Hou I

▪ Chinese mythology
Pinyin  Hou Yi,  

      the Lord Archer of Chinese mythology, whose prowess with a bow earned him undying fame. With his bow and arrow he saved the moon during an eclipse and rescued the country from a variety of plagues, one of which involved a wind monster who was wreaking havoc across the land. Hou I is also said to have shot down 9 of 10 suns (one account says 8 of 9 suns) that were burning up the earth in prehistoric times. Though tradition identifies the marksman as an officer in the armed forces of the legendary emperor K'u, he is better-known among the common people as the husband of Ch'ang O, the goddess of the moon. After stealing the pill of immortality, Ch'ang O took refuge in the moon. Hou I followed in hot pursuit, only to be intercepted by the Hare, who would not allow Hou I to pass until he promised reconciliation with his wife. On the 15th day of each lunar month the spouses meet, Hou I traveling from his palace in the sun to the moon palace he constructed for his wife.

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Universalium. 2010.

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