Yu the Great

Yu the Great, ancient hero in prehistoric times is known for controlling floods. Because of his contribution, people call him Dayu in Chinese with Da means great.

In prehistoric times people suffered from torrential flood. The situation became worse while Shun was the leader. Under Shun, Gun (the father of Yu) got the problem under control. He adopted a method of building banks with soil and blocking the holes. However, after nine years of hard work, this traditional way no longer worked well. Yu was then ordered to succeed his father trying to control the flooding. Drawing from his father's experiences, he found a way of digging channels to conduct water to the sea. After thirteen years of fighting against the billowy flood, he finally handled the problem.

After controlling the floodwater, Dayu organized people to develop agriculture by fully utilizing water and soil. He let his son teach people how to plant rice and other crops. In addition, fish, ducks, and geese were bred under the guidance of Dayu. With his help, people lived happy lives.

What makes Yu the Great more remarkable is that just four days after his marriage he left home to control the water. And for thirteen years, he never went into his home although passing it three times. Even though his son was born during this period, he didn't return. Since at that time, the ruler was usually chosen according to ability, Yu the Great was supported by the people and recommended by Shun to succeed him. In 2070 BC, Yu established the Xia Dynasty (21st - 16th century BC) with his capital in Yangcheng (Dengfeng, Henan Province). That opened a new era in Chinese history.

Yu the Great is admired not only for his unremitting endeavors to fight against nature but also for forgetting about his own interests in order to help other people.