The Legend of Pixiu

The Legend of Pixiu

A fabulously fierce beast called Pixiu (貔貅 pí xiū), is believed to be more powerful than the lion or any other animal, and in ancient literature, it is referred to as Mengshou (猛獸 měng shòu) or ‘Fierce Beast’ and enters into popular folklore and folk belief that it is a guardian animal that stands for fair-lay and right. In the Shizhouji (十洲記 shí zhōu jì), contained in the huge Taoist compilation Daocang (道藏 dào cáng), it notes that: In the third year of the reign Zhenghe (征和 zhēng hé ) [90 B.C.], when the Han Emperor Hanwudi (漢武帝 hàn wǔ dì) visited An-ting, the King of the Western barbarians, offered a ‘Fierce Beast’ (Mengshou) that resembled a fifty or sixty day-old puppy, as large as a civet but brown in color....

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