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Suiren, from: The Dragon, Image, and Demon by Hampden C. DuBose, London 1886

Suiren (Chinese: , pinyin: suì rén) appears in Chinese mythology and some works which draw upon it. Suiren (literally, "Fire Maker") is credited as a culture hero who introduce humans to the production of fire and its use for cooking (Wu 1982, 51, and Christie 1968, 84). was included on some ancient lists of the legendary Three August Ones who lived long before Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun, and the emperors of the earliest historical Chinese dynasty (Xia), and even before the Yellow Emperor & Yandi. Suiren’s innovation may have been the bow drill[citation needed] which dates back at least to the Indus Valley Civilization.


He is mentioned in ten books from the Han dynasty or earlier, five of which credit him with introducing the practice of drilling wood for fire. These five sources include three Confucian works (Bai Hu Tong, Zhong Lun, and Fengsu Tongyi), a legalist book (Han Feizi, wudu) and the historical textbook Gu San Fen. Another five texts which mention Suiren are Zhuangzi (aka Chuang-tzu) in two of the “Outer Chapters”, two Confucian books (Xunzi and Qian fu lun), a legalist book (Guanzi) and an early etymological dictionary Shuo Wen Jie Zi.


  • Christie, Anthony (1968). Chinese Mythology. Feltham: Hamlyn Publishing. ISBN 0600006379
  • Wu, K. C. (1982). The Chinese Heritage. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-517-54475X.
  • Christie, Anthony (1968). Chinese Mythology. Feltham: Hamlyn Publishing. ISBN 0600006379
  • Yang, Lihui and Deming An, with Jessica Anderson Turner (2005). Handbook of Chinese Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533263-6
Regnal titles Emperor of China Succeeded by
Preceded by
Emperor of China Succeeded by
Succeeded by