Chinese Mythology Story: Dukang, the ancestor of wine making


Du Kang, it is said that he was a minister under the Yellow Emperor.

After the Yellow Emperor established the tribal alliance, he began to cultivate grain after Shennong tasted all kinds of grass and identified all kinds of grain. The Yellow Emperor ordered Du Kang to manage the production of grain, and Du Kang was very responsible. Due to the fertile land, good weather and bumper harvest year after year, more and more grain was produced. At that time, because there was no warehouse and no scientific storage method, Du Kang piled the bumper grain in the cave. Over time, the grain was moldy because of the humidity in the cave. When the Yellow Emperor knew this, he was very angry. He ordered Du Kang to be removed from his post and kept him as grain only. He said that if the grain was still moldy in the future, Du Kang would be executed.

Chinese Mythology Story

Du Kang was reduced to grain storage by a minister in charge of grain production. He was very sad. But he also thought that Leizu, Fenghou, Cangjie and other officials had made inventions and made great achievements, but he didn’t make any contribution and committed a crime. At the thought of this, his anger disappeared, and he secretly made up his mind that he had to do a good job of keeping food. One day, Du Kang found an open land in the forest. Several big trees died around, leaving only the thick trunk. The trunk is empty. Du Kang had an idea. He thought that if he put the grain in the tree hole, it might not be moldy. So he hollowed out all the dead trees in the forest one by one. In a few days, all the grain was loaded into the tree hole.

Who knows, two years later, the grain packed in the tree hole slowly fermented after wind, sun and rain. One day, when Du Kang went up the mountain to check the grain, he suddenly found a dead tree with grain lying around several goats, wild boars and rabbits. At first he thought these beasts were dead. When he looked closer, he found that they were still alive. It seemed that they were sleeping. Du Kang couldn’t figure out why. He was still wondering. A wild boar woke up. As soon as he saw someone, he rushed into the woods. Then the goat and the rabbit woke up and ran away. Du Kang went up the mountain without a bow and arrow, so he didn’t catch up. He was about to go back when he found two goats in front of the hole in the tree containing food, lowering their heads and licking something with their tongues. Du Kang hurriedly hid behind a big tree to observe. He saw two goats licking for a while, shaking and lying on the ground not far away. Du Kangfei ran quickly to tie up the two goats, and then looked at what the goats had just licked with their tongue in the tree hole. If you don’t look at it, it startled Du Kang. The hole in the tree that used to hold grain has cracked a seam, and the water inside is constantly seeping out. Goats, wild boars and rabbits licked the water before they fell to the ground. Du Kang smelled it with his nose. The water seeped out was very fragrant. He couldn’t help tasting it. Although the taste is spicy, it is especially mellow and beautiful. The more he tasted, the more he wanted to taste. Finally, he drank a few mouthfuls in a row. This drink didn’t matter. For a moment, I just felt the world spinning. As soon as I took two steps forward, I fell to the ground involuntarily and fell asleep. I don’t know how long later, when he woke up, he saw that one of the two goats had run away and the other was struggling. He turned up and felt full of energy. Accidentally, he trampled the struggling goat to death. He conveniently took off the sharp bottom pot at his waist and filled half the pot with the fragrant water seeping out of the tree hole.

After coming back, Du Kang told other grain keepers what he saw, and let everyone taste the fragrant water. Everyone felt very strange. It was suggested that the matter should be reported to the Yellow Emperor as soon as possible, but some people disagreed. The reason was that Du Kang had moldy food and was demoted. Now he has put food into tree holes and turned it into water. If the Yellow Emperor knew, he would beat Du Kang half to death if he didn’t kill his head. After hearing this, Du Kang calmly said to everyone: “up to now, whether it’s good or bad, we can’t hide it from the Yellow Emperor.” With that, he picked up the sharp bottom pot and went to find the Yellow Emperor.

After hearing Du Kang’s report, the Yellow Emperor carefully tasted the fragrant water he brought, and immediately discussed the matter with the ministers. Ministers agreed that this is a vitality in food, not poisonous water. The Yellow Emperor did not blame Du Kang and ordered him to continue to observe and ponder over the truth. He also ordered Cangjie to give a name to the water with strong fragrance. Cangjie said casually, “this water tastes fragrant and mellow, and you can get God by drinking.” Then he made a word “wine”. Both the Yellow Emperor and the ministers thought that the name had achieved good results.

Since then, the brewing industry in ancient China began to appear. In order to commemorate Du Kang, later generations respected him as the ancestor of brewing.

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