Han Hsiang-Tzu, one of the Eight Immortals, was the favourite student of another Immortal, Lu Tung-pin, and the nephew of famed scholar, statesman, and Neo-Confucianist, Han Yu (768–824 CE). Han Yu wanted his nephew to study and strive for a court career. Han Hsiang-Tzu devoted himself to music and magic instead. He wandered the countryside, Orpheus-style, playing his flute and charming birds and predatory animals. His flute can make flowers bloom and resurrect the recently dead.
Conflict and reconciliation between nephew and uncle is a large part of Han Hsiang-Tzu’s myth. Taoism was then under siege by
Confucianism and Buddhism: Han Hsiang-Tzu vigorously defended the old order. Eventually Han Yu ran afoul of the government and was exiled for penning a protest against Buddhism: he is often portrayed reading from the scroll containing that protest, standing beside Han Hsiang-Tzu.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Han Hsiang-Tzu is the patron of musicians.
Flute, castanets, crucible (because he’s an alchemist, too)
- Eight Immortals;
- Lu Tung-pin
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.