This article discusses the origins and mythology of China’s Kitchen God, which include the evolution of this deity over the centuries from Fire God in prehistoric times to his present role as the protector of the home. Also discussed are the many legends that surround this beloved being, as well as historical and current sources for who the Kitchen God might once have been, how he changed over the years, and how he is worshipped in modern times. Mainly ancient Chinese resources are cited in the original, with English translations in the copious endnotes. Illustrations by the author, Carolyn Phillips.

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