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Ten Brothers (Chinese: 十兄弟) is a Chinese legend known to be written around the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). It has been told and spun off in various adaptations, and remains popular since it is one of the oldest Chinese legends to feature characters in a superhero fashion.


The more modern version of the story has the couple swallow ten pearls and give birth to ten brothers. Each one of the brothers then possesses a different supernatural power, though they develops their powers as the story progresses. At the end the brothers battle some form of an antagonist, and they only win when working in unity. However, if the ten brothers come in touch with limestone, their power disappears and they become helpless.


The number of brothers varies among the various races of China. The Yi people have 9 brothers, the Zhuang people have 8 brothers, the Han people have 5 brothers, the Li people have 10 brothers.

  • 1st and Oldest Brother - Capable of seeing miles away with his binocular eyes.
  • 2nd Brother - Capable of hearing miles away.
  • 3rd Brother - Has herculean strength.
  • 4th Brother - Has ability to stretch and is invincible.
  • 5th Brother - Capable of flying.
  • 6th Brother - Has a solid impenetrable head and the smartest.
  • 7th Brother - Can grow in height and has super speed.
  • 8th Brother - Capable of tunneling underground.
  • 9th Brother - Has a huge mouth that can blow wind and shout loudly.
  • 10th and Youngest Brother - Can cry a river, heal any sicknesses if he cries on people.


The story has been adapted many times in Asian movies and TV series most notably in China and Hong Kong.

It was released in 1938 as an American book named "The Five Chinese Brothers", as a film in 1959 called "Ten Brothers", in 1960 as "Ten Brothers vs the Sea Monster" (十兄弟怒海除魔)and in 1995 called "Ten Brothers", as a series by ATV in 1985 called "Ten Brothers" and 2007 by TVB as "Ten Brothers".