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Chinese gods of the door

Chinese gods of the door.

The two gods in syncretistic Chinese folk religion who guard the double doorway of a domestic dwelling or public building. The Men-shen, literally "gods of the doorway", are believed to have been two generals from the Tang Dynasty, namely Qin Shu-bao and Hu Jing-de. They have been venerated since the 13th or 14th century. The back door is guarded by the less popular but still powerful Wei Ch'eng.The Chinese deity who guards the back door of domestic dwellings and public buildings. They are all former minister of emperor Tang Tai-zong. They are shown equipped with bows and arrows and magical symbols with which they avert evil spirits. According to legend, they also defended the 6th Tang emperor against attacking demons while he was asleep. The Men-shen appear as protectors in many folktales.

The deities are portrayed as two men with terrifying facial expressions, in military uniform and/or armor and armed with a rapier or halberd. Affixed to their shoulders are tiny banners to signify their rank. The protective diety of the back door, Wei Cheng, is often included in the Men Shen thus making them a trio.