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Hei Wu Chang (黑无常)

Chinese. ‘Black Impermanence’. Name of a Chinese Hell Guard, who is in charge of bringing the evil souls of the wicked dead to the Underworld and in English referred to as Black Guard. When alone, he is usually depicted with a dark complexion, large, protruding eyes, a short beard and moustache, and holding a metal chain to bind the souls of the wicked dead, while wearing a long black robe and a long, brimless, black, toque-like cap, somewhat reminiscent of an elongated Spanish Tocado, on which are, from top to bottom, the Chinese characters zheng zai zhuo ni (正在捉你), which can loosely be translated as ‘be at right to catch you’ or ‘is to catch you’. However, when portrayed together with his counterpart Bai Wu Chang or White Guard (fig.), Black Guard is sometimes depicted as a vicious figure with a black complexion, ferocious snarls on his face and with a long red tongue sticking out of his mouth (fig.). See also Hei Bai Wu Chang.