Meet the supreme Gautama Buddha, the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesa, and Chang O--the Lunar Toad who is Chinese goddess of the Moon. Journey to the sacred Cambodian ruins of Angkor and golden Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods. Discover myths like the Stone and the Banana of Indonesian origin and the Indian Churning of the Ocean of Milk, and explore archetypal themes such as the hero quest, sacrifice, and descent to the underworld. Myth expert David Leeming plumbs
the exotic depths of Eastern spirituality to present a vivid portrait of the many mythologies of the Asian continent. In handy A to Z format, here are the stories of the revered deities, sacred places, key events and epics, and recurring themes and traditions that make up the rich and varied fabric
of Asian mythology. Entries address the key mythologies of the regions we now call India, China, Tibet, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Japan. Throughout, an extensive network of cross-references highlights the diversity, interrelatedness, and complex beauty of Asia--allowing readers to pursue a particular trail of inquiry or read straight through the compelling entries. Broad overviews of specific cultures and their mythic traditions round out the coverage.
"Leeming's latest contribution to world literature is a reference junkie's delight--compact, orderly, suitably priced, and most important, authoritative without swamping the user in pedantry....A sure-footed mythologist, Leeming has a talent for unraveling the intricate strands of interrelated mythologies....From the readable introduction through the Zs, Leeming's instructive voice reveals the certainty of an experienced teacher, the appreciation of a lover of
"The authoritative text is clearly written, thorough in coverage, and stylistically distinguished. This significant lexicon is a vital and relevant reference for all collections."--Library Journal (starred review)