Episode 159: Four Perils 2 – Qiong Qi

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Today we will talk about one of the “Four Perils” in Chinese mythology- QiongQi 穷奇. There are two different theories about “Four Perils” and we are talking about the version recorded in the book Zuo Zhuan 左传, an ancient Chinese narrative history that is a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle Spring and Autumn Annals 春秋 from the 4th century BC. We have talked about TaoTie 饕餮, the other one of the “four evil creatures”, if you are interested in it please check episode 132.

Some people may heard about it if you watched a really popular Chinese fantasy romantic TV series from last year called Ashes of Love 香蜜沉沉烬如霜. There is an evil mythological creatures called Qiong Qi which is based on the mythological creature in Chines mythology.


In the book Classics of Mountains and Seas 山海经 from the 4th century BC, in the Chapter XiCiSiJing 西次四经, it says on the Mountain Gui 邽山,there lived a kind of beast called Qiong Qi looking like an ox with spikes like hedgehog and it eats people.


However, in other Chapter HaiNeiBeiJing 海内北经 in the same book, it says Qiong Qi looks like a tiger with wings. It usually eats people from the head.


In the book ShenYiJing 神异经 from the Han dynasty 汉代 around the year 200 BC, it gives a more detailed description based on the Chapter HaiNeiBeijing of the book Classics of Mountains and Seas. It says, Qiong Qi is a tiger-like flying beast that eats people. It knows human’s languages. When people are having an arguments, he would eat the righteous person. If it knows a person is honest and trust worthy, he would bite the person’s nose off. If it knows a person is evil, he would hunt food for the person.

Some ancient historians noted this part that, Qiong Qi lookes like an ox with a long fox tail. Its sound was similar to dogs.




左传 Zuo Zhuan

春秋 Spring and Autumn Annals

山海经 Classics of Mountains and Seas

神异经 ShenYiJing

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