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Yi Yin was born of a Hollow Mulberry Tree

Yi Yin's mother lived near Yi River, and she was pregnant. One day, a spirit told her in a dream, "if your mortar bowl leaks water, hurry to the east, but don't look back." Next day she did see her mortar bowl leak water, so she told her neighbors and hurried ten leagues to the east. But she looked back at her city -- there was nothing but water. Her body then transformed into a hollow mulberry tree.

The next day, a daughter of the Yu Shen clan was picking mulberry leaves when she found a baby in a hollow mulberry tree. She presented it to her lord. The lord ordered his cook to bring the child up. This was baby Yi Yin who was born of a hollow mulberry tree.

Yi Yin grew up and became a good man. T'ang the Conqueror heard about him and sent a messenger to ask if the Yu Shen clan would let him have Yi Yin, but the Yu Shen clan refused. T'ang therefore asked the Yu Shen for a bride for him to marry. The Yu Shen clan was delighted and they made Yi Yin a guarantor to escort the bride.

When T'ang the Conqueror acquired the services of Yi Yin, they cleansed him of evil in the temple: they incensed him with huan-wei grass and bound some wei plants and set fire to them; they smeared him with blood of a sacrificial ox and pig.

The next day T'ang the Conqueror formally presided at court gave Yi Yin an audience. He delighted T'ang the Conqueror with tasty dishes cooked to perfection. (The Annals of Mr. Lü)

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