Hei Bai Wu Chang (黑白无常)
Name of a pair of Chinese Hell Guards,
who are in charge of bringing the spirits of the dead to
Whereas the Black Guard is in charge of the evil spirits, the White
Guard is in charge of the good souls (fig.). In some tales, they appear during
Ghost Festival and reward the good by granting them pieces of gold.
Whereas White Guard, i.e.
Bai Wu Chang (fig.),
is usually depicted as
and thin figure, with a pale face and sometimes a black moustache or
beard, and wearing a
long white robe and a long, white, brimless, toque-like cap,
Black Guard, is usually depicted
with a black complexion, ferocious snarls on his face and with a long
red tongue sticking out of his mouth to scare away evil spirits,
and holding a chain to bind the souls of the wicked dead (fig.). However, when
he appears alone, he is known as
is known as
Hei Wu Chang and is
usually depicted with a dark complexion, a short beard and moustache,
and holding a metal chain to bind
the souls of the wicked dead, while wearing a long black robe and a
long, brimless, black, toque-like cap, on which are, from top to bottom, the
Chinese characters zheng zai zhuo ni (正在捉你), which can loosely be translated as
‘is to catch you’.
Though they are often depicted together, either one may also appear with
other ghosts or demons (fig.).