|The Temple of Four Emperors 四御殿 (Sì Yù Diàn) has five statues. The statues are made of clay and decorated with gold embedded in glue. The center statue is of the Jade Emperor 玉皇上帝 (Yùhuáng Shàngdì). The Jade Emperor is the greatest power in the heavens and is assisted by the Four Emperors:
Gouchen Shanggong Tianhuang Emperor,
The Deity of the Higher Dimension takes care of spirit matters and the heavens, the South-Pole Emperor is in charge of longevity and the continuation or reproduction of all things. He is often depicted as an old man with a high, broad forehead. The North-Pole Emperor takes care of the North and South poles, all the stars, and the seasons of the year. The Hou Tu Deity is female. She balances yin and yang and is in charge of the beauty of all living things, including the rivers and mountains.
You can see two of the Emperors behind the altar. The altar itself is decorated with figures of the gods above an intertwined dragon decoration. The canopy (detail above) uses dragons, birds, and flowers to create its design.
Last update: October 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009