An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Sui Ren 燧人

Jan 23, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Sui Ren 燧人, also called Sui Huang 遂皇, was one of the Three Augusts 三皇 in ancient Chinese mythology. His is called the inventor of the use of fire and helped the people getting rid of their constant diseases by eating raw food. For the benefits of this invention, he was made ruler by the humans.

The encyclopaedia Taiping yulan 太平御覽 quotes from the apocryphal text Li hanwen jia 禮含文嘉, in which the process of making fire is described as Sui Ren invented it.

The book Shiyiji 拾遺記 reports of the country of Shenmi 申彌 or Suiming 燧明, where the fire-tree ( 燧木) grew, from which easily a ready-to-use fire can be made. Annual seasons or day and night did not exist in these countries, humans were immortal and able to ascend to Heaven.

Li Jianping 李劍平, ed. (1998). Zhongguo shenhua renwu cidian 中國神話人物辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 703.
Xiong Tieji 熊鐵基, Yang Youli 楊有禮, ed. (1994). Zhongguo diwang zaixiang cidian 中國帝王宰相辭典 (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu chubanshe), 2.
Yuan Ke 袁珂, ed. (1985). Zhongguo shenhua chuanshuo cidian 中國神話傳說詞典 (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe), 440.