Chinese God

Lu Ban

Lu Ban (魯班) is the Chinese god of carpentry and the patron of builders and contractors. He is the inventor of many useful tools, including the saw, shovel, carpenter’s square, grappling hook, and umbrella.

Top Questions

  • Was Lu Ban an actual person?

    Lu Ban was recorded as living during the Zhou Dynasty in ancient China, and later became revered as the god of carpentry and builders.

  • What is Lu Ban best known for inventing?

    Lu Ban’s most widespread inventions seem to be the saw and shovel; it might have been his wife who invented the umbrella, to protect him while working in poor weather.

Overview

In Chinese mythology, Lu Ban (魯班) is the god of carpentry and furniture and is the patron saint of builders and contractors. An innovator and engineer, Lu Ban is credited with several creative inventions, such as the saw and the shovel. His name is comprised of the character lǔ (魯), the name of his province, and bān (班), which is a common Chinese surname.

Mythology

Lu Ban was born in the state of Lu to a working class family of artisans. Ever since he was a small child, Lu Ban was filled with an insatiable desire to learn and create. He was credited with a number of important inventions including the saw, grappling hook, the carpenter’s square, umbrella, and the cloud ladder—a type of ladder used during military sieges.

Lu Ban was referenced as a legendary master carpenter in ancient, historical texts like the Book of Origins, or Shì Běn (世本). Although it is unclear when he was named a god, Lu Ban became a cultural deity based on his achievements and inventions. He was regarded as something of a folk hero.