The myth of Tsai Luan


Caroline Young, artwork and text

QFWF, August 30th 2019 © Source: The art of Caroline R. Young (2002), Heritage Immortals
Melody, Tsai Luan

Once upon a time there was a lovely girl named Tsai Luan who was the daughter of a God and a mortal woman.

Tsai Luan played the flute so amazingly well that the gods decided to give her the gift of immortality so that they might delight in her enchantingly beautiful music for all of eternity.

Melody playing a flute

They sent the Tiger, Protector of the Gods, to escort Tsai Luan to the Yellow Mountains, home of the gods, where the precious gift of immortality was bestowed upon her.

Caroline Young depicts the Tsai Luan playing music to entertain the Gods and Goddesses, accompanied by her ever-faithful tiger.


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As an adopted child of Chinese-American expatriates, I have always been intrigued by how the Chinese culture explained the mysteries of the universe.