Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom


Chinese Toilet Goddess

Also known as Mao Gu, Mao-Ku, Purple Maiden, Tzu-Ku, Tzu-Ku-Shen, Zi Gu

Goddess of Toilets

One of the Lavatory Ladies, she started out as the beautiful wife of an actor during the Tang Dynasty. All was good until a high-ranking minister named Li-Jing fell in love with her, killed her husband, and took the unfortunate Zigu Shen to be his mistress.

His wife was insanely jealous. One day, while Zigu Shen was taking what can only be described as a dignified pee, Li-Jing’s wife leapt out from behind a pile of toilet paper and murdered her in cold blood.

From that moment, Li-Jing’s lavatory was haunted by the ghost of his ex-mistress. Strange spooky noises emanated from the closet at all hours, and even the most stout-hearted visitor would cross his legs and wait till he got home.

When the news got out, Empress Wu, concerned for the kidneys of her top minister, blessed the ghost of Zigu Shen and elevated her to Godly status. The haunting of the lavatory immediately ceased. (We believe this kind of exorcism is known as a Royal Flush.)

The grateful spirit of Zigu Shen ascended to Heaven and the toilet was safe to use once more. Life went back to normal. But Li-Jing’s wife was never able to flush again.

As Goddess of Toilets, Zigu Shen appears in the form of a beautiful contemplative woman, her lower body wrapped discreetly in clouds. This soothing image is a far cry from the typical Chinese hole in the ground, but that’s mythology for you.

Perhaps due to the thoughtful navel-gazing which takes place in the bathroom, Zigu Shen is also known as the Goddess of Spirit Writing. She inspires mediums with messages from the Astral Plane. That’s why mediums never take a newspaper into the bathroom. No need for a crystal ball.

Incidentally, Zigu Shen’s favorite color is purple. This would seem to be the ideal choice when it comes to decorating the bathroom. However, as we know from experience, purple lavatory paper is almost impossible to get hold of.

Zigu Shen Facts and Figures

Name: Zigu Shen
Pronunciation: Dzur Goo
Alternative names: Mao Gu, Mao-Ku, Purple Maiden, Tzu-Ku, Tzu-Ku-Shen, Zi Gu

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Lavatories
Area of expertise: Toilets

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 10333

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Article last revised on May 16, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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