain place and time and continued to need sustenance from the living and to exert influence over them. They related primarily to those who gave them ritual offerings and little thought was given to any possible interaction between them

Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 1981

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1 In Sebeck, Thomas A. (ed.), Myth: a symposium, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1974, 3Google Scholar.

2 For a more extensive development of this thesis, see my article, ‘Shang foundations of modern Chinese folk religion’, in Allan, S. and Cohen, Alvin P. (ed.), Legend, lore and religion in China: essays in honor of Wolfram Eberhard on his seventieth birthday, San Francisco, C.M.C., 1979, 121Google Scholar.

3 See Allan, Sarah, The heir and the sage: a structural analysis of ancient Chinese dynastic legends, San Francisco, C.M.C. (in press)Google Scholar.

4 Jiegang, Gu, and Xiangkui, Yang(ed.), San huang kao Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, Monograph Series, no. 8, 1936Google Scholar; Jiegang, Gu (ed.), Gu shi bian i, Peking, Pu She, 1926Google Scholar; Maspero, H., ‘Légendes mythologiques dans le Chou King’, Journal Asiatique, 204, 0603 1934, 11100Google Scholar. For a summary of the major early research into Chinese mythology, see Bodde, D., ‘Myths of ancient China, in Kramer, Samuel (ed.), Mythologies of the ancient world, New York, Anchor Books, 1961Google Scholar.

5 See, for example, Eberhard, Wolfram, Lokalkulturen in alten China, I (supplement to T'oung Pao, xxxvii, Leiden, 1942)Google Scholarand II (Monumenta Serica, Monograph 3, Peking, 1942)Google Scholar, translated and revised as Local cultures in South and East Asia, Leiden, 1968Google Scholar.

6 See Chang, K. C., Shang civilization, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1980, 342–55Google Scholar.

7 Keightley, David N., Sources of Shang history: the oracle bone inscriptions of Bronze Age China, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1978 (see especially pp. 63, 154)Google Scholar.

8 Other scholars who have related the Shang to a ten-sun myth include Kiyoshi, AkatsukaChūgoku kodai no shukyo to bunka: in ocho no saishi Tokyo, Kadokawa Shoten, 1977 (see especially pp. 260, 443ft.)Google Scholar, and Tsung-tung, Chang, Di Kult der Shang-Dynastie im Spiegel der Orakelinschriften: eine paläographische Studie zur Religion im archaischen China, Wiesbaden, Otto Harrassowitz, 1970, 131–2, 202–3Google Scholar.

9 Mengzi 9/7a (5A.4). Also in the Li ji (Zuantu huzhu li ji 6/4b, 15/13a, 20/16a).

For ease of reference citations will be given in this fashion, referring to the juan/page number of the Si Bu Cong Kan editions published in Shanghai, whenever possible. Other editions have, of course, been consulted and will be cited where there are textual problems.

10 De Saussure, L., Les orīgines de l'astronomie chinoise, Paris, Maisonneuve, 1930Google Scholar; Maspero, Henri, ‘L'astronomie chinoise avant les Han’, T'oung Pao, xxvi, 1929, 267Google Scholar; Needham, Joseph, Science and cīvilisation in China, iii, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1959Google Scholar.

11 Lun heng jiaoshi , Hui, Huang(ed.), Shanghai, Commercial Press, 1964, 06 11, p. 512Google Scholar.

12 Schiffeler, John Wm., The legendary creatures of the Shan Hai Ghing, Taipei, Orient Cultural Service, 1977, p. iiiGoogle Scholar, considers that the work was begun in the third century B.C. Whatever its origin or origins, it was interpolated by Liu Xin and presented to Wang Mang (r. A.D. 9–23).

13 Hawkes, David, Ch'u Tz'u: Songs of the South, New York, Beacon paperback, 1962, 45Google Scholar.

14 Kuan, YangZhongguo shanggu shi daolunin Gu shi bian, vii, 151–3Google Scholar. See also Hawkes, David, op. cit., 45Google Scholar.

15 Chang, K. C., Shang civilization, 5960Google Scholar, notes 198–204, gives a list of references to the Chinese sources concerning sites excavated in the south. Chinese excavators date Panlongcheng to the Erligang Period, i.e. early or middle Shang, depending on the chronology adopted for the beginning of the dynasty.

16 Shuo wen jie zi gulin , Shanghai, Yi Xue Shu Ju, 1928, 2486Google Scholar.

17 The archaic reconstructions here and elsewhere in this paper are those of Karlgren, Bernhard, Grammata serica recensa, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xxix, 1957Google Scholar.

18 ibid., 47 (102 v1) glosses as ‘a kind of tree’, citing the Lüshi chunqiu as his source, Lüshi chunqiu (22/8b) does contain the line ‘Yu went east to the land of the Fu Tree’, but this tree is the Fu Sang for it is also ‘where the suns emerge from the nine streams’ and it is so understood by the commentator Gao You who refers to the Fu Sang tradition. I have not been able to find any examples in Zhou or Han texts where this character is used to refer to anything but the sun tree.

19 Granet, Marcel, Danses et légendes de la Chine ancienne, Paris, Presses Universaires de France, 1959, 1, 305Google Scholar.

20 The Shi zhouji as cited by Li Shan in his commentary to Zhang Heng Si xuanfu in the Wen xuan (15/8a). This interpretation is followed by Jean-Pierre Dieny in PastoureUes et magnanarelles: essai sur un theme litteraire chinois, Geneva and Paris, Librairie Droz, 1977, 58Google Scholar, but I have not been able to find any support for it in the description of the tree in other early texts.

21 See Karlgren, B., Grammata serica recensa, 46 (101 f.)Google Scholar.

22 Huainanzi 3/9a, 14/8b.

23 Gui zang Changsha, , Yu Han Shan Fang Jiyi shu 1884Google Scholar, 12a (Qi wu pian).

24 Shang shu, Yao dian, as cited in the Zhongwen da cidian, (Taipei, Hua Gang Chubanshe, 1976, iii, 4431Google Scholar, but none of the editions I have consulted gives this form.

25 Guo Pu's comment is Similarly, Granet, M., op. cit., 437Google Scholar, calls it ‘le Val des Eaux chaudes et bouillantes’.

26 See Couvreur, S., Dictionnaire de la langue classique chinoise, Taipei, World Book Co., 1963 (facsimile of 1904 edition), 423Google Scholar, which defines it as ‘la principe de la lumière’, and Zhongwen da cidian, iv, 6482Google Scholar, which equates it with and .

27 Eliade, M., Shamanism: archaic techniques of ecstasy, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964Google Scholar.

28 A very rare character, is used here which is interpreted by the commentator Gao You as you zhao ‘like shining’. I suspect, however, that it is related to which is used with reference to the sun mounting the Fu Sang and which Granet, M., op. cit., 435Google Scholar, relates to .

29 See below pp. 322–3 for a discussion of the term di. Another collective use of the term occurs n the Zuo zhuan (Zhao Gong 29, fu 4)—Chunqiu Zuo zhuan jinzhu jinyi Taipei, Taiwan Commercial Press, 1970, 1300Google Scholar, which refers to For this use of you, see Nivison, David S., Early China, iii, 1977, 118Google Scholar.

30 Shizuo, MizukamiSoju shinko ronNippon Chugoku gakkaiho xiii, 1961, 56Google Scholar, and ‘Jakuboku kō Tōhōgaku , xxi, 1961, 112Google Scholar (for the ruo mu as a mulberry). See also the Qing Dynasty commentary of Duan Yucai in Shuo wen jie zi gulin, 2267b, and Donggui, GuanZhongguo gudai shi ri shenhua zhi yanjiuBulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, xxxiii, 1962, 301Google Scholar.

31 For an identification of the Fu Sang and Kong Sang, see Granet, M., op. cit., 435Google Scholar.

32 For examples, see Finsterbusch, Kate, Verzeichnis und Motivindex der Han-darstellungen, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1966 (1) and 1971 (11)Google Scholar.

33 Changsha mawangdui yihao hanmu Peking, Wen Wu Press, 1973, I, 39Google Scholar; 11, pl. 72.

34 This problem is discussed by Loewe, Michael in Ways to paradise: the Chinese quest for immortality, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1979, 50–2Google Scholar. I agree with Loewe that the nine suns are associated with the power called Di, but I believe the nine suns (jiu yang ) of the Yuan you in the Chu ci are similarly those suns in the underworld awaiting their turn. See Xingzu, Hong, Chu ci buzhu 125, Shanghai, Commercial PressGoogle Scholar, for an interpretation of yang as sun. Also Donggui, Guan, op. cit., 291Google Scholar.

35 SeeShaanbei Dong Han huaxiang shike xuanji Peking, Shaanxi Sheng Bowuguan, 1959, pl. 8 (K. Finsterbusch, 392)Google Scholar; Rudolph, R. C., Han tomb art of West China, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1951, pi. 55 (Finsterbusch, 152)Google Scholar; Shandong Anqiu Han huaxiang shi mu fajue jianbao Wen Wu, no. 4 1964 P. 40 fig. 10Google Scholar; Chavannes, E., La sculpture sur pierre en Chine au temps des deux dynasties Han, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1893, pi. 20Google Scholar. In the Shaanbei and Wu Liang Shrine (Chavannes) reliefs, a horse and chariot are tied to the Fu Sang Tree. I suspect that these may represent Qu Yuan in the Li sao.

36 Yoshiko, IzushiChūgolcn shinwa densetsu no kenkyū Tokyo, Chuo Koronsha, 1943, 7582Google Scholar; Loewe, Michael, op. cit., 129Google Scholar.

37 Gui zang, 12a.

38 Maspero, H., ‘Légendes mythologiques’, 8Google Scholar. See also Xinzheng, ZhangWeishu tongkao Shanghai, Commercial Press, 1954, 1924Google Scholar. For other references, see pp. 35–6, notes 84, 85, 86.

39 Shan hai jing (Da huang xi jing) 16/76a.

40 Izushi, , op. cit., 589Google Scholar; Ke, YuanZhongguo gudai shenhua Shanghai, Commercial Press, 1957, 179Google Scholar.

41 Mengjia, Chen‘Shangdai shenhua yu wushu’ Yanjing xuebao 20, 12 1936, 490Google Scholar; Münke, Wolfgang, Die klassische chinesische Mythologie, Stuttgart, Ernst Klett Verlag, 1976Google Scholar.

42 Shan hai jing (Da huang nan jing) 15/68b.

43 Shan haijing (Hai nei jing) 18/88a.

44 Mengjia, Chen, ‘Shangdai shenhua’, 490Google Scholar.

45 Diwangg shiji jicun , Congyun, Xued.), Peking, Zhonghua Shuju, 1964, 39Google Scholar.

46 ibid., 29.

47 Wang Guowei ‘Yin buci zhong suojian xian gong xian wang kao’ Guantangji lin Wu Cheng, Chekiang, Mi Yun Lou of the Jiang family, 1923, ch. 9 (Shi Lin 1), 2a–3b; see also ‘Yin buci zhong suojian xian gong xian wang xu kao’, ibid., 18a–19a.

48 For studies which identify Di Jun, Di Ku, and Shun, see Yoshiko, Izushi, op. cit., 582–4Google Scholar; Moruo, Guo, Zhongguo gudai shehui yanjiu pekingRenmin Chubanshe, 1959, 247–8Google Scholar; Mengjia, Chen, ‘Shangdai shenhua’, 488–9Google Scholar; Shizuka, ShirakawaChugohu no shenwa Tokyo, 1975, 165Google Scholar; ke, Yuan, op. cit., 142Google Scholar. Since these works give detailed textual references in support of the identifications, I have not repeated them here.

49 Guo yü (Lu yü) 4/8b.

50 Lī ji (Ji fa) 23/la.

51 Chu ci buzhu, 20–1. Cf. Hawkes, David, op. cit., p. 28, 11. 96—9Google Scholar. Hawkes's translation follows Wang Yi's interpretation that Xihe was the ‘charioteer of the sun’This accords Wang Yi's interpretation that the ‘Lord of the East’ who drove a chariot across the sky in Dong jun of the Nine songs was the sun itself (Chu ci buzhu, 50) which Hawkes also follows. However, there is a logical inconsistency between the idea that the suns were birds and their having chariots to drive them across the sky. Guan Donggui, p. 292, has argued that this tradition derives from a misinterpretation of the meaning ofrī yu which was later the name of an official in charge of delineating the suns’ movements. In any case, who the speaker is in Dong jun is unclear—it may be the poet-shaman himself whose spirit chariot is following the sun—and there is no other early reference to the sun being driven by a chariot.

52 Chu ci buzhu, 100. Cf. Hawkes, p. 78, line 18.

53 Chu ci buzhu, 172. Cf. Hawkes, p. 137, 1. 22b.

54 Wang Yi substituted bing ‘together’ for dai ‘alternately’, presumably because he thought it was a reference to the myth of Archer Yi, but the ten suns coming out together only happened once. More logically, and in accordance with the original text, this refers to the great heat of the suns in the East as they awaited their turn to go out. Yiduo, Wen(Gu dian xin yi in Wen Yiduo quan ji / Shanghai, Kaiming Shudian, 1948, 11, 453)Google Scholar and Hawkes, , op. cit., 104Google Scholar, follow Wang Yi, but see Donggui, Guan, op. cit., 291Google Scholar, and Yoshiko, Izushi, op. cit., 80Google Scholar.

55 Chu ci buzhu, 69. Cf. Hawkes, , p. 47Google Scholar, 11. 15–16.

56 Chu ci buzhu, 73. Cf. Hawkes, , p. 75, 1. 56Google Scholar. I have translated as ‘risen’; Hawkes, as ‘stirred’. The Shuo wen definition is ‘fly up’ and an alternative text, according to Hong Xingzu's commentary gives This suggests that this character, like others with an element, is connected with the sun which ‘rises’ in our terminology or ‘flies up’ as a bird in the Fu Sang tradition.

57 Chu ci buzhu, 75. Cf. Hawkes, , p. 49, 1. 56Google Scholar. See also Gui zang, 9b (Zheng mu jing) which refers to Yi shooting the suns in similar language.

58 See Yoshiko, Izushi, op. cit., 589Google Scholar; Münke, Wolfgang, op. cit., 117Google Scholar.

59 Yi also appears as a trouble-maker in myths associated with the Xia Dynasty. It is not clear to what extent Xia Yi is the same as the sun-shooting Yi, but an opposition between the motifs of the West, moons, water and the Xia founded by Yu may be implied to those of the East, suns, drought and the Shang (as Shun is equivalent to Ku and the Hollow Mulberry to the Fu Sang—see pp. 296 and 299).

60 Chu ci buzhu, 75.

61 Zhuangzi jishi Qingfan, Guo(ed.), Tapei, Heluo Tushu Chubanshe, 1974, 22 (l/9b)Google Scholar.

62 ibid., 89(l/37b.

63 Lun heng jiaoshi, juan 11, p. 509.

64 Quben zhushu jinian jijiao dingbu Xiangyang, Fan (ed.), Shanghai, Xin Zhishi Chubanshe. 1956. 14Google Scholar.

65 Shi jing jizhu Hong Kong, Guangzhi Shuju, n.d. 192 (Mao 303). See also pp. 192–3 (Chang fa, Mao 304) for this myth.

66 See Creel, H. G., The origins of statecraft in China, I (Western Zhou), Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1970, 493506Google Scholar, concerning tian as a Zhou deity.

67 Chu ci buzhu, 82. Cf. Hawkes, , p. 52, 11. 107–8Google Scholar.

68 shi ji , Peking, Zhonghua Shuju, 1959, 91Google ScholarPubMed (juan 3).

69 See Mengjia, Chen, ‘Shangdai shenhua’, 490Google Scholar.

70 For this motif, see Allan, S., The heir and the sage, 87, 108, 134Google Scholar.

71 There is a bird called the wu yan (see Zuzhang, JiaNiao yu wenxue Mi Shanghai, 1931, 5)Google Scholar the ‘crow-swallow’ which may have contributed to the confusion. Donggui, Guan, op. cit., 295–6Google Scholar, also identifies the sun raven with the xuan niao. He further cites Houxuan, HuChu minzu yuan yu dong fang kao Shi xue lun cong I, 1923Google Scholar.

72 Mozi jiangu Yirang, Sun(ed.), Shanghai, Commercial Press, 1936, juan 8, p. 8Google Scholar(Ming Oui, xia); Chunqiu Zuo zhuan jinshi jinyi, 1228 (Zhao Oong 28).

73 ‘Zhongguo shanggushi daolun’, 102.

74 Chavannes, E., Le Tai chan: essai de monographie d'un culte chinois, Paris, 1910, 474–5Google Scholar; Granet, Marcel, op. cit., 147Google Scholar.

75 Shuo yuan l/15b.

76 Mozi jiangu, 26 (Jian ai, xia).

77 Diwang shiji jicun, 65. Other texts which refer to Tang offering himself at Sang Lin include: Xunzi 19/15a–b; Lüshi chunqiu 9/3b–4a; Shizi) , Shanghai, Si Bu Bei Yao, 1936Google Scholar, shang, 16b; Sou shen ji Shanghai, Commercial Press, 1957, 67Google Scholar (juan 8).

78 See the Jin teng chapter of the Book of documents, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xxii, 1950, 31 ffGoogle Scholar.

79 For discussion of the Shang roots of this theory, see Keightley, David N., ‘Legitimation in Shang China’ (mimeograph), paper delivered to the Conference on Legitimation of Chinese Imperial Regimes, 15—24 06 1975, Asilomar, California, 43—5Google Scholar, and The religious commitment: Shang theology and the genesis of Chinese political culture’, History of religions, xvii, 34, 1978, 220Google Scholar.

80 For discussion of this theme, see Allan, S., ‘The identities of Taigong Wang in Zhou and Han literature’, Monumenta Serica, xxx, 19721973, 89—98Google Scholar.

81 ‘Some dualistic phenomena in Shang society’, Early Chinese civilization: anthropological perspectives (Harvard Yanching Institute Monograph Series, 23, 1976), 100Google Scholar.

82 Chu ci buzhu, 84; cf. Hawkes, , 53Google Scholar. See also Conrady, August, Tien wen (Asia Major Library, no. 2), Leipzig, 1931, 135Google Scholar. Sheng which Wang Yi glosses as song ye appears to mean sent in the entourage of the bride, as a dowry present.

83 See Bingliang, Chen (Chan Pingleung) Zhongguo gudai shenhua xinshi liang zeQinghua xuebao vii, 2, 1969, 209–10Google Scholar; Granet, M., ‘Danses et légendes’, 433 ffGoogle Scholar.

84 Gui zang (Qi wu pian), 12a. See also Granet, M., 9Google Scholar. The ‘eight extremes’ are presumably the ‘eight pillars’ of Tian wen (11. 9–10), Chu ci bu zhu, 68.

85 Gui zang, 14a.

86 loc. cit. For Shang Di as the prototype of Huang Di, see Kuan, Yang, ‘Zhongguo shanggu shi daolun’, 70Google Scholar; Ke, Yuan, op. cit., 98Google Scholar.

87 See Bingliang, Chen, op. cit., 210Google Scholar, who gives a list of references to the hong sang and qiong sang.

88 Guanzi zuangu Jingheng, An (ed.), Taipei, Heluo Tushu Chubanshe, 1976, 8Google Scholar(juan 3), includes a reference to xuan di which is interpreted as tian di but the epithet is very rare (I have not found any other references). The story of Confucius's birth comes from the Chunqiu Kong yan tu which is quoted in the Taiping yulan Tainan, Ping Ping Chubanshe, 1975, 4793 (955)Google Scholar, and the Yiwen leiju Shanghai, Zhonghua Shuju, 1965, 1519 (88)Google Scholar.

89 M. Granet, 435.

90 In the Shi ji, juan 4, 6, Huang Di is described as going west as far as Kong Tong. Kong Tong was also the name of the north gate of the state of Song—see Chunqiu Zuo zhuan jinzhu jinyi, 1513–14 (Ai Gong 26 and note) in which a corpse is brought in from Kong Tong. I suspect that the western symbolism of death in the east/west scheme has been transferred here to the north in a four-directional scheme.

91 Shi ji, juan 3, 99; Guben zhushu jinian, 18–19.

92 Chu ci buzhu, 84 (Tian wen, I. 125); cf. Hawkes, , 53Google Scholar.

93 Yasutarö, MoriZhongguo gudai shenhua yanjiu (tr. Xiaolian, WangTaipei, Di Ping Xian Chubanshe, 1974, 14Google Scholar.

94 For a list of scholars who view his name as Xian, see Keightley, D. N., Sources, p. 207Google Scholar, n. (a).

95 Jiu gao Karlgren, B., The Book of documents, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xvii, 1950, 45 (9)Google Scholar, translates xian as ‘all’, but see Houxuan, HuYin buci zhong di Shang Di he Wang DiLishi yanjiu, no. 9, 1959, 8990Google Scholar.

96 This definition derives from Lévi-Strauss, Claude, Totemism today, (tr.) Needham, RodneyLondon, Merlin Press, 1964Google Scholar, and The savage mind, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1966Google Scholar. It should be noted, however, that ‘man’ in this case is represented by the ancestors. The relationship between the classification of the ancestors and social groups among the living is still an open question. Furthermore, although ‘ten’ is a number with natural origins and the suns a natural object, the classification of ten suns is as much a cultural category as the ten groups of ancestors.

97 In a paper delivered at the School of Oriental and African Studies, November 1978, David Nivison, by assuming all the inscriptions on a single shell (bing bian 334, 5) to be related, demonstrated a connexion between the king's illness and weather phenomena. If he is correct, this could provide a precedent for Cheng Tang's offering.

98 See Keightley, D. N., Sources, 3.2.1, p. 35Google Scholar, who observes ‘no comprehensive study of relative frequency has been made but that there is no doubt that in periods I, II and V divinations about sacrifice were far more numerous than those about any other topic’. See also his notes 26 and 27. The preceding pages give a list of the topics which were major areas of concern in period I. Chang Tsung-tung, Die Kull der Shang-Dynastie, includes a well-organized selection of sacrificial inscriptions (though Serruys, Paul L.-M., ‘The language of the Shang oracle inscriptions’, T'oung Pao, LX, 13, 12–120Google Scholar, quarrels with many of the translations). Other major sources include Kunio, ShimaInhyo bohuji kenkyū Hirosaki, Chūgokugaku Kenkyukai, 1958Google Scholar; Kiyoshi, AkatsukaChūgoku kodai no shūkyō to bunka: In ōchō no saishi Tokyo, 1977Google Scholar.

99 See Keightley, D., ‘Shang divination: the magico-religious legacy’, mimeographed paper prepared for the workshop on Classical Chinese Thought, Harvard Workshop, 2–13 08 1976, especially p. 13Google Scholar.

100 Keightley, D., ‘The religious commitment: Shang theology and the genesis of Chinese political culture’, History of religions, xvii, 34, 1978, 216Google Scholar.

101 Keightley, D., Sources, 89Google Scholar, estimates that some three million man-hours were devoted to pyromancy in the historical period.

102 Yiduo, Wen, Gu dian xinyi, II, 565 ffGoogle Scholar.

103 For sun worship in the inscriptions see p. 320 and note 132 below.

104 Shuo wen jie zi gulin, 2653.

105 Boodberg, Peter A., ‘Remarks on the evolution of Archaic Chinese’, Harvard Journal of Asian Studies, II, 3, 1937, 347–9Google Scholar; Hopkins, L. C., ‘Sinological notes’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xiv, 1937, 2931Google Scholar. See also the rebuttal by Creel, H. G., ‘On the ideographic element in Ancient Chinese’, T'oung Pao, xxxiv, 4, 1939, 278–81Google Scholar.

106 Shuo wen jiezi gulin, 5288.

107 Guowei, Wang‘Yinxu buci zhong suojian xian gong xian wang kao’ juan 9, shi lin 1, pp. 2a–3bGoogle Scholar (see also ‘Yinxu buci zhong suojian xian gong xian wang xu kao’, 17b–18a). The arguments for various transcriptions are summarized by Kunio, Shima, op. cit., 238–40Google Scholar, and Xiaoding, LiJiagu wenzi jishi Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, Taiwan, Nangang, 1965, pp. 1905–8Google Scholar and references given therein, and I will not therefore give detailed citations in the following discussion.

108 See Chang, K. C., ‘T'ien Kan: a key to the history of the Shang’, in Ancient China: studies in early civilization, Roy, D. T. and Tsien, T. H. (ed.), Hong Kong, Chinese University Press, 1978, 37Google Scholar.

109 See Xiaoding, Li, op. cit., 2787Google Scholar.

110 Qichang, WuBuci zhong suojian xian gong xian wang san xu kaoNanjing Xuebao xiv, 1933, 8Google Scholar.

111 See Fashi, Yin ShunZhongguo gudai minzu shenhua yu wenhua zhi yanjiu Taipei, Hua Gang Chubanshe, 1975, 99101Google Scholar.

112 Shuo wenjie zi gulin, 4418; Er ya Xia/16b. Also in the Mu tianzi zhuan (Song ben) l/4b. See also Fashi, Yin Shun, op. cit., 102Google Scholar, who discusses the various animals which have been identified with the swan, other than the lion which was unknown in Shang and Zhou times. I suspect that the monkey pictograph of Xiaotun di er ben: Yinxu wenzi: jia bian (repr. Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, 1971), no. 2336, which Kunio, Shimaincludes in Inkyo bokuji sorui Tokyo, Kyuko Shin, 1971, 211Google Scholar, under the same classification, is not the same character. The ear, eyebrow and nose are unique to this form. The inscription also includes a tiger and a horse over fire which implies that it may refer to a monkey used in sacrifice. There is little evidence but the general shape to tie it to the other forms of this character.

113 Akatsuka, , op. cit., 143Google Scholar.

114 e.g. Ke, Yuan, op. cit., 141Google Scholar; and p. 145, notes 3, 4. Yuan cites Wang Guowei's identification of Jun and Nao in Ou shi xin zhengshi and Wu Qichang's (op. cit.) identification of Nao and Jun. I do not think, however, that it is possible to justify this series phonologically as the characters do not belong to the same rhyme group.

115 Another common transcription among Chinese scholars although not among Western sinologists is an alternative form of Xie This character has the advantage over Nao and Kui in a link with the Shang, but it is very rare and difficult to justify graphically. Scholars who use the transcription Jun, as I do, include, Yuan Ke, loc. cit., Yoshiko, Izushi, op. cit., 582–3Google Scholar, Münke, , op. cit., 130Google Scholar, Fashi, Yin Shun, op. cit., 99101Google Scholar.

116 Kiyoshi, Akatsuka, op. cit., 443 ff.Google Scholar, see especially p. 453.

117 Mengjia, Chen, Yinxu buci congshu, 574Google Scholar.

118 ibid, and Chang Tsung-tung, op. cit., 202, also make this identification. Akatsuka Kiyoshi, op. cit., however, identifies Yi Jing (Kunio, Shima, Inkyo bokuji sorui, 356.3)Google Scholar with Xihe (and also O Huang). Since all the inscriptions by Shima refer to the same rite performed to Yi Jing, they may be a group. It is also possible the ‘Eastern Mother’ is named in the inscriptions, but there is no means of relating the inscriptions.

119 See Kunio, Shima, Inkyo bokuji kenkyu, 244Google Scholar, for a summary of viewpoints; also Xiaoding, Li, op. oit., 3637–9Google Scholar. Akateuka (see n. 118) identifies O with Nu Ying, Shun's second wife besides O Huang. Another view expressed by Chang Tsung-tung, op. cit., 39, is that O was not a remote ancestor but the sister of Wu Ding. In this regard, it is possible (see below) that the name was also used with reference to later wives of Shang kings.

120 Kunio, Shima, op. cit., 244Google Scholar, notes an apparent alternation in the periods in which Wang Hai and O were worshipped as well as their similar powers and suggests an identity. This seems unlikely since 0 has the female element and Wang Hai was Shang Jia's father. She is more likely Wang Hai's mother (i.e. O Huang). It also seems possible that wo meaning ‘I’or ‘we’ derives its meaning from this first female ancestor, i.e. ‘we descendants of O’.

121 See Xingwu, YuLue lun tuteng yu zongjiao qiyuan he Xia Shang tutengLishi yanjiu x 1959, 66–7Google Scholar, whose interpretations I follow. Th e inscriptions ma y also be found in Zhenyu, LuoSandai jijin wencun Pojuezhai, 1936Google Scholar.

122 Kunio, Shima, op. cit., 469.3Google Scholar.

123 3 ibid., 137.4 (probably also th e first tw o characters of 138.1).

124 ibid., 138.1.

125 The totemie significance of this bird is discussed extensively by Houxuan, Huin ‘Jiaguwen Shangzu niao tuteng de yijiLishi lun cong I, 1964, 133–59Google Scholar, and in Jiaguwen suojian Shangzu niao tuteng de xin zhengjuWen Wu no. 2, 1977,84–7Google Scholar.

128 In this context, Yu and Di Ku are parallel as the supernatural progenitors of human ancestors. Hou Ji was also fathered by Di Ku—when his mother stepped on Ku's footprint.

127 See Mengjia, Chen, Yinxu buci congshu, 337Google Scholar.Moruo, Guo, Zhongguo gudai shehui yanjiu, Peking, 251Google Scholar, identifies this figure with both Xie and Zhi whom he identifies with one another and Houxuan, Hu, art. cit., 135Google Scholar, follows him. Although the two figures are related, I believe that Zhi, Di Ku's son by Chang Yi, is better identified as Wang Heng in the Shang inscriptions. The relationship is there because they are dual manifestations deriving from the same structure, not because they were originally the same figure. The same is true of Xihe and Chang Xi whom Guo also identifies.

128 Chunqiu Zuo zhuan jinzku jinyi, 1105. For other examples of shi ri referring to the jia yi, see Huainanzi 3/llb, 4/5b, Guo yu 18/3b.

129 Lun heng jiaoshi, juan 25, 1027 (Forke, Alfred, Lun heng, New York, Paragon Book Gallery, 1962, II, 412)Google Scholar.

130 See Mengjia, Chen, Yinxu buci congshu, 499500Google Scholar, Kiyoshi, Akatsuka, op. cit., 803Google Scholar, and Vandermeersch, Leon, Wangdao ou la vote royale: recherches sur l'esprit des institutions de la Chine archaique, École Française d'Extreme Orient, Paris, 1977, I, 340Google Scholar, for other discussion of these inscriptions. The original provenance of the weapons appears to be confused (see Chen), but they are at present in the Liaoning Provincial Museum in Shenyang where I was told they had been received from Zhenyu, Luo. (See also his Sandai jijin jicun, 19.20–21.)Google Scholar

131 See ‘T'ien kan’, 17–20, for one version of Chang's argument. Other theories include that of Zuobin, DongLun Shangren yi shengri wei mingDalu zazhi II, 3, 1951, 610Google Scholar, that these were death dates (see also Vandermeersch, , op. cit., 284–94)Google Scholar and Mengjia, Chen, op. cit., 404–5Google Scholar, that they represented the order of sacrifices determined by order of birth, enthronement and death.

132 See Chen Mengjia, 573–4.

133 Chengzuo, ShangYin qi yi cun Jinling Daxue Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu suo congkan jia zhong, Nanjing, 1933, 871Google Scholar.

134 Xiaotun di er ben: Yinxu wenzi: bing bian (Taipei, 1957), 392Google Scholar. Grammatically, this could also be translated as Shang Jia's sun, but it is difficult to understand the meaning.

135 See Kunio, Shima, Inkyo bokuji kenkyū, 201Google Scholar.

136 ‘Légendes mythologiques’. This term is more commonly used in the reverse sense but I will follow Maspero.

137 See Legends and cults in ancient China’, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xviii, 1946, 199365Google Scholar.

138 See Allan, S., ‘Shang foundations’, 8Google Scholar.

139 Science and civilisation, III, 177.

140 ‘Legends and cults’, 264.

141 Shi ji, juan 1, p. 14.

142 Shanhai jing 5/52a. Shima, , Inkyo bokuji sorui, 58.4Google Scholar, is identified by Xiaoding, Li, op. cit., 4011Google Scholar, as yao but there is only one occurrence of this character in the oracle bone inscriptions. I suspect that Da Rao credited with inventing the cyclical characters (jia zi ) in Lüshi chunqiu 17/10a is the same person since the name Da Rao does not occur in any other context and through these characters he is tied to the ten-sun tradition.

143 Moruo, Guo, op. cit., 251Google Scholar, suspects Tang Yao of being Tang but I think this an over-simplification.

144 For Di Dan Zhu, see Shan hai jing 10/49b, 12/56a.

145 See note 66 above.

146 The text to which I will be referring is that in Karlgren, B., The Book of documents, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xxii, 1950Google Scholar, but in some cases I have revised his translations, as here, where I follow Karlgren in taking Yao rather than his virtue as the subject (see Karlgren, B., Glosses on the Book of documents, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, xx, 1948, 46Google Scholar, but take heng more literally as ‘horizontally’ in contrast with ‘above and below’.

147 See Karlgren, , ‘Legends and cults’, 264Google Scholar.

148 Karlgren's, translation, The Book of documents, p. 3Google Scholar, par. 3.

149 ‘Legends and cults’, 264.

150 See Shima, , Inkyo bokuji sorui, 163.4Google Scholar.

151 Mengjia, Chen, Yinxu buci congshu, 590Google Scholar. The chart is Chen's but he gives for the West in the Yao Dian and I follow Karlgren and other guwen editions. See also Yin Shun Fashi, 127–9.

152 Shan hai jing 14/64b.

153 See, for example, Yin Shun Fashi, 433.

154 Science and civilisation, III, 245.

155 Karlgren, , The Book of documents, p. 3Google Scholar, par. 9.

156 Shuo wenjie zi gulin, 2451.

157 Karlgren, , op. cit., p. 3Google Scholar, par. 11.

158 ibid., p. 4, par. 12, but I take xia literally.

159 ibid., Karlgren's translation.

160 ibid., par. 13, Karlgren's translation.

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