Author Archives: yuchima

Hou Yi shoots the Sun

11) Hou Yi shoots the Sun

Once upon a time, there were a total of ten suns; they were the sons of the king of the eastern sky and his wife. Everyday they’d rotate positions and each shine its rays of sunshine on earth. That was a time where everything was peaceful and nice; no one had to worry about other people stealing from them, and animals did not have to worry about people hurting them. Crops are always thriving and there were always enough food and drink for all lives on earth.

One day, the ten suns thought that it would be fun and interesting if they all rose and went out together. Together, they marched across different lands, and thus burned everything; everything dried up, and all lives were dying under the heat. Suddenly everything was changed. The good life was gone, and nothing is thriving anymore.

A young man named Hou Yi, famous for his shooting skills, decided that he will try to save mankind. Thus, he spent many days and nights marching through mountains till he got to the highest point–he shot at the suns. The first 3 arrows took down 3 suns, but there were still 7 other songs that were glaring at Hou Yi. Hou Yi’s next shot took down 4 suns in a row, and the 3 that were left were now really scared. Hou Yi took down two more suns and now only one is left. That one remaining sun was so scared that it hid into the ocean.

Now there were no more sun burning the earth, but without the sun nothing grows; people started praying to the king of “heaven” for the one sun, and thus the next day a gleaming sun rose from the east sea, restoring all life and peace to earth.

Hou Yi was awarded to be a general or his bravery to save the people.

My mother told me this tale, but I’ve known this lore since I was little because every chinese kids know these; if not already told my parents, we read and learnt these in grade school. My mother’s performance really wasn’t anything spectacular since we both already know the tale so well. It’s funny to me that when I tried to think of chinese folklores I couldn’t really think of anything, but with people naming a few, I could remember all the rest.



20) Dybbuk


he malicious ghost of a deceased person that possesses a host body in order to do harm, both to the host, and in general. It only leaves the host once it’s accomplished its goal. Although this isn’t  a demon, per se, it acts in a similar manner–think along the lines of the possession in The Exorcist.



Max also told me about this demon upon my request. He was pretty vague about the story because he assumed that it is something most people just know.


I see these type of possession things in horror films quite a lot; it is actually one of the most commonly used horror film topic. However, I didn’t know that there was a jewish version of this because everything that I’d ever seen of this was of christian traditions.



19) Golem

The Golem is a creature created by a rabbi to serve the Jewish community when the community needed to be protected. The creature is made of soil or clay and brought to life by the use of alchemical-like formulas described in holy texts. The creature is not possessed by a spirit or ghost, but driven by the ritual to follow the rabbi’s commands and serve the community until he is not needed. The Golem is then called-off and put away. The stories of ‘Golems-run-amok’ are tales of Golems that did not stop once they were told to, but rather continued on wreaking havoc wherever they went.

Another version of the Golem story is that one would mould the Golem out of soil, then walk or dance around it while speaking combination of letters from the alphabet and the secret name of God. To “kill” or “stop” this golem, the creator would need to walk/dance in the opposite direction saying the words backward.

Once again, Max told me this story upon my request. I have definitely heard of similar storie in other culture, but more along the lines of writing magical words into a paper and putting the paper either on a doll or on someone to commend “magical” powers. I had no idea that these stories had a jewish origin though; or is the jewish version an original work or just one of the editions.


Prince Lutin

17) Prince Lutin

Once there was a prince named Leandre, and he lived in this big palace. Another prince also lived with him, and his name was Furibon. Furibon was born deformed, but even more so, he is mean and nasty, and he has an insane mother.

As time went by, everyone loved Leandre, but hated Furibon. Furibon, out of hatred and jealousy, eventually tried to harm Leandre, and thus Leandre sent him away to live in the countryside to be safely away from Furibon.

While living in the countryside, Leandre was happy and free, but he was lonely. Once when he was out hunting, he was almost attacked by this grass snake; after defeating the snake, he decided to save it instead of killing it. So Leandre kept it in his house and raised it. After a few years, Furibon decided to attack Leandre again, and having found out about this, Leandre decided that he need to travel and get away. It is just then he found out that the grass snake is no longer a snake, but has turned into a fairy named Gentille. To thank Leandre for saving her life, Gentille promised Leandre one wish. She turned Leandre into a Lutin (imp) and gave him a red feather hat. When Leandre put this hat on, he can choose to have the power of the Lutin where he can choose to hide or reveal himself whenever, and he can choose to cross and borders, and he can choose to return to his original self whenever.

Having this power, Leandre first went to the palace and took revenge on Furibon and his mother. Then he went on several adventures where he experienced treasures and unrequited love, till he eventually ended up saving these 3 maidens. He found out from one of them that they are fairies from the Island of Quiet pleasure. This island was made by an old fairy who, after being hurt in love, created this island of only women where she replaced the guards with amazonian women. Leandre used his power to go check out this island out, and he eventually fell in love with the fairy princess. He devised himself as the voice of the parrot and from time to time tried to convince her that it is okay to trust men sometimes. Furibon at the same time, sought to invade this island for its riches and for the beautiful princess. Leandre devised a plan and in the end he killed Furibon successfully, protected the island, gained power and riches, and ended up winning the heart of the princess he loves.

Once again, Cami told me this story. This story seems a lot more like a Rumpelstiltskin style tale. According to Cami, every kid in France knew of this story. When she performed it it was a lot more lively and fun.

This story reminds me a lot of stories like the Iliad or Sinbad’s adventures.


Dames Blanches

16) Dames Blanches

This is from out of french mythologies/folklores.

Dames Blanches are white dressed female spirits who supposedly appear near caves, caverns, bridges or ravines. These are not extremely evil spirits, but they would ask passersby to do certain things for them to pass.

Those who did what was asked of them were able to pass the road safely, while others that refused are tortured by animals that helped the dames blanches or thrown off somewhere.

Some believe that these were pre-christian goddesses.

(*For more information, check out White Woman of Dutch and Germanic mythologies.)

My french friend Cami told me about this story as her parents used to tell her this story to scare her from going out late at night. She has never encountered these situations herself so it was hard for her to perform it in a believable manner but overall it was cool and I definitely remember reading about similar versions of this story.