Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom

LIU HAI

Daoist Wealth God

Also known as LIU-HAR, LIU-YUAN-YING, HAI-CHAN, LI-HAI

Picture of the Chinese Wealth God Liu Hai from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Prosperous Coin-Juggling God

A Daoist God of Wealth and Prosperity.

Liu Hai was a civil servant and alchemist in 10th Century China, but somehow became involved with a huge three-legged toad. It was his best friend, his magical pet, and would carry him anywhere he wished.

Sometimes the toad would hide in a well and have to be coaxed out with a shiny gold coin. This must have had some deep mystical significance, as Liu Hai is now revered as a God of Prosperity. Images and carvings of him are everywhere, standing on his toad and juggling gold coins with a beaming grin.

A small statue of him (and his toad) in your house will bring the cash flooding in — and if you stick his image on your wallet you may well become a millionaire. (At least, that’s what the New Age stores claim, and they’ve certainly made a packet out of him.)

As well as doing conjuring tricks with coins, he is also the protector of needlemakers. This really needled us for a while, until we realized that traditional Chinese coins have holes in the middle — and thin string can be invisible from a distance. So we are neatly back to tricks with strings of coins.

That’s Liu Hai neatly sewn up then. Apart from the toad.

Liu Hai Facts and Figures

Name: Liu Hai
Pronunciation: Lee-yoo Huy
Alternative names: LIU-HAR, LIU-YUAN-YING, HAI-CHAN, LI-HAI

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Wealth
Area of expertise: Wealth

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 791

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Article last revised on April 22, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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