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中国狐狸精之渊源

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From the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, many commoners have worshipped fox deities (hushen). They offer sacrflces Ito them! in their bedchambers, and the food and drink offered are the same as those (consumed by,I humans. Those who offer sacrifices are not (limited tol one ghost” lof the foxes). At the time there was a proverb saying “Without fox demons (humet). no village is corn plete.’

 

狐狸精


The fox worship witnessed here by the Tang scholar Zhang Zhuo (658-730) seems to have been deeply rooted in an age-old tradition spanning a thousand years of Chinese history, for this passage is found along with some eighty records of fox spirits dating from the Han (206 B.C.—220 A.D.) to the early Song (960—1279) in the tenth-century encyclopedic anthology, Taipingguangji (Extensive Records of the Taiping Reign).


This chapter explores Chinese conceptions of foxes from ancient times to the Song. I first trace the mythical origin of the fox and its divinatory meanings in Chinese political culture and analyze popular beliefs in fox magic and the changing images of the fox in the legend of the Queen Mother of the West. Then I use the rich collection of Tang fox tales in the Taiping guangji to discuss the symbolic meanings of foxes in the specific cultural environment of late Tang society. Finally, I rely on official histories, daoist texts, local gazetteers, and literati anecdotal writings to discuss fox exorcism and state and clerical efforts to suppress the fox cult. The complex and often contradictory representations of foxes in early periods have had a long-lasting impact on Chinese history.


THE DEMONIC DIVINITY


The Fox as Omen


The fox, among many other animals, was used as a symbol of premonition in ancient Chinese texts. Shanhaijing (The Classics of Mountains and Seas), which records numerous wild mountains, distant seas, exotic flora and fauna, and legendary creatures, introduces a number of records about foxes or foxlike animals whose appearance portends war and disaster. In particular, it mentions a nine-tailed fox in several places:


“Three hundred ii farther east is a mountain called Green Hill... . There is an animal that looks like a fox and has nine tails. Its voice sounds like a baby. It is man-eating. Whoever eats it will be immune to bewitching poisons.


In Han esoteric texts, the nine-tailed fox is not a man-eating beast, but rather an auspicious omen. It is said to have appeared when King Tang of the Shang dynasty (sixteenth to eleventh century n.c.) ascended the throne and when the “Eastern Barbarians” submitted themselves to the rule of King Wen. A white fox with nine tails also appeared to the legendary king, Yu the Great, when he turned thirty years old, as a divine indication of his forthcoming marriage that foretold the prosperity of his family and his momentous political achievements.3 The auspicious meanings of the ninetailed fox are explained in Baihutong (The Comprehensive Discussions in the White Tiger Hall), which records court discussions of Later Han (A.D. 25—220) Confucian scholars:


What is the Nine-tailed Fox? When a fox dies, it turns its head toward the hill Iwhere it was born]; it does not forget its [placel of origin. It means that in comfort a man must never lose sight of calamities [impending]. Why must [this fox appear] with nine tails? When the nine concubines [of the King each] receive their proper place, his sons and grandsons will enjoy abundant peace. Why [is the emphasis laid] upon the tail? It is to indicate that his posterity shall be numerous.’


Here the fox is given moral meanings. According to Liji (The Book of Rites), the Confucian classic completed in the Former Han (206 B.C.—6 A.D.), the fox serves as a model of humaneness, for in facing home when it dies, it teaches human beings to always observe the rites as their spiritual home.5


The nine-tailed fox is further associated with the rule of sage kings and with imperial concubines. This stresses the importance of concubines for the continuation of the ancestral line and the need to have them properly managed by the emperor, both essential factors for the eternal peace and harmony of the dynasty. It also hints that concubines were a potential source of familial discord and national disaster.


The use of omens for political ends persisted during the Six Dynasties. Guo Pu (A.D. 276-324), a Jin-era annotator of Shanhaying and a well-known diviner, wrote his famous eulogy on the nine-tailed fox:


An extraordinary beast on the Green Hill,


The fox of nine tails.


It manifests itself when the Way prevails,


And it appears with a book in its mouth:


It sends an auspicious omen to the Zhou [dynastyj


To promulgate a mystical talisman.6


Official historians of this period showed great enthusiasm in delineating correspondences between animal activities, natural phenomena, and the current political situation. The fox is connected to the sage kings of the idealized Zhou dynasty in these histories and acclaimed as a symbol of humane and wise rule. Foxes caught in the fields were intentionally taken as divine signs of the dynasty’s fate. Upon the final abolition of the Later Han and the official enthronement of the first emperor of Wei, an unusually large fox, red in color and surrounded by dozens of ordinary foxes, was reported found in the north of Zhencheng county (today’s Jiangsu province). The fox was identified as a nine-tailed fox, for its long, bushy tail had many branches. It was sent to the court, accompanied by a memorial of felicitation to the throne.7 Beginning in A.D. 478, when the ambitious Tuoba emperor Xiaowendi (471—499) initiated his grand plan of converting his people to Chinese ways of living and governing, auspicious foxes were reported in many different sectors of north China and presented to the court.8 The tradition continued into the Tang, especially during the reign of Taizong (627—648), after he had taken the throne by killing his two brothers and forcing his father to abdicate. Emperor Taizong ascended the throne in the eighth month of the ninth year of Wude (626). In the eleventh month of that year, a black fox was said to have appeared in Zhengzhou. In subsequent years, black and white foxes were sent to the court as tributes from many places.9 These records reinforce the connection between the fox as good omen and the prevalence of sagely rule and use the symbolic meanings of the fox either to consolidate newly established power or to pledge local loyalty.

 

fox

 

 

唐初已来,百姓多事狐神,房中祭祀以乞恩,食饮与人同之。事者非一主。当时有谚曰:无狐魅,不成村。


这里的狐狸崇拜引文为唐朝学者张鷟(658-730)所撰,看起来这种古老文化传统已经深深植根于跨度千年之久的中国历史中,因为这段文字是从大约80几条由汉(公元前206年—公元220年)到宋代早期(960—1279)的狐精记录中找到的。它编纂在十世纪的百科文选《太平广记》中(太平兴国年间的广博记录)。本章探讨的是从远古时代到有宋中国人的狐神观念。我首先追溯狐狸的神话起源和它在中国政治文化中的“占卜”意义,分析狐魅的民间信仰和西王母传说中狐狸的形象变迁。然后,我利用《太平广记》中丰富的唐代狐狸传说矿藏,来讨论在晚唐社会特定的文化环境中的象征意义。最后,我依据正史、道教文献、地方志和文人轶事著作来讨论狐狸驱邪,以及国家和宗教压制狐狸邪教的努力。中国历史的早期,狐神经历着长期复杂而又频繁的矛盾与冲突。


魔神


狐兆


中国古代文献的许多别的动物之中,狐狸常常被用作预兆的符号。《山海经》记载为数众多的大荒之山、远陌之海、奇异的动植物种群和传说般生物,它就介引了大量有关狐狸和像狐狸一样动物的记录。它们的出现预兆着战争与灾祸。特别是,它在几个地方提到九尾狐:


又东三百里,曰青丘之山……有兽焉,其状如狐而九尾,其音如婴儿,能食人,食者不蛊。


汉代的神秘文献中,九尾狐不是吃人的野兽,而是吉祥的征兆。据说商汤(约前16世纪—前11世纪登位)和“东夷”臣服文王的统治时都有它的出现。一只白色有几条尾巴的狐狸也出现于传说中的帝王大禹。那时他翻过30岁,狐狸是他将要到来的婚姻的神示,预示着他家庭的旺盛和政治的重大成就。九尾狐的吉祥意义在《白虎通(在白虎堂的综合性讨论)》中也有解释。这本书记载了后汉(公元25—220)儒家学者在朝廷对它的讨论:


狐九尾何?狐死首丘,不忘本也,明安不忘危也。必九尾者也?九妃得其所,子孙繁息也。于尾者何?明后当盛也。


这里,狐狸被赋予了道德意义。根据成书于西汉(公元前206年—公元6年)的儒家典籍《礼记》,狐狸被视为是仁的模范,因为它死的时候面朝自己家的巢穴,教导人类时时观察这样的礼仪不要忘记他们的精神家园(忘本)。进一步,九尾狐又与圣王之治和王妃相关系。这是强调王妃延续祖绪血脉的重要性,并需要她们由帝王恰当地给予掌控。这是王朝永久太平与和睦的基本要素。这也暗示着王妃是王室不合和国家灾难的潜在根源。


这种出于政治目的的预兆传统在六朝时期仍然延续着。郭璞(公元276—324),晋代《山海经》的注释者,一个知名的预言家,写了他著名的《九尾狐赞》:


青丘奇兽,九尾之狐,有道祥见,出则衔书,作瑞于周,以标灵符。


这一时期的史官对于描述动物行为、自然现象和当前政治状况之间的相通相符表现出巨大兴趣。在这些历史中,狐狸与理想的周朝圣王结合在一起,作为仁义和英明统治的象征。故意地在田野抓获的狐狸被视为是王朝运数的神圣标志。临近东汉最终被废止以及魏朝第一位君王登基的时候,一只大乎寻常的狐狸,红色皮毛,被数十只普通狐狸环围,被报在甄城县北发现(今江苏省)。这只狐狸被认定为九尾狐,因为它修长多毛的尾巴有许多分叉。连同一封恭贺登基的请愿书,它被送往朝廷。公元478年开始,抱负不凡的拓拔君主孝文帝(471—499)发动他宏大的汉化政策——将人民生活和政府统治转化为汉人的方式,这时在北中国的许多不同地区,吉祥的狐狸被报告发现,然后礼献朝廷。这一传统一直持续到唐朝,尤其是太宗统治时期(627—648),在他杀死两位兄弟强迫父王逊位而攫取王位后。太宗皇帝在武德9年8月登基(626年)。这一年11月,一只黑色狐狸据说在郑州出现。随后的几年里,黑色和白色的狐狸从各地作为贡品送到朝廷。这些记载强化的是狐狸吉兆与贤明统治普泽之间的关系,并且用这种狐狸的象征意义来巩固新建立的政权,或者来显示当地的忠诚。

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2011-03-16 08:30 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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