Prepared for the ThinkQuest Junior Contest by David B. Gregory J. Josh H. and Josh I.
Summit View School, Valley Glen, California
Ocean Gods and Goddesses
The sea is very important to the islanders of Polynesia. The existence of the sea is accepted as a fact in the mythology of the Oceanic people. There are myths which explain the origin of the sea. One type says that the gods created the oceans. Another myth says it was formed when the sac of the primeval octopus broke. The sea-spirit or adaro appears in many Polynesian and Melanesian legends and cult practices in one form or another.
In Japanese myths, the sea has several gods. The greatest is O-Wata-Tsu-Mi, also known as Old Man of the Tide, Shio-Zuchi. Fish and all the sea creatures are ruled by the Sea god and his messenger the sea monster called Wani.
In Chinese mythology, the deity T'ien Hou protects sailors and helps capture pirates. T'ien Hou was an ordinary girl who lived on the island of Mei-Chou. She had four brothers who were sailors. One day the brothers did not return from a voyage. T'ien Hou fainted. When she was awakened, T'ien Hou was very upset. She said she had been awakened too soon. A little later, three of her brothers came home and said that they had been in a terrible storm. Suddenly, their sister miraculously appeared to them and saved them from the storm. The fourth brother never returned because T'ien Hou woke up before she could help him. After she died, T'ien Hou became the Empress of Heaven