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Guan YuThe Religious Afterlife of a Failed Hero$
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Barend J. ter Haar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803645.001.0001

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The Exorcism of the Salt Ponds at Xie

The Exorcism of the Salt Ponds at Xie

(p.47) 3 The Exorcism of the Salt Ponds at Xie
Guan Yu

Barend J. ter Haar

Oxford University Press

The historical Guan Yu came from a village in Xie Prefecture (modern Yuncheng) in the south of the modern province of Shanxi, close to one of the main salt producing sites of traditional China. From the early twelfth century onwards a new type of worship for Lord Guan was transmitted throughout southern China by Daoist exorcist specialists, which was motivated by a story about his successful defeat of a demon causing mishap in the salt ponds of Xie. The Daoist connection of the deity was much stronger than the Buddhist one, but this was the Daoism of ritual practice, rather than the philosophical approaches as some may construct them from the Book of the Way and the Virtue that is ascribed to Laozi. A substantial numbers of temple foundations in southern China in particular can be explained through this Daoist connection.

Keywords:   Lord Guan, exorcism, Daoism, salt ponds, Chiyou, dragon

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