Chinese mythology holds that the Jade Emperor was charged with running of the three realms: heaven, hell, and the realm of the living. The Jade Emperor adjudicated and meted out rewards and remedies to saints, the living, and the deceased according to a merit system loosely called the Jade Principles Golden Script. When proposed judgments were objected to, usually by other saints, the administration would occasionally resort to the counsels of advisory elders.The dozens of ethnic minority groups of the country of China have their own languages and their own folklore, and many have their own writing: much of which contains valuable historical and cultural information as well as many unique myths.
Some myths are widely shared across multiple ethnic groups, but may exist as versions with some differences.
Historians have written evidence of Chinese mythological symbolism from the 12th century BC in the Oracle bone script. Legends were passed down for over a thousand years before being written in books such as Classic of Mountains and Seas. Other myths continued to be passed down through oral traditions like theater and song before being recorded as novels such as Epic of Darkness.
Chinese mythology refers to those myths found in the historical geographic area of China: these include myths in Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups (of which fifty-six are officially recognized by the current administration of China).Chinese mythology includes creation myths and legends, such as myths concerning the founding of Chinese culture and the Chinese state. As in many cultures' mythologies, Chinese mythology has in the past been believed to be, at least in part, a factual recording of history. Thus, in the study of historical Chinese culture, many of the stories that have been told regarding characters and events which have been written or told of the distant past have a double tradition: one which presents a more historicized and one which presents a more mythological version....