Myths and Legends of China
Blue Dragon and White Tiger
The functions discharged by Hêng and Ha at the gates of Buddhist temples are in Taoist temples discharged by Blue Dragon and White Tiger.
The former, the Spirit of the Blue Dragon Star, was Têng Chiu-kung, one of the chief generals of the last emperor of the Yin dynasty. He had a son named Têng Hsiu, and a daughter named Ch’an-yü. Page 147
The army of Têng Chiu-kung was camped at San-shan Kuan, when he received orders to proceed to the battle then taking place at Hsi Ch’i. There, in standing up to No-cha and Huang Fei-hu, he had his left arm broken by the former’s magic bracelet, but, fortunately for him, his subordinate, T’u Hsing-sun, a renowned magician, gave him a remedy which quickly healed the fracture.
His daughter then came on the scene to avenge her father. She had a magic weapon, the Five-fire Stone, which she hurled full in the face of Yang Chien. But the Immortal was not wounded; on the other hand, his celestial dog jumped at Ch’an-yü and bit her neck, so that she was obliged to flee. T’u Hsing-sun, however, healed the wound.
After a banquet, Têng Chiu-kung promised his daughter in marriage to T’u Hsing-sun if he would gain him the victory at Hsi Ch’i. Chiang Tzŭ-ya then persuaded T’u’s magic master, Chü Liu-sun, to call his disciple over to his camp, where he asked him why he was fighting against the new dynasty. “Because,” he replied, “Chiu-kung has promised me his daughter in marriage as a reward of success.” Chiang Tzŭ-ya thereupon promised to obtain the bride, and sent a force to seize her. As a result of the fighting that ensued, Chiu-kung was beaten, and retreated in confusion, leaving Ch’an-yü in the hands of the victors. During the next few days the marriage was celebrated with great ceremony in the victor’s camp. According to custom, the bride returned for some days to her father’s house, and while there she earnestly exhorted Chiu-kung to submit. Following her advice, he went over to Chiang Tzŭ-ya’s party.
In the ensuing battles he fought valiantly on the side of his former enemy, and killed many famous warriors, Page 148but he was eventually attacked by the Blower, from whose mouth a column of yellow gas struck him, throwing him from his steed. He was made prisoner, and executed by order of General Ch’iu Yin. Chiang Tzŭ-ya conferred on him the kingdom of the Blue Dragon Star.
The Spirit of the White Tiger Star is Yin Ch’êng-hsiu. His father, Yin P’o-pai, a high courtier of the tyrant Chou Wang, was sent to negotiate peace with Chiang Tzŭ-ya, but was seized and put to death by Marquis Chiang Wên-huan. His son, attempting to avenge his father’s murder, was pierced by a spear, and his head was cut off and carried in triumph to Chiang Tzŭ-ya.