Annals of the Temple of Marquis Xiao in Taiyangzhou


This work was compiled by Guo Zizhang (1543–1618) and edited and printed by Gan Yinqiu. After Guo received his jin shi degree in 1571, he held various posts, including those of minister of the Bureau of War, censor-in-chief, and the junior guardian of the heir apparent. Guo also had extensive knowledge of history, military strategy, literature, and medicine and was the author of a number of local histories. Shown here is the only extant copy of this work, issued in the second year of the Tianqi reign (1622). It has seven juan, in two parts, in one volume, and it contains many records on Xiao Hou (Marquis Xiao), including Xiao hou miao tu (Illustrated temple of Xiao Hou), Xiao hou zhuan (Biography of Xiao Hou), and a number of imperial eulogies, records, biographies, notices, and verses. An illustration shows Marquis Xiao with his torch-like eyes sitting in the center, with six awe-inspiring guards standing on either side. According to the legends, Xiao Hou (circa 1324–1405), a native of Taiyangzhou, whose original name was Xiao Tianren, became a water god after death, as had his father and grandfather. Xiao’s divine exploits are recorded here. It was said that in 1419 he appeared as the sea god to rescue sailors in distress during their voyage to the western seas—a reference to one of the voyages of Zheng He (1371–1433) who led fleets to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa in 1405–33. The Ming emperor, Yongle (reigned 1403–24), later bestowed on Xiao the honorific title of Ying you hou (Brave Ocean Protector). Xiao Hou was worshipped by sea merchants and couriers over the centuries. A number of Marquis Xiao temples, built or renovated up to the 1920s, commemorated three generations of the Xiao family. This work documents the temple in Taiyangzhou Zhen, Xin’gan Xian, Jiangxi Province, and it provides much information on Chinese folk religion there. The preface, dated 1622, was written by Zhu Shishou, also a native of Jiangxi and a member of the Donglin movement, a group of Chinese scholars and officials in the late Ming dynasty who attempted to combat the moral laxity and intellectual weakness they felt was undermining public life. The woodblock printing is of high, refined quality.

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Gan Fengliao, Yongxin Xian, Ji'an Fu


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7 juan in 1 volume

Last updated: July 31, 2012