Yu Shi (雨師) is an ancient Chinese rain deity who, according to Chinese mythology, works closely with the wind deity Feng Popo (風婆婆). Yu Shi’s name is comprised of the character’s for “rain,” yǔ (雨), and shī (師), which means “master,” translating literally to “rain master.”
According to legend, Yu Shi had a fearsome appearance with a black face, snakes in his fists, and snakes coming out from his ears. He was said to have ended a severe drought during the reign of Shennong (神農) by sprinkling rain over the land from his earthenware pot.
Yu Shi was also associated with Feng Popo, with whom he partnered to rebel against Huangdi (黃帝). Both Yu Shi and Feng Popo were both unhappy with the reign of Huangdi. The drought goddess, Nüba (女魃), who was a daughter of Huangdi, had defeated them.
Although he isn’t an incredibly popular deity in Chinese mythology, people still pray to Yu Shi in times of severe drought. This is particularly true for those living in Southern China.
- Wikipedia Contributors. “Yu Shi.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Shi.