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Bai Wu Chang (白无常)

Chinese. ‘White Impermanence’ or ‘Pure Impermanence’. Name of a Chinese Hell Guard, who ‒as a servant of Diyu, i.e. the Underworld (fig.)‒ has the task to guide the souls of the kind and benevolent dead, safely pass the Bridge of Troubled Water (fig.) and Gui Men Guan, i.e. the Ghost Gateway or Gate of Hell, to register in the office of the Emperor of the Underworld and receive their awards, i.e. either rising into heaven or getting a rebirth into a rich and noble family. He is usually depicted as a tall and thin figure, with a pale face and sometimes a black moustache or beard, and sometimes a long red tongue sticking out of his mouth (fig.), though he may also have white hair and no facial hair at all. He wears a long white robe and a long, brimless, white, toque-like cap, somewhat reminiscent of an elongated Spanish Tocado, on which are, from top to bottom, the Chinese characters yi jian sheng cai (一见生财), which can loosely be translated as ‘one observing lifetime's riches’ or ‘see a way of making money’. His attributes include an umbrella and a feathered fan. He is nicknamed Xie Bi An (谢必安), which translates as ‘Thanks Surely Peaceful’ and in English referred to as White Guard. He is one of the Hell Guards that are together referred to as Hei Bai Wu Chang, the other one being Hei Wu Chang (fig.). Besides being present at the Gate of Hell (fig.), together with the Chicken Feet Ghost Ji Jiao Gui (fig.), he is also one of the four guardians at the gate of Tian Zi Dian (天子殿), i.e. the Palace of the Son of Heaven, usually referred to in English as the Emperor's Hall in Hell, the others being the Eagle General Ying Jiang (fig.), the Snake General She Jiang (fig.), and again Ji Jiao Gui (fig.). Also spelled Bai Wuchang.