”The Classic of Mountains and Seas” is a long list of real and invented mountains, rivers, gods, countries, sacrifices, plants and peoples. It was traditionally ascribed to the Sage King Yu, who wandered about primordial China channeling off the waters of the Deluge, setting order to things, and naming the mountains and rivers. In an epilogue to the first five books, “The Classic of Mountains”, Yu is made to state that he travelled across 5,370 mountains which occupied an area of 64,065 li. I don’t know if this is the exact number of mountains or li described in the book but it does in truth contain a very great number. Unfortunately Yu’s Epilogue is generally agreed to be spurious and a later interpolation, and nobody knows who really wrote “The Classic of Mountains and Seas”. Scholars think it was composed between the third and first centuries BC by several different unknown authors. It was then famously annotated once at the end of the Han Dynasty in the third century of the common era and then a second time in the Qing Dynasty at the start of the eighteenth century and has since been translated several times into English.
The book contains several long sections concerning the Kunlun Mountains or the Kunlun Wasteland, which seems to refer more or less to Tibet. In fact of all the delirious mass of mountains and tribes of men described in “The Classic of Mountains and Oceans,” the Kunlun, or Tibet, receives the longest and most detailed description and is mentioned most often. The most curious thing is that it is left very ambiguous what exactly the Kunlun is, or are, because in the same breath they are mentioned as a range of mountains, a single mountain, a mound, an immense wasteland, and a city, which is holy.
We are told that the Wasteland of the Kunlun is 800 leagues square and 80,000 feet high. It is also a city, called “The Great God’s City on the Earth Below” or perhaps “The City that is Beneath the Emperor of Heaven.” The Wasteland of Kunlun, or the city of God, has nine gates on each of its four sides. each of which is guarded by a creature called the Opening-Brilliance. The Opening-Brilliance has a body as large as a lion and nine human heads, all of which face east. It is also standing on the peak of Kunlun, which, we gather, is now a single mountain. East of the Opening-Brilliance a group of Shamans stand about the fallen body of the God Yayu. The Shamans possess an elixir of immortality.
It’s enlightening to know that the story of Yayu and how he died actually bears relation to the history of “The Classic of Mountains and Seas” itself. (I’m getting this information from the introduction to the published translation by Anne Birrell, by the way.) The earliest existing preface to the work, written around the year AD 6, records that around 50 BC a man was found enclosed in a cave in Shaanxi, shackled to the floor, with his hands bound behind his back using his own long hair. The discovery was reported to Emperor Xuan of the Former Han Dynasty, who sought at length for an explanation. Finally the palace Librarian and Archivist, Liu Xiang, pointed out that “The Classic of Mountains and Seas” contained a potential explanation. At the start of the section called “Treatise on the Western Lands Within the Seas”, it is related that the God Yayu was murdered by the lesser gods Betrays-Responsibilities and Wei. In retribution, a greater god sentenced the two murderers to be shackled by the right foot, bound up in their own hair, and hung from trees on a mountaintop to die. The Emperor Xuan was favorably impressed, and thus the fame of “The Classic of Mountains and Seas” was ensured. Elsewhere it is related that Yayu had the head of a dragon and ate human beings. Getting back to the point, according to the book Yayu’s corpse can be found on the wasteland or mountaintop or in the city of Kunlun, which is to say, in Tibet, beneath the nine-headed eastward gaze of the Opening-Briliance, guarded by the elixir-bearing shamans with the strange names.
“The Classic of Mountains and Seas” relates other things about the Kunlun. Many different types of trees grow there, and many rivers cross it, flowing mainly from west to east but sometimes looping to the north or turning south. Also many different animals abide there. So does the Queen Mother of the West. Elsewhere it is said that she lives on a mountain north of Kunlun, or perhaps within it on a mountain of flames. In further chapters many other places are listed as laying to the north or the south of Kunlun, but these places are obscure and the people who live there are vague.
Most of the rest of “The Classic of Mountains and Seas” is monotonous. There are some useful factoids: “There is also the Country of No-Intestines. The people there bear the surname Ren, which means “responsibility”. They have no children or descendants, and eat fish.” “There is a god which has the face of a man but no arms, and his two feet are reversed on top of his head. His name is Sighs.” Then there are an enormous number of descriptions of mountains, listed in apparently linear order of distance going in any of the cardinal directions and helpfully annotated with the suggested animal sacrifices to be made to each. “And traveling north for two hundred and eighty li there is a mountain called the Great Salty Mountain. There is no grass or wood here, but beneath it is a great amount of jade. This mountain cannot be ascended from any of the four directions. There is a snake the name of which is called Long Snake, which has hair like hog bristles. It makes a sound like drums and wooden clappers.” On the mountains live diverse flora and fauna, some of which are monstrous and eat people, some of which can be eaten by people to medicinal effect, and some of which are reclusive and when they appear herald certain things, like spates of arson, or the wanton dismissal of officials in the nearby towns.
Various things occurred to me when I was reading it. Umberto Eco makes the following comment about Hesiod’s “Theogony”: “At first sight we might think that form is characteristic of mature cultures, which know the world around them, whose order they have recognized and defined; on the contrary the list would seem to be typical of primitive cultures that still have an imprecise image of the universe and limit themselves to listing as many properties as they can name without trying to establish a hierarchical relationship among them. For example, we might interpret Hesiod’s “Theogony” in this sense; it is an inexhausted list of divine creatures that certainly refer to a genealogical tree that a philologically patient reading could reconstruct, but this is definitely not the way in which the reader (even the original reader) reads or listens to the text, which presents itself rather as an intolerable swarm of monstrous and prodigious beings, a universe overpopulated with invisible individuals that runs parallel to that of our experience and whose roots are sunk in the mists of time. Yet the list turns up again in the Middle Ages […]” (The Infinity of Lists, p.18.) Also, and I’m not totally sure if this is actually relevant here, but in the Maitrāyanī Samhitā it is recorded that, “Indra is said to have cut off the wings of the mountains, which originally alighted wherever they pleased and thus made the earth unsteady. The wings became the thunder clouds.” This raises the possibility of a Deluge not of waters but of mountains.
Anyways for fun I decided to translate all the bits of the “Classic of Mountains and Seas” that have to do with the Kunlun Mountains. I did it based on this one from The Chinese Text Project 中國哲學書電子化計劃 and with a lot of help from the notes and modern-Mandarin version provided here, on 古詩文網. I also scanned in some illustrations (異獸圖), which came from an anonymous and fragmentary Qing dynasty printing with commentary by one Wang Bo (王紴), reprinted in 歷代山海經文獻集成, vols. 6 and 7, edited by文清閣 and published by 西安地圖出版社, 2006, print. As usual if the reader wants to contest certain fine points of translation then he can bloody well go translate it himself.
From the Treatise on Western Mountains (西山經):
And traveling west for another four hundred and twenty li, there is a mountain which is called Mount Bell. This mountain has a son named Drum. His appearance is that of a dragon’s body and a man’s face.
Mount Bell’s son, Drum
He and Qinpi murdered Baojiang on the sunny side of Mount Kunlun, and so the Emperor of Heaven had both of them killed at a place called the Yao Banks on the eastern side of Mount Bell. Qinpi was transformed into a great osprey. The osprey’s appearance is that of a eagle with black markings and a white head, with a red beak and the claws of a tiger. Its call is like that of a morning swan. When it is seen it portends great numbers of soldiers. Drum was also transformed into a bird called a Jun, which has the appearance of a sparrow hawk. The bird has red feet and a straight beak, yellow markings and a white head. Its call is like that of a swan. When it is seen it portents a great drought in that town.
The bird called Jun which Drum transformed into, and the bird called Great Osprey which Qinpi turned into.
And traveling west for another hundred and eighty li, there is a mountain which is called the Mountain of Peaceful Tools. The Gaze River is also here, which pours down into the flowing sands. There are many marked rays, which have the appearance like that of carp, with the body of a fish and the wings of a bird, great markings, white heads, and red beaks. Thus they are commonly found walking in the Western Sea and swimming in the Eastern Sea, by means of flying at night. They make a sound like the phoenix-chicken, and their flavor is both sour and sweet. The meat induces madness when eaten, and when they are seen they portend great bumper harvests in all the lands beneath heaven.
The Marked Ray
And traveling west for another three hundred and twenty li, there is a mountain which is called the Mountain of the Pagoda-Tree River. The Hill-of-Seasons River is also here, which flows down into Lake You. In this lake are a great number of snail mothers. Above it there are large amounts of gypsum and realgar, as well as great deposits of pearl-like rocks, gold, and jade. On the sunny side of the mountain there is much red millet, and on the shady side many mines of gold. This is truly the Emperor of Heaven’s only flat garden. The god Yingzhao governs it. His appearance is that of a horse’s body and a human face, with the markings of a tiger and the wings of a bird. He travels about to all of the Four Seas, and his call is like the sound of a pomegranate. To the south this mountain looks out on the Kunlun. Its light is resplendent and its atmosphere is invigorating.
To the west the Mountain of the Pagoda-Tree River looks out on the the Great Marshes, which is where Lord Millet was buried. Upon it is much jade, and on the shady side is much of something that looks like yao wood. To the north it looks out upon all of that adjoins. The scholar-tree ghost Lilun lives there, and it is the abode of zhan hawks. To the east it looks out on the four slopes of Mount Heng. There are poor ghosts which live there, each according to its kind. From it comes a greatly pouring river, which is extremely clear. The Heaven God is there, which has the appearance of a bull, and it has eight feet, two heads, and the tail of a horse. Its cry is like that of a Bohuang. When it is seen it portends the appearance of soldiers in the cities.
To the west four hundred li is a place called the Hill of the Kunlun. This is truly the Emperor of Heaven’s only capital on the world below. The god Luwu rules it. This spirit’s appearance is that of a tiger’s body with nine tails, a human face and a tiger’s claws. The Luwu rules the nine divisions of the world and the times of the emperor’s gardens.
The God Luwu
There is a beast there, which has the appearance of a sheep and four horns, which is called the Earth Cricket. It eats people.
The Earth Cricket
有鳥焉，其狀如蜂，大如鴛鴦，名曰欽原，蠚鳥獸則死，蠚木則枯。有鳥焉，其名曰鶉鳥，是司帝之百服。有木焉，其狀如棠，華黃赤實，其味如李而無核，名曰沙 棠，可以禦水，食之使人不溺。有草焉，名曰薲草，其狀如葵，其味如葱，食之已勞。河水出焉，而南流東注于無達。赤水出焉，而東南流注于氾天之水。洋水出 焉，而西南流注于醜塗之水。黑水出焉，而西流于大杅。是多怪鳥獸。
There is a bird there, which has the appearance of a bee, except the size of a mandarin duck. Its name is Admiring-Origins. If it stings a bird or animal then that animal will die, and if it stings a tree then the tree becomes withered. And there is a bird there, which is called the Quail Bird. This bird governs the hundred recompenses of the Emperor of Heaven. There is a tree there, which has an appearance like that of a pear tree. It has yellow flowers and red fruits, the taste of which is like a plum but without a pit. This tree is called the sand pear tree. It can prevent floods, and eating it makes a person not urinate [or alternately, not drown]. There is a grass there, which is called bin grass. Its appearance is like that of the kui flower, and its taste is like an onion. If you eat it all difficulties will be stopped. The Yellow River comes out from here, flowing first to the south and then pouring to the east where it enters Not-Arriving. The Red River comes out from here, and flows to the southeast where it pours into the River of Broken-Channel-to-Heaven. The Yang River flows out from here, and goes to the southwest where it pours into the River of Ugly-Embankments. The Black River comes out from here, and flows to the west into Big-Shaft. There are many strange birds and beasts here.
Another three hundred and seventy li to the west, there is a mountain which is called the Mountain of Happy-Wandering. The Peach River comes out of it, and to the west flows into the Lake of Millet. Here there is much white jade. In the lake are many Slippery Fish. Their appearance is that of snakes except they have four legs. They eat other fish.
The Gu Fish
[My text reads “Slippery Fish” 滑魚; the picture has Gu [魚+骨] Fish]
Traveling west by water four hundred li, there is a place called the Flowing Sands. Another two hundred li further suffices to reach Snail Mother Mountain. The god Long-Chariot rules this place, and this is the result of the Nine Virtues of Heaven. His appearance as a god is like that of a person except with the tail of a zhuo leopard. Atop this mountain is much jade, and at its foot are many blue rocks and no water.
Another three hundred and fifty li to the west, there is a mountain which is called Mount Jade. This is the abode of the Queen Mother of the West. The Queen Mother of the West has the appearance of a person but the tail of a leopard, the teeth of a tiger, and a good roar. She has wild hair and wears jewelry. She governs disasters from heaven and the five catastrophes.
The Queen Mother of the West
There is a beast there, which has an appearance like that of a dog but with the markings of a leopard and the horns of an ox. It is called Jiao. Its cry is like that of a dog, and when it is seen it heralds great bumper harvests in that country.
There is a bird here, which has the appearance of a wild chicken except red. Its name is called Victorious-Meeting, and it eats fish. Its sound is like that of a deer, and when it is seen it heralds great floods in that country.
Another four hundred eighty li to the west, there is a mountain which is called the Hill of Xuanyuan [the Yellow Emperor]. There are no grasses or trees. The River of Tears flows comes out of here, and flows south to pour into the Black River. There is much red millet, and lots of gypsum and realgar.
Another three hundred li to the west, there is a mountain which is called the Mountain of Massed Rocks. Beneath it is the Stone Gate. The Yellow River passes out of it and flows to the west. Of all the myriad types of trees, there are none that do not grow on this mountain.
From the Treatise on Northern Mountains: (北山經):
…And traveling north for two hundred and eighty li there is a mountain called the Great Salty Mountain. There is no grass or wood here, but beneath it is a great amount of jade. This mountain cannot be ascended from any of the four directions. There is a snake the name of which is called Long Snake, which has hair like hog bristles. It makes a sound like drums and wooden clappers.
And travelling north for another three hundred and twenty li there is a mountain called the Abundant Buzzing (Dun Hong) Mountain. There are many palms and evergreens upon it, and at its foot is much purple ci grass. The Abundant Buzzing (Dun Hong) River is here, and it flows to the west into Lake You. It comes out of the north-east wing of the the Kunlun Mountains, and is truly the only source of the Yellow River. In it are many Red Trout.
Of its beasts there are many rhinoceroses, yaks, and hu pigeons.
And travelling north for another two hundred li there is a mountain called the Lesser Salty Mountain. There is no grass or wood here, but much green jade. There is a beast here, which has the head of an ox, and a red body, the face of a man, the feet of a horse, and its name is called Yayu. Its cry sounds like that of a child. It eats men. The Abundant (Dun) River comes out from here, and it flows into the Goose Gate River. In it are many shishi fish, the meat of which will kill a man.
From the Western Treatise on the Great Wastelands (大荒西经):
In the midst of the Great Wasteland there is a mountain, the name of which is Sun and Moon Mountain. It is the axle of heaven. The Heaven’s Gate of Lady Heavensmouth [吴姬] is where the sun and moon enter in. There is a god which has the face of a man but no arms, and his two feet are reversed on top of his head. His name is Sighs.
Jade Hat sired Old Child, and Old Child sired two sons Heavy and Black. The Emperor of Heaven ordered Heavy to sacrifice to heaven above, and ordered Black to work the earth below. The earth below therefore gave birth to Choke. Choke is located at the western extremity of the world, in order to govern the passage of the sun, moon, stars, and constellations.
There is someone with his arms reversed. His name is the Heavenly Keeper of Beasts.
There is a woman washing a moon. Emperor Excellent’s wife, Constant Xi gave birth to twelve moons, and thus began to wash them.
There is a mountain called Dark Cinnabar Mountain. There are Birds of Five Colors, which have human faces and hair. There are Blue Wen Birds, Yellow Ao Geese, Blue Birds, Yellow Birds. Where these gather together, that nation will be destroyed. There is a lake which is called Fierce Wing’s Strivings, Jade Hat’s Lake.
In the midst of the Great Wasteland there is a mountain, the name of which is Ao’ao Steel. The sun and moon enter here. There is a beast which has heads on the left and right. Its name is called Pinpeng.
There is Sorcerer’s Mountain. There is Gully Mountain. There is the Mountain of the Golden Gate. There is a person called the Corpse of the Yellow Lady. There are Close-Winged Birds. There are White Birds, with blue wings, yellow tails, and dark beaks. There are Red Dogs, which are called the Dogs of Heaven. The places where these descend will have war.
South of the Western Sea and by the shores of the Flowing Sands, behind the Red Waters and before the Black Waters, there is a great mountain. There is something called the Hill of the Kunlun. There is a god with a human face and a tiger’s body, with markings and a tail, entirely white, which is located here.
Beneath it are weak waters which circle it in a whirlpool, and beyond them are mountains of flames. Anything that goes into them is always burned up. There is a person wearing jewelry, with the teeth of a tiger and a leopard’s tail. She lives in a cave. Her name is the Queen Mother of the West. All creatures and things can be found on this mountain.
From the Great Treatise on the Northern Wastelands (大荒北经):
In the midst of the wastes there is a mountain, which is called The Northern Limit, the Carpenters Square of Heaven. The waters of the sea flow north into it. There is a god, which has nine heads with human faces and the body of a bird. The god’s name is Nine-Phoenixes.
There is another god, which holds a snake in its mouth and snakes in its hands. It has the head of a tiger and the body of a man, with four hooves and long elbows. Its name is Hard-and-Good.
In the midst of the great wastes there is a mountain, which is called Becoming the Capital and Carrying Heaven. There is a person, who has two yellow snakes for earrings. This person’s name is the Striding-Father. Lord Soil gave birth to Belief; Belief gave birth to the Striding-Father. Striding-Father could not measure his own strength. He wanted to pursue the light of the sun. He chased it to the place where it sets. Then he drank up the water of the Yellow River, but there was not enough, so he went into the Great Wetlands. He never reached it, and died in that place. When the Responding-Dragon had killed Unusually-Moronic, he also killed Striding-Father, and then departed for the south to dwell there. Therefore there is much rain in the south. There is also the Country of No-Intestines. The people there bear the surname Ren, which means “responsibility”. They have no children or descendants, and eat fish.
Venerating-Work had an minister whose name was Xiang-yao. He had nine heads and the body of a snake all curled up around itself. He feeds on the soils of the nine divisions of the world. The soil that he breathes on becomes marshy lakes, exceedingly rank and bitter, such that none of the hundred beasts are able to dwell there. When Yu the Great was damming up the waters of the Deluge, he killed Xiang-yao. Xiang-yao’s blood was so exceedingly stinky, that it was impossible to grow grains in that place, and there was so much water about that nobody could live there. Yu the Great dammed the water. He piled up dykes three times and thrice they collapsed, until finally he made the place into a lake. Because of this all of the emperors took the dyke as an altar. The place is located north of Kunlun Mountain.
There is a mountain of hills. Tall bamboo grows on it.
In the midst of the great wastes there is a mountain, which is called Not-Turning. The waters of the sea flow into it.
There is a mountain called Linking-Offspring. Upon this is the altar of Venerating-Work. Those who would fire arrows here do not dare do so in the northern direction. There is someone wearing blue clothing. Her name is called the Yellow Emperor’s Woman-Demon. Unusually-Moronic raised soldiers to attack the Yellow Emperor. The Yellow Emperor thereupon commanded Responding-Dragon to attack Unusually-Moronic in the wilderness of Ji prefecture. Responding-Dragon dammed up the waters. Unusually-Moronic appealed to the Earl of the Wind and the Master of Rain to release great winds and rain. In response, the Yellow Emperor sent down from heaven Woman-Demon, and the rain stopped. Thus Unusually-Moronic was successfully slain. But Woman-Demon was not able to return to the world above.
Where she dwells, there is no rain. Uncle Jun spoke of this to the Emperor, and afterwards she was given a place north of the Red Waters. Uncle Jun thus became the lord of the fields. Woman-Demon at times goes off into exile. Those who wish for her blessings must say, “Oh Spirit, come north!” But first they must clear out the water channels, so that the gullies and ditches are freed of obstacles.
From the Western Treatise on the Lands Within the Seas (海内西經)：
In the lands within the seas, the south-west is hillier than the north.
Betrays-Responsibilities had an official who was called Danger. Betrays-Responsibilities and Danger murdered Yayu. The Emperor of Heaven therefore bound them both in shackles on top of the mountain called Distant-Relatives. He clamped their feet and bound their hands behind their back with their own hair, and suspended them thus from a tree on top of the mountain. This is located north-west of Open-Forehead.
The Great Wetland is a hundred li on a side. Flocks of birds are born there and shed their feathers there. It is north of Goose Gate. Geese go out from amidst the Goose Gate Mountains, which are located north of High-Willows. High-Willows is north of the Kingdom of Dai.
The grave of Lord Millet is encircled by mountains and rivers. It is west of the country of the Di people.
The country of the Flowing Sands and the Yellow River where the inhabitants have the surname Feng is three hundred li on every side. In the western there is an wetland, and in the center there is a mountain. It is located to the west of the grave of Lord Millet.
The Flowing Sands exit from Mount Bell, and flow west and then south across the Waste of the Kunlun. They enter the sea to the south-west at the Mountain of Black Water. East Lake is on the eastern side of the Great Wetland. The Yi People are east of East Lake. The country of the Mo people is north-east of the River of Heroes. The place is close to Yan, and wreaks havoc upon it. The Fierce Bird lives to the north-east of the Country of Mo. This bird has red, yellow, and blue markings. It roosts in the east.
Within the seas, the Waste of Kunlun is in the north-west. It is the capital city on earth of the Emperor of Heaven. The Waste of Kunlun is square and eight hundred li on a side, and it is ten thousand feet high. Upon it is a grain tree, which is the height of eight xun and takes five men with their arms spread to encompass it around. At each face are nine wells, which have jade for railings. At each face are nine doors, and the doors are guarded by the beast called Opening-Brilliance. All of the hundreds of gods reside here. At the edge of the Red River is the Eight-Pointed Cliff. Only Lord Yi was able to climb to the ridgeline of this cliff.
The Red River emerges from the south-eastern corner and goes to its north-east, then to the south-west pours into the Southern Sea to the east of the Country of Abhorrent-Fires. The Yellow River emerges from the north-eastern corner, and goes to its north, and and in the south-west it once again enters into the Sea of Bo. The Auspicious River and the Black River emerge from the north-western corner, then turn east, and go east, and again turn to the north-east, and enter into the sea to the south, passing the Completely-Square Bird to the east.
To the south of the Kunlun is a watery depth that is three hundred feet deep. The Opening-Brilliance beast is like a type of great tiger with nine heads, each of them with a human face. It faces east, standing on top of the Kunlun.
West of the Opening-Brilliance there are fenghuang phoenixes and luan bird phoenixes, and they are all covered in snakes and draped with snakes, and in front of their breasts are red snakes.
North of the Opening-Brilliance there are the seeing-flesh creature, the pearl tree, the literary jade tree, the yuqi jade tree, and the tree of escaping death. The fenghuang phoenixes and luan phoenixes all carry shields. There is also Li Zhu, as well as grain trees, pines, sweet water, holy wood, and mandui, which is also called the straight-wood-of-crossed-teeth.
East of the Opening-Brilliance are the Shaman Peng, the Shaman Bright, the Shaman Di, the Shaman Shoe, the Shaman Sail, the Shaman Image. They stand on either side of the corpse of Yayu. Each of them holds the medicine of escaping death, with which they will revive him. Yayu has the body of a snake and the face of a man. He was killed by the official of Betrays-Responsibilities. Atop the Following-Constant tree there is a three-headed man, who is looking at a tree of langgan jade.
South of the Opening-Brilliance is the Tree Bird, which has six heads, as well as hornless dragons, fu dragons, snakes, apes, leopards, bird ranking trees, with trees and wood around the outside of the pools, reciting birds, xun hawks, and the Seeing-Flesh creature.
From the Northern Treatise on the Lands Beyond the Seas (海外北经):
Venerating-Work had a minister named Xiang-liu. He had nine heads, with which to devour the nine mountains. Everything that Xiang-liu pushed against was crushed into lakes and rivers. Yu the Great killed Xiang-liu. His blood stank, such that it was impossible to plant trees or the five grains. Yu the Great dug the place up. He piled up earth three times and three times it collapsed. Finally he piled it up into the Altar of All the Emperors. This is located north of the Kunlun, and east of Rouli. Xiang-liu had nine heads, each with a human face. He had the body of a snake, which was blue. People there don’t dare to shoot arrows to the north, for they are in fear of the Altar of Venerating-Work. The altar is east of Xiang-liu. It is square. At the corner there is a snake, which is the color of a tiger. The snake’s head faces the south.
The country of Deep-Eyes is east of here. Each of the people there has only one arm and one eye. It is east of the altar of Venerating-Work.
The country of No-Intestines is east of Deep-Eyes. The people there are very long and have no intestines.
From the Northern Treatise on the Lands Within the Seas (海內北經)：
In the lands within the seas, the the north-west is hillier than the east.
On the Mountain of Snake Shamans, there is a man standing holding a cudgel and facing east. This mountain is also called Mount Turtle.
The Queen Mother of the West leans on a table and wears jewelry. South of her are three blue birds, which are there for the Queen Mother of the West to take and eat. This is north of the Waste of Kunlun.
There is a person called the Earl of the Great Procession, who holds a dagger. East of him is the Country of Enfeoffed Dogs. The corpse of Betrays-Responsibilities is also east of the Earl of the Great Procession.
The Country of Enfeoffed Dogs is also called the Country of the Dog Barbarians. Their appearance is that of dogs. There is a girl, who is right now kneeling and making an offering of millet as food. There is a horse with markings, which has a body like plain white silk, a red mane, and eyes like gold. Its name is the Auspicious-Amount. If you are able to ride it, you will live to ten thousand years.
A Dog Barbarian
The Country of Ghosts is located north of the corpse of Betrays-Responsibilities. The creatures that live there have the faces of men and only one eye. Another saying is that the god Betrays-Responsibilities is located east of them, and that they have the faces of humans and the bodies of snakes. The Centipede-Dogs are as dogs, but blue, and they eat people starting with the head. The Exhausting-Strangeness has an appearance like that of a tiger, except it has wings, and it also eats people starting with the head. Those who are eaten are those who have let their hair down. The Exhausting-Strangeness is located north of the Centipede-Dogs. Another saying is that they start eating from the feet.
The Emperor Yao, the Emperor Ku, the Emperor Cinnabar and the Emperor Dance each have two altars. Each one is square, and they are located north-east of the Kunlun.
The Large Bee has an appearance like that of a grasshopper. The Red Moth has an appearance like that of a moth. The Jiao insect has the body of a person with the markings of a tiger. On its lower legs it has [something, composed of the characters 啟 over the character 月]. It is east of the Exhausting-Strangeness. Another saying is that its appearance is like that of a person. It live north of the Kunlun Waste. The Tafei has the head of a man and the body of a beast. It is blue.
The corpse of the Jubi is that of a person, with its neck cut off and its hair loosened, missing one hand. The people of the Ring-Dogs have heads of beasts and the bodies of men. Another saying is that they have the appearance of hedgehogs, similar to dogs. They are yellow.
A Ring Dog
The creatures of the Mei have the bodies of men, dark heads, and straight eyes.
The people of the Rong Barbarians have the hands of men and three horns.
A Rong Barbarian
The Country of Those With the Surname Lin has Treasure-Beasts. They are as large as tigers, colored all over in the five colors, and their tales are longer than their bodies. They are called the Zouwu, and if you can get on one you will ride for a thousand li in a day.
South of the Kunlun there is a forest of blocked up water which is three hundred li on a side. At the greatest extent of its depths it is three hundred feet. Only the Ice-Peace is accustomed to living in this place. The Ice-Peace has the face of a person, and rides two dragons. Another saying calls the place the Depths of Extreme-Loyalty.
The Yellow River pours out of Sunny-Muddy Mountain. Then it pours through Ice-Gate Mountain. The corpse of Prince Night has two arms, two legs, a chest, a head, teeth, but all split apart and in separate places. The sage emperor Shun’s wife Deng Bishi gave birth to Night-Glow and Torchlight, who can be found in the Great Lake of the Yellow River. The spiritual power of the two girls can light up the area for a hundred li on a side. Another saying calls their mother Deng Beishi.
The Country of Lid is south of Great Yan, and north of the dwarfs. The dwarfs belong to Yan. The Land of the Morning Calm is east of the Serried-Sun, north of the sea and south of the mountains. The Serried-Sun also belongs to Yan. The Archer Girl of Serried-Sun can be found on the islands of the sea and the Yellow River. The nation of the Girl Archers is on the sea, and belongs to the Archer Girl of Serried-Sun. To the south-west, it is encircled by mountains.
Big Crabs can be found in the sea. The Hill Fish has the face of a person, hands and feet, but the body of a fish. It is found in the sea. The Great Bream lives in the sea. Ming Zuyi lives in the sea. Mount Penglai can be found in the sea. The market of the giants can be found in the sea.