Hai Ho Shang, also sea bonze. Buddhist priest of the sea. Chinese merman with a shaved Buddhist head and the body of a large fish, large enough to capsize boats. Burning feathers on deck was supposed to keep them away.
There were two ways to repel Hai Ho Shang. One was burning feathers and one was a certain dance. Historically it was common to at least one crew member to learn that dance. But the best way was to just avoid Hai Ho Shang, since he was too dangerous.
- Daniel Cohen, A MODERN LOOK AT MONSTERS