Maybe I’ve been working with low cost 19th century woodblock editions of books for too long, but the truth is that I love their illustrations, probably much more than virtuoso paintings from the same era.

Here, again from the Illustrated Stories of Twenty Four Filial Women , 1872 edition, are the Lord of Thunder (雷公) and the Mother of Lightning (電母). They show up in illustrated morality texts quite a lot, since they’re often sent by heavenly bureaucrats to mete out punishment on sinners.


Lei Gong here is shown with his mallet, which is used to strike a drum and make thunder, and a chisel, which he uses to strike evildoers. And those are mirrors in Dian Mu’s hands, not those felt covered paddles that go with velcro balls for one of the most disappointing childhood toys ever.

2 thoughts on “Lord of Thunder, Mother of Lightning

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