Monday, February 8, 2010

Day LXX - Bai Ze

Nine knowing eyeballs,
Erudite beast of Asia,
Oriental sage.

A fantastic creature from Far Eastern mythology, the Bai Ze is a bovine or lion-like beast that captures the imagination. Its Chinese name translates as 'white marsh' (its Japanese name is Hakutaku) and the being is renowned for its intelligence and ability to understand human speech. The Bai Ze is believed to have a human face, 9 eyes and 6 horns arranged around its body (3 eyes and two horns on its head an sides respectively) and legend has it that the sentient being passed on knowledge of supernatural animals (all 11, 520 of them) to the Yellow Emperor Huang-di to write up in a tome called Bai Ze Tu. Other tales have the nine-eyed sage predicting the onset of plague and thus the Bai Ze is looked to as a spirit of herbal medicine who can protect against disease as well as disseminate wisdom. Because of its incredible appearance and immense intellect, the many-eyed, multi-horned magnificent Bai Ze deserves appreciation.

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