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--A Patron Deity of Homo Sex in China--
Translated by Nathaniel Hu
IN the early years of the Qing Dynasty, there was a certain yushi (censor)
who had completed the civil examination in his young age. When He made an
inspection tour to Fujian, there was a man named Hu Tianbao, who was smitten
by his outstanding beauty (this young censor was a pretty boy).Wherever he
went out in his sedan chair or in the court, Hu would steal glances on him. The
censor felt uneasy, puzzled by Hu's behavior, and his subordinates dared not
speak up.
Not long afterward, the censor went to inspect another county, and Hu
followed him. Along the way, he secretly hid in toilet to peek at his buttocks. The
censor more suspicious than ever summoned him for questioning. At first Hu
remained silent, but after three strokes of cane he confessed “The truth is i was
taken by his Excellency’s good looking, and could not get you out of my mind. I
realize you are heavenly cassia, out of bonds from common birds. But my heart
already runs away, so without meaning to, i have behaved so improperly."
Hearing this, the censor flew into rage. He immediately ordered his subordinates
to kill him under a dead tree.
A month later Hu Tianbao's soul appeared in the dream of a man from the
same district, to pass his message "Because my mind carried away by improper
thoughts, I offended a guiren ( a person of high rank), so it was appropriate that i
died this way. But truly it was pure act of love, a moment of infatuation and
nothing at all like mischievousness. The official of underworld mocked me, but
none was blame me. Now the official of underworld was appointed me as the
Rabbit God (Tu Er Shen), bestowing me with the duty of supervising matters
relating to men who desire other men (homo sex). Please build a temple for me,
and invite the public to offer incense and candles."
There had long been talk of a custom existing in Fujian, where men sought
other men to be his qidi (bond younger brothers). As words from the man's
dream spread, everyone rushed to collect donations and erect a temple. The
result was positive and immediate. All who desired secret rendezvous or had
been frustrated in their pursuit of other man, flocked to offer prayers.
Cheng Yumen (The author's friend) said "This handsome censor has not
read the chapter in Yanzi Chunqiu, where Duke J ing of Qi was advised not to kill
his feather man..
Mr Di Weiren had a different story. It is said that Di was young and
handsome when he was a compiler in the Hanlin Academy. There was a young
man who stepped forward to be his driver; he was working hardly while declining
payment. Di was very pleased with him. Before long, the driver became seriously
sick, there was no doctor or medicine could save him. As he was about to die, he
called his master and told him "I, your servant will soon die and must tell you
something. I am dying because i am smitten by your good looking." Mr Di
laughed and touched his shoulder "Silly boy, if that is how you felt, why you
didn’t tell it earlier." He arranged a proper funeral for him.
⦁ This story was translated from Zibuyu (What Confucius did not speak of), a
collection of supernatural stories by Yuan Mei.
⦁ Qidi (bond younger brothers) has connotation for homo sex partner.
⦁ Duke Jing of Qi was said to be very handsome. One of his yuren (feather
man) was once staring at him with desire. It make the Duke very angry and
nearly killed him,
⦁ Yuren or feather man is an official who responsible for gathering feathers
for tribute
Digitized by Andrew "The Dark Knight" Eckhart