Eight Immortals


The Eight Immortals (Chinese: 八仙; pinyin: Bāxiān; Wade–Giles: Pa-hsien) are a group of legendary xian ("immortals; transcendents; fairies") in Chinese mythology. Each Immortal's power can be transferred to a power tool (法器) that can give life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called "Covert Eight Immortals" (暗八仙 àn ~). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty or Song Dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists, and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea which includes Penglai Mountain-Island.

The Immortals are:

Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),
Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),
Iron-Crutch Li (Tieguai Li),
Lan Caihe,
Lü Dongbin, (leader)
Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),
Elder Zhang Guo (Zhang Guo Lao), and
Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan).
For their names in Chinese characters and Wade-Giles, see the individual pages in the list above.

In literature before the 1970s, they were sometimes translated as the Eight Genies. First described in the Yuan Dynasty, they were probably named after the Eight Immortal Scholars of the Han.