The People's Government of YunCheng City
Hou Ji
Issue time:2021-09-04

Hou Ji(后稷) is the ancestor of the ancient Zhou nationality. His mother is Jiang Yuan, who is the daughter of You Tai and the wife of Gao Xinshi. Jiang Yuan treaded on the giant’s footprints and gave birth to Hou Ji. He was abandoned for a time, so he was also called Qi (abandon). He was good at planting all kinds of crops. He used to be an agricultural official in the Yao and Shun age and taught the people how to cultivate. He was regarded as the person who started to grow millet and wheat.

One day, Gao Xinshi led Jiang Yuan to a temple in the countryside to offer sacrifices to the gods and pray for heirs. Jiang Yuan saw the giant’s footprints and treaded on them. Suddenly, she felt a shock. Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son the next year. Because of the strange conception, Jiang Yuan thought he was an unlucky child, so she abandoned him in a small alley with few people. But when the cattle and horses passed by, they avoided trampling on him. She threw him on the ice in the ditch, and the birds came to cover him with their wings and warm his body. Seeing this, Jiang Yuan thought he was unusual, so she brought him back and raised him and named him Qi.

During childhood, Qi liked to grow sesame, beans and other plants. He was good at choosing fertile soil and suitable places to grow grains, and the people at that time followed his example. When Emperor Yao found that he had special ability in farming, he appointed Qi to be Nong Shi who was in charge of farming. He was granted the title of Hou Ji in Taidi (now Wugong County of Shaanxi Province). The descendants inherited his official position and passed it to King Wu of Zhou Dynasty in the 15th generation. Later, King Wu of Zhou Dynasty succeeded in conquering Shang and unified the whole country, which was called the Zhou Dynasty in history.