Houyi, also called simply Yi, was the hero who shot the suns in the ancient mythology of China. He is sometimes potrayed as a god of archery descended from heaven to aid mankind, and sometimes as the chief of the Youqiong Tribe during the Xia Dynasty.
In Chinese mythology, the sun's true forms are the Sun-birds. It is believed that there were ten of them, whom all the offspring of Dijun, God of the Eastern Heaven. Each morning, one of these Sun-birds was to rise and give the world light. One day, the Sun-birds grew tired of the routine and decided that all of them were to rise at once. The heat on earth then became intense. At a result, crops shrivelled in the fields, lakes and ponds dried up, and humans and animals cowered in shelters or collasped from exhaustion.
It was too hot to live under the suns. To save the people, Yi started to shoot the suns.He shot down nine of them one by one, and he might have shot the last one if it was not called off by others. Thus the severe drought was gone. He also got rid of those fierce animals for the people.
It is said Yi's wife was Chang'e, a legendary lady in the famous story, "Chang'e flying to the moon." Chang'e swallowed the elixir stolen from her husband, and she flew to the moon and became the goddess of the moon, who has lived in the palace on the moon ever since. The grief of the loss of his wife changed Houyi completely. He became violent and changed from a hero welcomed by the mortals to being hated as a tyrant. At last,Yi was killed by Fengmeng, a disciple of Yi who learned to shoot from him.