pinyinyāoguài) or yaomo (妖魔 yāomó, literally, "demon") or yaojing (妖精 yāojīng, literally, "sprite" or "seductive") is a Chinese term that generally means "demon". Yaoguai are mostly malevolent animal spirits or fallen celestial beings that have acquired magical powers through the practice of Taoism. The evil ones are usually referred to as "guài" (literally, "freak") or "mó" (literally, "demon") in Chinese. Their greatest goal is achieving immortality and thus deification.In Journey to the West, the demons seek this mostly by the abduction and consumption of a holy man (in this case, Xuanzang).
Not all "yaojing" are actually demons; some others are of quite unusual origins. In the case of
Bai Gu Jing, she was a skeleton that became such a demon. Many "yaojing" are fox spirits, or according to the Journey to the West, pets of the deities.There are also "yaoguai" kings ("mówáng") that command a number of lessor demon minions.
In Chinese folklore, the Chinese hell (
Di Yu) is a place that is populated by various demonic spawns. Most of these demons are influenced by the Indian raksasaor yaksaand therefore bear some similarity with the Japanese oni.
In Japanese, "yaoguai" are known as
yōkai(actually, the term is a loanword from Chinese; the native Japanese equivalent, sometimes written with the same kanji, is "mononoke").
Famous "yaoguai" in Chinese mythology:
Bai Gu Jing- literally, "white bone spirit"
Niu Mo Wang- literally, "bull demon king"
Pipa Jingand Jiutou Zhiji Jing- in " Fengshen Yanyi"
Sun Wukonguses this term often to insult his (demonic) adversaries.
Journey to the West
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