Bian Cheng Wang 卞城王.jpg

Bian Cheng Wang, or King Bian Cheng, resides in the Sixth Court of Di Yu (地狱 dì yù), where he passes judgement on the souls (魂 hún) that are brought to his domain.

The Sixth Court of Di Yu is located under the Wo Jiao Stone (沃焦石 wò jiāo shí) that marks true north, which in-turn is located at the bottom of the Great Sea. The Sixth Court is said to stretch over 8,000 leagues, and has 16 additional "sub" Di Yu

As the Yama of the Sixth Court, Bian Cheng Wang passes judgement on souls that have been sent to him by Qin Guang Wang (秦广王 qín guǎng wáng). These souls will have committed crimes of the following nature in their previous life on Earth - also known as the Yang Realm (阳间 yáng jiān):

1. People who complain about the heavens, earth, winds, and thunder. That are only happy when the sun is out a hate the rain.

2. Facing the northern skies whilst urinated, defecating, or crying.

3. Stealing treasures hidden inside statues of gods and Buddhas from when they were sculpted/decorated.

4. Scrape the gold and silver treasures off of sacred Buddha statues.

5. Randomly calling out the names of gods and Buddhas for no reason.

6. Disrespect and neglect paper with writing on it, books and scripture. 

7. To accumulate rubbish or splash water around (Daoist) temples or pagodas.

Bian Cheng Wang 卞城王 
(biàn chéng wáng)
Status: God/Deity
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: (audio file coming soon)
Best known for: Presides over the 6th Court of Di Yu

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8. People who place the image of a holy Buddha in their home, especially if located near a kitchen stove where large amounts of unclean things, such as seafood and meat, are cooked. In particular, if beef and dog meat are consumed in the vicinity as these are even more disrespectful to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gods.

9. People who store pornographic books at home, or books that violate the law. 

10. Burning or damaging books, literary works, or utensils that spread the good word.

11. Embroidering the image of a dragon or phoenix on an item of clothing.

12. Wasting or spoiling any of the Five Grains (五谷粮食 wǔ gǔ liáng shí).

13. Hoarding large amounts of rice and grains with the intention of selling them at a high price.

14. Carving, drawing, or embroidering sacred images on clothes or utensils with the intent of making people show disrespect towards Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gods.

Depending on the severity of each individual crime they committed, the soul will go through 1, many, or all of the 16 sub Di Yu that reside within the Sixth Court. Each of the 16 Di Yu are named after the torture method that is used within. The souls are tortured in each sub Di Yu for a period of time that the Yama judges to be necessary. Should they "die" during the process, or if they lose a limb for example, the soul will be "repaired" or "resurrected" again for the next round. And so on, and so forth

Below is the name of each sub Di Yu roughly translated, in chronological order:

  1. Kneel (for a long time) in Iron Sand 常跪铁砂 (cháng guì tiě shā)
  2. Immersed in Urine and Feces 尿泥浸身 (niào ní jìn shēn)
  3. Bleed [via] Grindstone 磨摧流血 (mó cuī liú xuè)
  4. Clamp and Sew Mouth 钳嘴含针 (qián zuǐ hán zhēn)
  5. Slice Kidney Bitten/Eaten [by] Rat 割肾鼠咬 (gē shèn shǔ yǎo)
  6. Drill Thorn Net [into body] and Locusts 棘网蝗钻 (jí wǎng huáng zuān)
  7. Pound Flesh [into] Mince [with a] Reef Stone 礁捣肉浆 (jiāo dǎo ròu jiāng)
  8. Split Skin and Beat 裂皮既擂 (liè pí jì léi)
  9. Hold Fire in Mouth and Close it 衔火闭喉 (xián huǒ bì hóu)
  10. Cook [on] Mulberry Fire 桑火烘 (sāng huǒ hōng)
  11. Manure 粪污 (fèn wū)
  12. Fierce Bull Restless Horse 牛雕马躁 (niú diāo mǎ zào)
  13. No Senses 非窍 (fēi qiào)
  14. Peck at and Peel Skin from Head 啄头脱壳 (zhuó tóu tuō ké)
  15. Cut at the Waist 腰斩 (yāo zhǎn)
  16. Peel Skin (completely) [and fill with] Dry Grass 剥皮揎草 (bāo pí xuān cǎo)


Some of the torture methods include having your seven senses1 removed so that you experience complete nothingness, and peeling your skin off completely, fashioning it into a bag and filling said bag with grass, then hanging the bag in public for all to see.


1 The seven senses include:

Touch (Tactile system)

Sight (Visual system)

Hearing (Auditory system)

Taste and smell (Gustatory and Olfactory system)

Movement (Vestibular system)

Body awareness (Proprioception system)


To read more on Di Yu, check out my blog: A Journey Through Di Yu - "Chinese Hell"