Tongji (spirit medium)

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Chinese characters for tongji

Tongji (Chinese :童乩; pinyin :tóngjī; Wade–Giles :t'ung-chi; lit. : 'youth diviner'; Tâi-lô: tâng-ki) or Jitong (Chinese :乩童; pinyin :jītóng; Wade–Giles :chi-t'ung; lit. : 'divining youth') is a Chinese folk religious practitioner, usually translated as a "spirit medium", "oracle", or "shaman".

This word compounds tong "child; youth; boy servant" and ji "to divine" (cf. fuji 扶乩 "divination; planchette writing"). Regional variants include Hokkien tâng-ki童乩 and Cantonese gei-tung乩童 or san-daa神打.

A tongji or jitong is a person believed to have been chosen by a particular shen "god; spirit" as the earthly vehicle for divine expression. The Chinese differentiate a wu "shaman; healer; spirit medium" who gains control of forces in the spirit world versus a tongji who appears to be entirely under the control of forces in the spirit world.

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