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Iron-crutch Li

The most ancient of the Eight Immortals, Iron-crutch Li  or Li Tieguai (李鐵拐 in pinyin: li3 tie2 guai3), in Wade-Giles as Li T'ieh-kuai, is named Li Kongmu (李孔目 li3 kong3 mu4) or Li Ningyang (李凝陽 li3 ning2 yang2). His gourd relieves suffering.

He lived in Western Zhou Dynasty. Prior to becoming an immortal, his spirit once travelled to the heaven; however, his uninformed apprentice mistook his inanimate body as a sign that he has died, so the apprentice cremated Li. In another version, the apprentice was told that the spirit will return in seven days, but on the sixth day, the apprentice's mother was in grave illness, so he had to return home, so he cremated the body. Upon returning, Li had no choice but to enter the corpse of a homeless who died of starvation.

Depiction

He always carries a crutch.



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