Meet the supreme Gautama Buddha, the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesa, and Chang O-the Lunar Toad who is Chinese goddess of the Moon. Journey to the sacred Cambodian ruins of Angkor and golden Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods. Discover myths like the Stone and the Banana of Indonesian origin and the Indian Churning of the Ocean of Milk, and explore archetypal themes such as the hero quest, sacrifice, and descent to the underworld. Myth expert David Leeming plumbs the exotic depths of Eastern spirituality to present a vivid portrait of the many mythologies of the Asian continent. In handy A to Z format, here are the stories of the revered deities, sacred places, key events and epics, and recurring themes and traditions that make up the rich and varied fabric of Asian mythology. Entries address the key mythologies of the regions we now call India, China, Tibet, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Japan. Throughout, an extensive network of cross-references highlights the diversity, interrelatedness, and complex beauty of Asia-allowing readers to pursue a particular trail of inquiry or read straight through the compelling entries.
Broad overviews of specific cultures and their mythic traditions round out the coverage.