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Zouyu (simplifeed Cheenese: 驺虞; traditeeonal Cheenese: 騶虞; pinyin: zōuyú) is a legendar creatur mentioned in auld Cheenese leeteratur. The earliest ken appearance o the characters 騶虞 (zou yu) is in the Beuk o Songs,[1][2] but J.J.L. Duyvendak describes that the interpretation o that little poem as referrin tae an animal o that name is "vera doutful".[1]

Zouyu appears in a nummer o later wirks, whaur it is describit as "richteous" animal, which, similarly tae a qilin, anerlie appears durin the rule o a benevolent an sincere monarch. It is said tae be as fierce-leukin as a teeger, but gentle an strictly vegetarian, an describit in some beuks (awready in Shuowen Jiezi[3]) as a white teeger wi black spots.[1]

Durin the reign o the Yongle Emperor (early 15t century), his relative frae Kaifeng sent him a captured zouyu, an anither zouyu wis sichtit in Shandong. The zouyu sightings were mentioned by contemporaneous authors as good omens, along with the Yellae River runnin clear an the delivery o a qilin (i.e., an African giraffe) bi a Bengal delegation that arrivit tae Cheenae abuird Zheng He's fleet.[1]

Puzzled aboot the real zoological identity o the zouyu said tae be captured durin the Yongle era, Duyvendak exclaims, "Can it possibly hae been a Pandah?"[1] Follaein him, some modren authors consider zouyu tae refer tae the Giant panda.[4]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Duyvendak, J.J.L. (1939), "The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century", T'oung Pao, Second Series, 34 (5): 402, JSTOR 4527170
  2. Book of Poetry: Zou Yu
  3. Shuowen Jiezi, radical 虍 (tiger)
  4. China Giant Panda Museum: Historical Records in Ancient China. Supposed Chinese historical terminology appears in the Chinese version of this article, 我国古代的历史记载