I found a story about the origin of the Chinese dragon in English but can't find it anywhere in Chinese.

The characters' names are Chi Yu and Hieun Tse in the English version.

Does anyone know if this story exists in Chinese or was it created by an English speaker?

  • 2
    I have very high doubts that this question is on-topic...
    – dROOOze
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 8:31

3 Answers 3


A google book search of “hieun tse” revealed a book “International Folk Tales: A collection of Ancient Folk tales

I would say that the story is “un-chinese”, created without knowledge of the culture, and the people.

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  • 2
    Quote:- "...and had to go far far away" --- yes, most likely to a small village called Middle Earth where the Hobbits lived? Commented May 30, 2020 at 8:28
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    Why are you so sure? As a Chinese I won't say that I know what is "Chinese-ness", nor any decision theorem of chinese culture.
    – Griffith
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 15:23
  • “cut the green grass and put it in a basket” is odd. herding the cows to the meadow is more appropriate. “rice jar”, using a jar to store rice is, unthinkable. all the people in the village vs “farmer” hieun tse; what’s the status of these villagers, if they’re not farmers? Commented May 30, 2020 at 15:41
  • For the first issue, search "打牛草". "Rice jar" could be a translation issue. "米罐" or "储米罐" is a common name for the container of rice. I don't know if it's ok to call it a jar in english. But 罐 is frequently translated as "jar".
    – Griffith
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 15:56

The accepted answer is simply wrong.

It is probably from a Chinese folk tale since it claims to be Chinese. I daresay I have read similar folktales, especially the swallow-the-bead-and-turn-into-a-dragon part, when I was a kid. I cannot figure out the exact one. But it is easy to search out folk stories with similar motifs.

e.g. https://book.douban.com/subject/11633147/



沙县民间故事 This story lacks the part of the magical power of the dragon bead, but retains the part of swallowing the bead to become the dragon.


This one is rather long, but the story is almost the same, which is easy to find if you can read Chinese.

A further question is whether this kind of folktale has a origin in Classical Chinese literature.

And I must say many Chinese folk tales have a style and sentiment that you won't find in classical Chinese literature. Not to say even China proper is a country that comprises several distinct territories, varied cultures, and peoples. It is always hard to say what is really "un-Chinese".

  • The book 雨龙 stated [李健 编绘] . It seems like an original children book story. the names Chi Yu and Hieun Tse appear in a specific English young adult book , and there's no evident indicating it is of classical Chinese origin.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 18:42
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    They are folk tales, man. The names of characters in folk tales vary with versions. And Chi Yu and Hieun (probably typo of Hiuen) Tse match the Wiles system.
    – Griffith
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 3:26

Quote- "He noticed a patch of green grass behind the tall hills." This is very odd. If he is a small boy, how could he see through tall hills?!

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