Annotated Bibliography

Birrell, Anne M. Chinese Myths. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2000.
            This book, by author Anne Birrell, focuses on the themes of Chinese myths and the monsters that inhabit them. Her point of view is strictly to inform and present the reader a few stories from China that were not previously accessible to the West. In addition, she made this particular book cover not only the myths, but how the myths/monsters vary from European myths/monsters. This comparing and contrasting is good because I think it will likely help our group project, in which each member of the group selects a country and details that monsters that inhabit that particular country. As a group, it is our job to compare and contrast the monsters of our different countries in order to show how culture affects the monsters that a society creates. It fits in my work for the reasons I mentioned above: 1) it teaches me more about these myths, and 2) it offers a great chance to compare and contrast Chinese myths with those of other countries, which is essentially our entire point of this whole project. Likely, the book will have info on Japanese variations of Chinese myths and monsters, which will be helpful because it will give me the opportunity to point out some of the differences that each culture creates and for what reasons. As a group, we are doing the “Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body” theses, so I think this will help to prove how unique Chinese monsters are in comparison to monsters of other cultures.  

Cheng'en, Wu. Journey to the West. 1590.

            One of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature, Journey to the West is the story of prophet Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India to collect Buddhist scrolls known as sutras. By direction of Buddha himself, Xuanzang is given three protectors for the journey, who accompany him in order to atone for past sins. The book is largely steeped in Chinese mythology, and I found excerpts online which really helped me in different sections, mostly the section about the Yao Mo. Being that the book is almost 420 years old, little is known about its author, Wu Cheng’en, except that he was a poet and novelist in the Ming dynasty. He has not been credited with writing anymore books. Some believe that the purpose of Journey to the West is to use satire to show how week the Chinese government was at this time. The story is actually based on real life events. There really was a religious scholar named Xuanzang who travelled to India in order to retrieve scrolls.

de Groot, JJM. The Religious System of China. London: 1982.
            In this very extensive book, I found excerpts that were extremely helpful in finding out information about the Ying Shi. Most of these excerpts dealt with what the Ying Shi look like and was great in helping me find more about their appearance. De Groot was a historian of religion, and focused his sights on unveiling the still-mysterious realm of Chinese religion. He authored seven books total, all of them in some way or another related to Chinese religion. Examples include Sectarianism and Religious Persecution in China: A Page in the History of Religions, and The Religion of the Chinese. His goal in writing books on Chinese religion was to prove his long-standing point that all religions shared one spiritual essence, and were henceforth related.        

Encounters of the Spooky Kind. Dir. Sammo Hung. Audio Comm: Bey Logan. DVD. Hong                 Kong Legends, 2005.

            This movie, produced in Hong Kong in 1980, was the first movie to show Ying Shi. I used to watch Chinese movies a lot, and this was the second time I had seen the movie. Sammo Hung is known for starting the Ying Shi genre. Not only was the movie helpful in showing many of the characteristics of the Ying Shi, but the audio commentary included on the DVD version, by Bey Logan, was very helpful in showing the actual history of the Ying Shi, as it gave some very insightful facts that I used in my paper. Sammo Hung has directed, choreographed, produced, acted in and written many movies, starring in 75 and being involved in 230. Some of his most famous ones include ­Dragons Forever, co-starring Jackie Chan, and Legacy of Rage. Sammo Hung’s purpose in directing Encounters of the Spooky Kind was likely to introduce both the youth of China and the western world alike the legend of the Ying Shi.

Gernet, Jacques. China and the Christian Impact: A Conflict of Cultures. Cambridge: 1985.

            This book is in the same category as JJM de Groot’s book, The Religious System of China. However, this book is different in that it is mostly told from the perspective of the Chinese, which offers a fresh viewpoint on religious missions to China. Excerpts from this book helped me find out parts about the Mo Gui. Specifically, it helped me when I was looking up the roots of the word and its meanings. Jacques Gernet is the author of many other books, most of which have to do with either Chinese culture or Buddhism. Some examples include A History of Chinese Civilization, and Buddhism in Chinese Society: An Economic History From the Fifth to the Tenth Century.

"Hopping Mad: A Brief Look at Chinese Vampire Movies." Penny Blood Magazine. Spring                 2008: Issue #9.

            This magazine consists of many articles about various monsters movies, and it provided me possibly the most information about Ying Shi over anything else I was able to find. It was helpful in giving me real information about Ying Shi, as well as attributes and characteristics of Ying Shi in movies. Along with the movie Encounters of a Spooky Kind, the pictures in this article visually demonstrated many of the traits of Ying Shi. The magazine has many other articles, including interview with Park Chan-Wook, director of the Korean classic, Old Boy, and rock horror legend Glenn Danzig. While I don’t think I would ever read this magazine in my spare time, I think that it is an interesting concept and provided me with many important details in used in my essay.

Newman, Kim. The BFI Companion to Horror. London: Cassell, 1996.
            Kim Newman is an English journalist, film critic, and fiction writer. She mostly focuses on the horror genre, and has won multiple awards for her horror writings. She has written 21 novels and contributed to many collections. This book was helpful in finding out information on the Ying Shi. Specifically, it helped me to determine how someone becomes a Ying Shi. The motive for this book is likely to inform the public on various aspects of the horror genre. Newman is the author of many novels, including Back in the USSA and Life’s Lottery.      

Werner, Edward Theodore Chalmers. A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology. New York:                         Julian Press, 1961.
            The author of this book has written a few other books that I was able to look up, but he seems to write most of his stuff on China, for example Myths and Legends of China. I believe his point of view is strictly to be as informative as possible, and his book A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology shows just that. Literally in dictionary form, this book has defined some things for me that I wasn’t exactly clear on earlier. It’s not really able to be summarized, as it is a dictionary of sorts, but it essentially covers all the terms and vernacular of Chinese mythology. It fits in my work because I am only able to use the terms if I am knowledgeable of their meanings, so that’s where this book came in. It gave short descriptions of a few of my topics. I don’t exactly like pouring over this book as it seems exceedingly complicated for my simple idea, but it was extremely useful in finding out definitions of Chinese words.

Zhao, Qiguang. “Chinese Mythology in the Context of Hydraulic Society.”
            Asian Folklore Studies 48/2(1989): 231-246.

            The Asian Folklore Studies series of journals focuses on many different aspects of the Asian society. Zhao’s article ”Chinese Mythology in the Context of Hydraulic Society,” helped me find out information about Mo Gui, namely their mating rituals. Qiguang Zhao is the author of a few other books, most of which have to do with Chinese culture. An example includes his 1993 book A Study of Dragons. Zhao is a professor of Chinese and director of Asian Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He likely wrote this article in order to show his colleagues the prevalence of Chinese Mythology.