Essay on Compare and Contrast Chinese and Japanese Mythology

2975 Words 12 Pages
Chinese and Japanese Mythology in Life
Classic Chinese and classic Japanese mythology are quite similar, in fact, they have more commonalities than differences. As examples, one can compare and contrast the two mythologies in terms of characters, form and structure, creation myths, and mythology’s relevance to life. Animals and dragons also appear repeatedly in Chinese and Japanese mythology. In this paper it will be shown that Chinese and Japanese mythologies are more similar than different.
The characters in both Chinese and Japanese myths have similar personalities and reactions. For example, heroes in both mythologies use tricks, cunning schemes, and intelligence in general achieve their goals, instead of just force and wit.
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And although Chinese dragons are powerful fighters, they choose not to fight.
Chinese mythology has several distinctive qualities, one of the most individual is the fact that Chinese myths are very concise: a single myth might only be one page long, but tells a story that could take up two or more pages. For example, the sentence, “The Wise Old Man at the River Bend stopped the foolish old man ” shows an entire short scene. Japanese myths, on the other hand, are more story-like in their structure, and they are told simply. In fact, the Japanese myths are told so simply and this author believes that they can be understood by children. Also Japanese myths have more of a definite beginning, middle, and end.
Chinese creation myth
In the beginning, the universe was a black egg where heaven and earth were mixed together, and in this egg was contained Pangu. He felt suffocated, so he cracked the egg with a broadax, and the light, clear part of the egg floated up to form Heaven while the cold, heavy part stayed down and formed Earth. Pangu stood in the middle, and he and the egg's two parts grew and grew until he was nine million li in height.

When Pangu died, his breath became the wind and clouds, his voice the rolling thunder, and his eyes the sun and the moon. His hair and beard became the stars in the sky, the flowers and trees from his skin, the marrow in his bones became jade and pearls, and his sweat the good rain…