Kwan Kung

Kwan Kung


Kuan Kung; Guan Gong; Guan Di; Quan Cong (Vietnamese)



Kwan Kung is the Lord of War, a spirit of protection and defense. He protects people from Demons, scoundrels, thieves and malefactors in general. The very essence of righteousness, integrity and loyalty, in Chinese cosmology, Kwan Kung is often ranked just below the Jade Emperor. Rumors persist that he has, in fact, quietly and modestly assumed that office.

Kwan Kung was an historic person. In life, he was a Chinese warrior, leader of an army possibly during the Warring Kingdoms Era. He was unvanquished, brave and fierce in battle but also very beloved because he helped and protected the weak. A chieftain’s son kidnapped a local girl, an everyday occurrence in much of the world, then as now but not something Kwan Kung could tolerate. He killed the kidnapper, rescued the girl and brought her safely home to her family. Kwan Kung who wished no further violence fled but was pursued by the vengeful chieftain’s men. He sought refuge in a temple but his pursuers set it on fire. Kwan Kung, his face aflame, escaped the burning building and killed his attackers.

Kwan Kung was eventually unjustly executed for refusing to betray his king. In death, he continued to serve the people. Temples were erected to him throughout China and now around the world. Venerate him at home, too: allegedly an image of Kwan Kung kept in the home prevents trouble and domestic disturbances.

Kwan Kung is a master martial artist. He is generous, very frank and truthful but emotional and easily-angered. He cannot be bribed. Kwan Kung is also considered a great scholar; able to recite Chinese texts by heart.


Soldiers; those who work in law enforcement; scholars; Kwan Kung is the spiritual patron of the Hong Kong police department.


Kwan Kung is depicted with a red face and long black beard.


A weapon named in his honor (a long staff with a blade); book; spear; pen; pike


Red horse




Jade Emperor


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.

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