According to the ancient work Shan Hai Jing (Classic of the Mountains and Seas), the youngest and most favored daughter of the Sun God was named Nvwa (meaning “little girl”). The Sun God would go to the East Sea to direct the rising of the sun early in the morning every day and he wouldn’t return home till sunset. Nvwa eagerly hoped that her father would take her to the sun-rising place at the East Sea for a look. One day, Nvwa was rowing a small boat by herself toward the East Sea sun-rising spot. Unfortunately, a sea storm came and mountain-like waves capsized the small boat. Nvwa lost her life to the sea.
After she died, Nvwa turned into a bird with red claws and a white beak, vowing to fill up the sea. She would hold stones and tree branches with her beak and throw them into the sea to fill it up, crying the sound of “jingwei, jingwei…”, as if encouraging herself. She kept filling up the sea year after year without stop. She is still at it, for the sea is still there.
Later, the story of “Jingwei Filling the Sea” became a symbol of dogged determination and perseverance in the face of impossible odds.