According to the Encyclopedia on The Origin of the Mysterious Figures from Confucius, Buddhism and Daoist (三教源流搜神大全), a work compiled during the Ming Dynasty, in lunar June year 591, five men appeared in the mid-air, holding a scoop & a container, a sword & a leather bag, a feather fan, a hammer and hot pot respectively. Emperor Sui Wen asked Royal Historian Zhang Juren (a position above prime minister) who were these figures. Zhang told the emperor they were five ghosts in heaven and five epidemic devils on earth. That year, a pandemic occurred in China. #china #pandemic