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Hòutǔ (Chinese: 后土; lit. 'Queen of the Earth') or Hòutǔshén (后土神; 'Goddess Queen of the Earth'), also Hòutǔ Niángniáng (in Chinese either 厚土娘娘; 'Deep Earth Lady' or 后土娘娘; 'Earth Queen Lady'), otherwise called Dimǔ (地母; 'Mother Earth') or Dimǔ Niángniáng (地母娘娘; 'Lady Mother Earth'), is the deity of deep earth and soil in Chinese religion and mythology.[1] Houtu is the overlord of all the Tu Di Gong ("Lord of Local Land") world wide.

Chinese name
Literal meaningQueen of the Earth
Japanese name

Han Emperors

Houtu was first worshipped by Emperor Wen of Han (in Fenyin County, modern-day Wanrong County, Shanxi).[2] Houtu was worshiped by Emperor Wu of Han in 113 BC.[3]

Yellow River Map

Houtu is featured in some versions of the myth of the Great Flood of China: Yu did not do such a great job of channeling the Yellow River into the sea, dredging the wrong way. Sacred Mother Houtu then made the Yellow River Map and sent one of her divine messenger birds to tell Yu what to do; specifically, that he should open a channel to the east, to allow the right drainage.[4]


  1. Yang, 135
  2. 中国文化科目认证指南. 华语教学出版社. Sinolingua. 2010. p. 63. ISBN 978-7-80200-985-1.
  3. "Hou Tu - MSN Encarta". MSN Encarta. MSN. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  4. Yang, 137

Works cited

  • Yang, Lihui, et al. (2005). Handbook of Chinese Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533263-6

See also

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