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Nezha

by Lolitta Ho

Nezha is a mythological figure in Chinese Taoism. According to popular myth, his father was the Shang dynasty military commander Li Jing. He is featured in several Chinese novels, for example Journey to the West and The Investiture of the Gods. According to the Encyclopedia Baidu, Nezha's mother was pregnant for three years and gave birth to a meat ball. His father thought it was a demon and used his sword to cut it open. Nezha was inside and thus he was born.

One day, while he was near the sea, Nezha fought and killed Ao Bing, a son of the East Sea Dragon King Ao Guang. In retribution, Ao Guang called for his brothers and confronted Nezha and his family. He threatened to flood Chentang Pass and report Nezha to the Jade Emperor.

To save his family, Nezha flayed and disemboweled himself to return his body to his parents and repay them. The Dragon Kings were moved by his filial piety and spared his family. His teacher, Taiyi Zhenren, eventually restored him to life by using lotus roots to construct a human body for his soul.

Nezha is often depicted as a youth, riding through the sky on the Wind Fire Wheels.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Nézhā, Na Zha
    Nata
    哪吒

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