Dragon King of the East Sea
Ao Kuang (Chinese: 敖广 or 敖光; Pinyin: Ào Guǎng) is the Dragon King of the East Sea (Chinese: 东海龙王; Traditional Chinese: 東海龍王; Pinyin: Dōnghǎi Lóngwáng) in Chinese mythology. He appeared in different works including Fengshen Yanyi and Journey to the West.
According to the Fengshen Yanyi, after the passage of many years, Ao Guang had brought chaos to the world by creating droughts, storms, and other disasters. Due to the people's immense fear of the dragon king and his sons, they have never reported Ao Guang's actions to the Jade Emperor. As a result, Ao Guang enjoyed countless offerings by the people throughout a time interval of many years. Thereafter, Nezha cleansed himself at a neighboring stream of the East Sea, causing Ao Guang's palace to shake at an annoying level. After Ao Guang's favorite investigator Li Gen and third son Ao Bing were both killed by Nezha, Ao Guang set out to talk to Nezha's father, Li Jing. After a long discussion on the matter with his friend, Ao Guang, by now extremely angry, ascended to the heavens to state the issue to the Jade Emperor. When Nezha appeared in heaven, he began to beat Ao Guang very violently, even tearing scales from his skin and causing him to bleed. Therefore Ao Guang was forced to turn himself into a small snake and come with Nezha back to the Old Pond Pass to forget about the incident completely.
Later, Ao Guang, along with three other dragon kings, came to Old Pond Pass and took both Li Jing and his wife Lady Yin. Nezha, wishing to free them, offers the dragons all of his internal organs in exchange for his parents. Ao Guang personally agreed to Nezha's resolution with happiness and brought his internal organs to the Jade Emperor. After this point, Ao Guang's fate is unknown.
Journey to the West
In Journey to the West, the monkey king Sun Wukong obtained his Ruyi Jingu Bang, a magically-expanding, gold-ringed iron rod weapon, from Ao Guang. This weapon was originally a stick for measuring the depth of sea water used by Yu the Great in his flood control and treatment efforts; hence its ability to vary its shape and length. After Yu left, it remained in the sea and became the "Pillar holding down the sea", an unmovable treasure of the undersea palace of Ao Guang.
One of Wukong's senior advisors had told him to seek out the dragon-king in order to get a powerful weapon befitting his skill. In the dragon palace, he tried out several kinds of heavenly weapons, many of which bent or completely broke as he wielded them. Ao Guang's wife then suggested the Ruyi Jingu Bang, thinking he would not be able to lift it. When Wukong neared the pillar, it began to glow, signifying that the monkey king was its true owner. It obediently listened to his commands and shrank to a manageable size so Wukong could wield it effectively. This awed the dragons and threw the sea into confusion, the monkey king having removed the only thing controlling the ebb and flow of the ocean's tides. In addition to the magic staff, Wukong also forced Ao Guang to give him other magical gifts; including golden chain mail, a phoenix-feather cap, and cloud-walking boots.
In popular culture
- Investiture of the Gods Chapter 12