Song Di Wang 宋帝王.jpg

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

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

As the Yama of the Third Court, Song Di 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. A person of status that receives a state salary who is not loyal to their duties; or deliberately betrays and ignores the lives of their subordinates;

2. A person who, when performing official duties, forgets his responsibilities and morals, and shows a lack of patriotism and love for the people when faced with an opportunity for personal gain;

3. Immoral husbands, and wives that do not speak and act tenderly;

4. An adopted child who is ungrateful of their adoptive father and mother, and returns to their biological parents in the hope of becoming the heir or beneficiary of their estate;

5. A servant or entrusted person that fails an important task or betrays their oath;

Song Di Wang 宋帝王 
(sòng dì wáng)
Status: God/Deity
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: (audio file coming soon)
Best known for: Presides over the 3rd Court of Di Yu

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6. Low ranking soldiers that betray their commanders;

7. A person that conspires with others to swindle money from someone under the guise of honest labour;

8. A person that escapes from jail or flees before reaching prison;

9. A person that does not offer another the proper burial rites due to a belief that it will negatively effect their luck or Feng Shui;

10. A person that, when digging into the earth, discovers the remains of another and doesn't stop immediately to either handle the situation properly or place the remains correctly in another burial site, and damages the corpse in some way;

11. A person that takes advantage of another, stealing food or money, under the guise of helping them manage their affairs;

12. A person that does not offer sacrifices or sweep the grave of their ancestors;

13. A person that tempts others to break the law, creates disputes, or disrupts the peace;

14. A person that writes anonymous letters to slander others;

15. A person that creates bogus announcements and articles to damage the reputation of others;

16. A person that assists another to fabricate official papers that allow them to dissolve a contract of marriage;

17. A person that creates fraudulent documents to rid others of their money, bonds, and possessions;

18. A person that steals another's identity, forges another's seal, creates fake documents in another's name, etc., to create or erase debt so that others, including future generations, will suffer; 

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 Third 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. Alkali Smoke1 碱卤 (jiǎn lǔ)
  2. Tie Up and Twist in a Ring of Hemp2 麻环枷纽 (má huán jiā niǔ)
  3. Pierce Ribs 穿肋 (chuān lē)
  4. Peel Face with Copper and Iron 铜铁刮脸 (tóng tiě guā liǎn)
  5. Peel Fat 刮脂 (guā zhī)
  6. Clamp and Squeeze the Heart and Liver 钳挤心肝 (qián jǐ xīn gān)
  7. Eye Removal 挖眼 (wā yǎn)
  8. Scrape Skin 铲皮 (chǎn pí)
  9. Cut Feet Off 刖足 (yuè zú)
  10. Rip Out Finger and Toe Nails 拔手脚甲 (bá shǒu jiǎo jiǎ)
  11. Suck Blood Out 吸血 (xī xuè)
  12. Hang Upside Down 倒吊 (dào diào)
  13. Break/Separate Clavicle3 分髃 (fēn yú)
  14. Maggots 蛆蛀 (qū zhù)
  15. Strike Knees 击膝 (jī xī)
  16. Carve Heart 瓟心 (bó xīn)


Smoke: as in "to smoke meat"

Hemp: a type of material commonly used in ancient China

Clavicle: a bone that extends across the front of the shoulder from the sternum to the scapula

Some of the torture methods include having your heart cut out from your chest and being tied to and grilled on a red hot copper pillar. 


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