An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Xuan Ming 玄冥

Jul 14, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Xuan Ming 玄冥 was in Chinese mythology an assistant spirit (shen 神) or "official" (si 司) of the mythological Emperor Zhuan Xu 顓頊. Both controlled the region of the north. The words xuan and ming both mean "dark" or "obscure". Another name of Xuan Ming mentioned in the book Shanhaijing 山海經 is Yu Qiang 禺彊, lit. "region of the sunset".

A fragment of the the book Fengsu tongyi 風俗通義 says that Xuan Ming was the controller of rain (yu shi 雨師).

The commentary Zhouli zhushu 周禮注疏 says that Xuan and Ming were two persons, namely the sons of the mythological emperor Shao Hao 少昊 (i.e. Di Zhi 帝摯), with the names You 脩 and Xi 熙. There were believed to rule the process water.

Yuan Ke 袁珂, ed. (1985). Zhongguo shenhua chuanshuo cidian 中國神話傳說詞典 (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe), 139.