Where is the North Sea in myth? Has Beihai really existed in Chinese history?

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For partners who are very interested in Beihai, the editor of China story network brings detailed articles for your reference.

In ancient Chinese mythology, the East China Sea, West China Sea, South China Sea and North China Sea all exist, because in the mythology system, there are four Sea Dragon Kings, of which the East Sea Dragon King is respected. However, in our realistic map, there are only the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and myths and legends generally come from reality. So where are the North Sea and the West Sea in myths and legends?

Beihai did exist in Chinese history

Beihai is truly recorded in Chinese history, and the location of Beihai is also different in different historical dynasties. Beihai first appeared in Chinese history books in the Han Dynasty. There is a record about Beihai in the biography of Su Wu in the book of Han Dynasty: Wu lie, gnaw snow and Zhan hair, and never die for several days. Xiongnu thought it was a God, but moved to the North Sea of Wu, where there was no one, and made a shepherd. Milk, but return. Other officials, such as Chang Hui, have their own places.


In fact, Su Wu was sent to the Xiongnu and herded sheep in Mobei after being detained by the Xiongnu. The Xiongnu thought that if Su Wu didn’t eat, Su Wu would starve to death. Unexpectedly, Su Wu ate snow and felt wool, and thus survived. The Huns believed that Su Wu was a God, so they escorted him to a deserted place in the North Sea and asked him to herd rams, which could come back only after they gave birth to lambs. Chang Hui, his entourage, and others were escorted to other places.

According to the textual research, the North Sea where suwu herded sheep is actually Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal belonged to China in the Tang Dynasty, the Yuan Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty. The Sino Russian nebuchadu treaty classified the lake into tsarist Russia. It covers an area of 31500 square kilometers. In the cognition of the ancients, such a large lake can indeed be called the sea, because it is endless.

Lake Baikal is long and narrow, 636 kilometers long, 48 kilometers wide on average, and 79.4 kilometers wide at its widest point, like a curved moon embedded in the emerald mountains of eastern Siberia. Lake Baikal covers an area of about 31500 square kilometers, ranking eighth in the world. Lake Baikal has a total volume of 23600 cubic kilometers, accounting for one fifth of the total water storage of global freshwater lakes. It is the deepest and largest freshwater lake in the world.


The North Sea of the Han Dynasty is Lake Baikal, while the North Sea of the Yuan Dynasty is different. The territory of the Yuan Dynasty is very large. According to the records in Volume 58 of the history of the Yuan Dynasty: if the Yuan Dynasty, it rises from the shuomo and merges with the western regions, pacifies the Western Xia, destroys the Nvzhen, has a high official position, and makes an imperial edict in the south, so it goes down to the south of the Yangtze River, and the world is one. Therefore, its land exceeds Yinshan in the north, quicksand in the West pole, Liao in the East, and Yue haibiao in the south. Gahan is 932 miles east-west and 13368 miles South-North.

According to historical records, the northern territory of the Yuan Dynasty has included Lake Baikal, which belongs to lingbeixing province. To the east of lingbeixing province is Liaoyang province. The northernmost area of Liaoyang province has been to the Arctic Ocean, but in the map of the Yuan Dynasty, the North Sea is not the Arctic Ocean, but the sea of Okhotsk, which is now the sea area between Sakhalin Island and Kamchatka Peninsula.


The sea of Okhotsk is called the North Sea, not because it is east of Siberia, but north of Sakhalin Island and outer Hinggan Mountains. It has been the territory of various dynasties in China for a long time. Therefore, after the Tang Dynasty, the sea of Okhotsk was called the North Sea most of the time.


Beihai Dragon King is related to cold

The orientation of the North Sea is indeed in the north of China, but it is not the Arctic Ocean. Whether it is the sea of Okhotsk or lake Baikal, its winter is frozen. Therefore, in myth, the North Sea is also related to cold. For example, in the 77th chapter of journey to the West, several masters and disciples suffered in the city of lion camel, put the Tang Monk’s masters and disciples in the steamer, and it was the monkey king who called the Dragon King of the North Sea to cool down, which saved him from torture.

In Chechi country, Monkey King fried with Yang Li Daxian. Yang Li Daxian called lenglong, which made the hot oil pot not hot. So monkey king invited Beihai Dragon King to break the cold dragon, and Yang Li Daxian died in the oil pot. From this, it can be seen that Beihai Dragon King is in charge of cold, so Monkey King will ask Beihai Dragon King for help when he meets cold.

Whether the North Sea is Lake Baikal or the sea of Okhotsk has nothing to do with modern China. Lake Baikal now belongs to Russia, and although the sea of Okhotsk is not entirely the internal sea of Russia, it is almost the coast of Russia. I have to sigh at the sight of this reality. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the network, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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