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The Legend of Nezha: Superhero Story for Kids

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Born and raised in Malaysia, he is proud of his Malaysian and Asian heritage and likes to share its mysteries, culture & current issues.

Ne Zha, based on Chinese folklore, was born with supernatural power and must choose between good and evil

Ne Zha, based on Chinese folklore, was born with supernatural power and must choose between good and evil

Who is Nezha?

Chinese culture and folk religion with the ritual and magic of Taoism and Buddhism, are blessed with several mythological heroes and gods including Nezha.

Nezha, an unruly child-god and a protection deity, who later became a great heroic figure of Chinese folklore, is the second-most beloved Chinese mythological hero after Sun Wukong, the Monkey King.

Protective Deity of Chinese Mythology

Born to earthly parents, he had a difficult childhood and strained relationship with his parents. Despite his mischiefs and destructive habits, he is good at heart. Nezha will defend people in the community who cannot defend themselves. He also sacrificed himself to save his father but later was reincarnated.

According to some scholars, Nezha is based on two figures from Hindu mythology; Nalakubar, from the Ramayana, and the child-god, Krishna.

Nezha’s Names

As with most Chinese mythology gods, he is known by several names; Na Zha, Na Zha Jiang Yao Ji, Na Cha, Li Ne-Zha, Na Zha, Li Nezha, Li No-Zha, Li No-Cha, Li Nozha, and No Chaand, but his official Taoist name is "Marshal of the Central Altar". After he became a deity, he was given the title "Third Lotus Prince". Nezha is sometimes spelled as Ne Zha.

The Legend of Nezha

Nezha, being a popular Chinese mythical hero, is made into several movies, television series, and Chinese animation. Even western filmmakers have jumped on the bandwagon with the Nezha animated movies made for Netflix.

Despite being a troublemaker and a fighter, the story usually stressed the importance of self-sacrifice and filial piety. The story of Nezha is also mentioned in the classic 16th-century Chinese novels ‘Investiture of the Gods’ and ‘Journey to the West’ set during the Shang Dynasty. In ‘Journey to the West’, Nezha was one of the deities summoned by the Jade Emperor to capture Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Despite this, Nezha later befriended the Monkey King.

The Legend of Nezha is epic and also violent. So, for this version of the superhero story for kids, the violence will be toned down and will focus on the mythological origins of Nezha and his fight with the Dragon King. The part where he committed suicide to save his father will also be omitted and replaced with his act of self-sacrifice. So, let’s check out the story of Nezha.

Nezha Story

Once upon a time, ancient earth was plagued by demons who created so much havoc with the Chaos Pearl, also known as Demon Pearl. This Chaos Pearl has the Spirit Pearl, which in the future will be used as part of the essence for Nezha. In order to protect this Chaos Pearly, the Jade Emperor, ruler of Heaven and Earth, had no choice but to send deities to subdue these demons.

Nezha, the immortal with three heads, eight arms, and nine eyes, was one of the deities sent down to Earth for this mission. So as to not arouse suspicion, Nezha was smuggled in by other immortals, but by mistake, ended up in the worm of Lady Li, the wife of the military commander Li Jing.

Lady Li was carrying the baby for three years and six months and this unusually long gestation period worried not just her but also her husband. The night before the birth, she dreamt of a Taoist immortal giving heavenly blessings and asking her to accept the baby and to name him Nezha.

Nezha’s Supernatural Birth

The next morning she finally gave birth, sadly not to a human baby but the reincarnation of a demon in the form of the flesh ball. It was supposed to be reincarnated into a boy, but again by mistake, it wasn’t.

Fearing the flesh ball is demonic, Li Jing drew his sword to slice it to pieces but it only pierced the surface. After a few minutes, the top layer split open and to Li Jing and his wife’s surprise, a boy with a fully developed body jumped out.

Nezha was born fully developed and can walk and talk.

Nezha was born fully developed and can walk and talk.

Nezha’s Origin

Heavenly intervention came in the form of the Taoist immortal, Taiyi Zhenren, that Lady Li saw in her dream. He appeared shortly after and told the parents of Nezha’s mythological origin. That the boy was blessed with godly powers and with proper guidance, will one day show his true potential. The parents, confused and also amazed, agreed to Taiyi Zhenren’s offer to take Nezha as his disciple to study at the temple.

Nezha is a mischievous and playful boy and despite being tutored by Taiyi Zhenren, he used the newfound knowledge for his own amusement such as the ‘disguise spell’ that he used to turn people into stone. These prankish acts constantly angered and enraged his parents.

Nezha and the Dragon King

The village in Chentang Pass that Nezha lived in is also where Ao Guang, the Chinese Dragon King of the East Sea resided. Together with three other Dragon Kings, Ao Guang (also known as Ao Kuang) is revered as the chief and divine ruler of the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, as well as rainfall.

They live in the huge underwater crystal palace, and for years these cruel dragons created fear with destructive storms and droughts. In order to appease Ao Guang, the people offered him food as gifts.

Cosmic Wheels

One day, Nezha wanted to try the fenghuolun, or Cosmic Wheels (also known as Wind Fire Wheels) that was given by his master, Taiyi Zhenren. This is a special pair of wheels where the left wheel creates wind and the right wheel creates fire. With these wheels, Nezha can fly effortlessly and at incredible speed.

Nezha also had two other weapons that he was born with; the universe ring (also known as the universe bracelet, Qian Kun Quan, or Qiankun circle), and the Red Armillary Sash or the magical Hun Tian Ling, both are for body protection as well as weapons.

Not knowing the true power of the Cosmic Wheels and the Hun Tian Ling, he flew over the sea and waved the red sash, which immediately created violent turbulence and massive sea waves that even reached and shook the underwater palace of the Dragon Kings.

This angered Ao Guang who immediately asked the palace guard to investigate the cause of the tremor.

Nezha Kills the Dragon Prince

When the guard found out the culprit was just a boy, he thought he could easily kill him but to his surprise, Nezha managed to dodge the poison arrow and retaliated with his powerful universe ring, which immediately killed the guard.

When Ao Guang found out what had happened, he decided to send his powerful and strongest guy in his team, his third son Ao Bing. Sadly, the son too was killed with Nezha’s universe ring.

Nezha’s Sacrifice

Overcome with rage, Ao Guang confronted Nezha's family and demanded retribution; the father's life for the son’s actions. This demand was refused and the Dragon King threatened to flood and bring heavy storms not only to the village but the whole of China.

Nezha offered himself instead as a sacrifice in order to save his father and the whole country from Ao Guang's wrath. This was accepted by the Dragon King.

This act of filial piety impressed the god Jade Emperor and Nezha’s soul was lifted to Heaven and given deity status, which is his destiny.

Reincarnation

Meanwhile, the absence of the unruly and mischievous Nezha was too quiet and placid for his master, Taiyi Zhenren. So, he secretly used his knowledge to resurrect Nezha using 'lotus incarnation'. After Nezha was reincarnated, the master gave him an additional weapon, the flaming spear, also known as fire tipped spear to help him in his fight with the ruthless Dragon Kings.

The cruel Dragon King was finally defeated by Nezha.

The cruel Dragon King was finally defeated by Nezha.

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King

With his shrewd and sheer bravery, Nezha managed to sneak into the Dragon King’s underwater palace. He knew that the Dragon Kings will be sleeping after their heavy meals and it is also the time when the area is unguarded. So, using his powerful weapons, he avenged and easily defeated the evil Dragon Kings.

Nezha’s Weapons and Powers

In this story of Nezha, we learned of his four weapons, the Cosmic Wheels, the Universe Ring, the Red Armillary Sash, and the Flaming Spears. Nezha also has four other weapons not covered in this story. So, let's check out all these eight precious and powerful weapons.

  1. Cosmic Wheels (also known as Wind Fire Wheels or fenghuo luna): A pair of wheels with the left wheel creating wind and the right wheel creating fire. Ne Zha can use these wheels to move quickly and also as a weapon. This was given by his master, Taiyi Zhenren.
  2. Universe ring (also known as universe bracelet or Qian Kun Quan or Qiankun circle): A golden bracelet for body protection and can change size at will. Nezha was born with this weapon.
  3. Fire-tipped spear (also known as flaming spear or huojianqiang): A powerful three-pointed fire-tipped spear that can change size at will and is used to kill the Dragon Kings. This was given by Taiyi Zhenren.
  4. Red Armillary Sash or the magical Hun Tian Ling: A 7 feet red-colored sash shaped like a dragon that can change in length and regrow if cut. It is used to bind enemies. Nezha was born with this weapon.
  5. Yin-Yang Sword: A pair of twin swords which are yin and yang. Yin sword is to cut and absorb an enemy's physical energy. Yang sword is to cut and absorb the enemy's spiritual energy. This was given by Taiyi Zhenren.
  6. Golden Bricks, also known as Throwing Magic Weapon: This is made of gold and is thrown at opponents in a single attack or a group attack. This was also given by Taiyi Zhenren.
  7. Nine Dragon God Fire Cover: It is used to summon the True Samādhi fire, a type of fire that is inextinguishable by wind or rain. It burns quickly and can leave the opponent's body completely charred within seconds. This is another gift from Taiyi Zhenren.
  8. Lotus incarnation: This is not a weapon per se but used by Taiyi Zheren to reincarnate Nezha. They are two lotus flowers and three lotus leaves that contain the Spirit Pearl.
Nezha has powerful weapons including this Yin-Yang Swords

Nezha has powerful weapons including this Yin-Yang Swords

Nezha vs Wukong

Nezha and Sun Wukong, the Monkey King are the top two Chinese mythological heroes, well-loved for centuries in China and within the Chinese communities around the world. Only now that the rest of the world started to be interested in these two supervillains turned good superheroes.

Undoubtedly, these two superheroes are compared in terms of their strength, abilities, weapons, etc. as their only common circumstances are their immortality and abnormal supernatural births. So, let’s take a look at what they have and you decide who is your favorite Chinese superhero.

Vote for your superhero now

Vote for your superhero now

  • Appearance: Nezha has a youthful look, and Wukong the monkey humanoid appearance with yellow and tan fur/skin. Despite the frightful look, Wukong is quite endearing.
  • Weapons/Abilities: Nezha has eight weapons but is unmatched in power to Wukong's very potent four weapons and abilities.
  • Personality/Traits: While Nezha is carefree with a righteous spirit and headstrong, Wukong is arrogant, selfish, and can also be cruel. But in the end, both became better heroes.
  • Strength: While both are immortals and cannot die, Wukong is stronger with superhuman power.
  • Birth/Parents: Nezha's mother was impregnated through divine means and he has parents and two siblings. Wukong, however, was born from a stone egg and had no parents or siblings.

So, who is your favorite superhero? Let's vote and see who is more popular.

Nezha vs Wukong Poll

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Mazlan A

Comments

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 01, 2021:

greatstuffs, you're welcome.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 01, 2021:

You're always welcome.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on October 01, 2021:

Thanks, Miebakagh for your support.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 01, 2021:

Hey, you kid story is a great read.

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