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Meaning & History
From a combination of the characters 东 (dōng, meaning “eastern”), 王 (wáng, meaning “royal”) and 公 (gōng, meaning “duke”, “lord” or “father”). Dongwanggong was the male counterpart of XIWANGMU who ruled in the east and was associated with Yang energy (as opposed to Xiwangmu’s Yin). One Han Dynasty source describes him as a humanoid with a tiger’s tail and bird’s face, riding on a black bear. He was later absorbed into Daoist religion along with his female counterpart, though his cult was never as prominent as hers.