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There’s quite a body of folklore and books and even movies about eight particular Taoist immortals ( 八仙; pinyin: Bāxiān). We begin with Cao Guojiu (曹國舅)

Cao Guojiu is thought to have been the brother-in-law of Emperor Renzong (of the Song Dynasty 1010-1062; the dynasty itself was from 969 to 1279). At some point Cao Guojiu was disgraced by the conduct of his brother, Cao Jingzhi, and left for the countryside. He met the immortals Zhongli Quan and Lu Dongbin, and eventually became an immortal himself. He is also regarded as the patron deity of acting and theater. Cao is often depicted dressed in official robes and holding a jade tablet or castanets. Note that the jade tablet can either be white or green jade, and that the castanets can be natural wood (bamboo usually) colored, a dark brown or the black shown here. His direction is northeast.

CaoGuoJiuChineseCastanetsBlack

JadeTablet2

 

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