Friday, May 11, 2007

Not really a blog - just a place to dump all the pictures of hell realted asian stuff I've found or documented over time...So, without further ado, let's start with a few photos from Singapore (NOTE: you can click on photos for a larger image; they are all free to download, distribute and do whatever the hell you want with them; if you make any art out of them, please show it to me!):


All the pictures were taken at the Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Garden), built in 1937 by the Aw brothers (inventors of the famous ointment), as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values.They made more than 1,000 statues and life-size dioramas depicting Chinese legends and historic tales and illustrating morality and Confucian beliefs. All the photos are from the Ten Courts of Hell section. In short, they represent a purgatory to which a person is sent to be punished for their sins and misdeeds. The sinner must go through all the courts until the final judgment determines his/hers form of reincarnation.

First Court of Hell

In the First Court of Hell, the sinner is put in front of the Mirror of Retribution where all his past sins are revealed to him. As a result of this past, his reincarnation will be determined. However, he first has to be punished for his sins.



Violating the code of filial piety

- Put under heavy slabs and boulders or squeezed in the middle of the grinder.

Second Court of Hell



• Gossiping

Having your tongue pierced.

• Stealing

Made to kneel on steel granules

• Wickedness

- Boiled in a cauldron, disemboweled, and put in a volcanic chamber.

Third Court of Hell



• Corruption and greed

- Handcuffed and beaten

• Disobedience and disrespect to elders

- Have your ribs pierced, body grilled, your lungs, heart, liver, intestines and eyes torn out

• Violating and state a confucian principles (?)or being an unjust official

- Have your heart removed, knees crushed and face scraped by a metal instrument

Fourth Court of Hell



• General Sins

- Hurled into a torrential river, made to kneel on bamboo spikes, boiled in oil, head struck open

• Cheating or evading income taxes

- Drowned under a heavy stone

• Stealing

- Have your hands sawn off

• Breaking promises

- Have your lips split

Fifth Court of Hell



• Cruelty to animals and friends

- Have your heart torn out with hooks or thrown onto protruding swords

Sixth Court of Hell

In this Court of Hell, those who have already been punished but are still unrepentant, are punished further. This includes all crimes against any deity or Buddha or breaking any Buddhist or Confucian laws.



• Stealing from temples, committing blasphemy

- Made to kneel on iron nails, sawn in two, gnawed by rats.

• Killing animals

- Have your body chopped in half.

Seventh Court of Hell



• Rebelling against authorities

-Torn apart by dogs

• Spreading false rumours

- Have your tongue pulled out

• Using drugs, causing quarrels

- Thrown into a pot of boiling water

Eighth Court of Hell



+Committing crimes against Confucianism and operating houses for immoral purposes

Crushed under carriage wheels, sliced, disemboweled, struck by lightning, and having tongues, arms and legs cut off.

Ninth Court of Hell



Smuggling, committing arson

Attacked by snakes, stung by bees, tortured or trafficking drugs in boiling oil. (?!?)

• Writing or painting erotic literature or scenes

- Flattened between two planks, have your head crushed in an iron ring, skull steamed, bones scraped and tendons pulled out.

Tenth Court of Hell

In the Tenth Court of Hell, the President passes his final judgment and the sinner goes through one of the seven-ways in the Wheel of Reincarnation. Shaped like a wheel, wind and clouds billow out from the circle in the centre and the six other circles surrounding it. Depending on the sinner's past life, he will enter a particular way which will determine how he will be reborn.

The sinner will be reincarnated as:

First Way

- Wealthy and powerful human

Second Way

- Birds

Third Way

-Farmers and labourers

Fourth Way

- Working class folk

Fifth Way

- Dragons, fish, crabs, insects or sea creatures

Sixth Way

- Lions, tigers, horses, deer, elephant or other four-legged animals

Seventh Way

- Poor, lonely and the destitute

When his reincarnation is decided, the sinner is usually shown with his future reincarnation (for example, the kind of animal), on his back. The sinner is then brought to a `Pavilion of Forgetfulness' or `Hell of Oblivion' where an old lady hands him a cup of magic tea that when drunk, make him forget his past life. He is then directed across one of the six bridges leading to 18,000 roads, each of which leads to some part of the world and to his particular form of reincarnation.

And now for some fun: can you match these pretty pictures with the appropriate sin? Enjoy!