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Yao

by Micha F. Lindemans
A mythical emperor of China who lived either from 2333 - 2234 BCE or 2356 - 2255 BCE. He is said to have established the calendar and introduced official posts, the holders of which were responsible for making proper use of the four seasons of the year. He is one of the Wu-di.

He made Shun his successor, instead of his own son, and subjected him to severe tests, extending over a period of three years before entrusting the rule of the country to him. After the death of Yao, Shun seated himself on the throne. Ten suns appeared in the sky, threatening to scorch the earth to a cinder. The heavenly archer Shen Yi managed to shoot nine out of the sky with his magic bow.

Yao is also known as the Tamer of the Winds. He earned this title when he restored order to the realm (with the help of Shen Yi) after a monster had devastated the south of the country by violent storms. He also helped Kun fight the floods of the Yellow River which were threatening to reach Heaven.


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