Chinese Unicorn Zhi

Sci fi/Fantasy image by

Jill Johansen

this is a project for my 2D design class. Gouache on Illustration Board. Zhi was described as a magical one horned she goat (for lack of a better word) or unicorn, owned by Gao Yau, the Minister of Justice during the reign of the great Emperor Shun. Gau You, when in doubt of who was the guilty party during a trial, would call upon Zhi who would gouge the guilty person with her horn, leaving the innocent unharmed. All this was a very long time ago indeed, the first pictorial evidence of the Unicorn Zhi dates back to around the 14th to 11th centuries B.C.E. This makes her the first unicorn to ever be described in any culture and is likely the legend from which all other unicorn legends arose. Each culture putting its own spin on the legend. Through all of them, the unicorn has stood for justice and purity, infact, the Chinese character for justice is 'zhi' originating from a pictograph of the animal, though with 2 horns, as it is believe that the Zhi unicorn originated from a 2 horned animal. People have debated over exactly which one, but the most likey candidate now seems ot be the the Sau-La (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis). The deer like animal found in Viet Nam in 1992, being the first large mammal to be discovered and described by science in nearly 100 years. the characters along the top are the evolution of the Chinese character for Zhi over the years, the far right being th modern one, the far left being from 11th to 14th century B.C.E. this Drawing (minus the Chinese characters) has it's own online store! go check it out. get this design on T-Shirts, Mugs, Mousepads or whatever else your heart desires.

Published More than a year ago

Category Mythology

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