The Warring States Period (403-221 BC) is the name given to a time when many wars occurred between individual states because central power in China was weak. 'The Story of the Rain God' is set in an imaginary palace surrounded by a river. A bridge between the palace and the villages of ordinary people has been designed to show the kindness of the Emperor Ku and symbolises the happy atmosphere in this story. In reality, in the past, ordinary people were forbidden to go to any of the palaces of emperors. The image of the Rain God, Chi Song Zi, is that of a deity from very ancient times, so his appearance was much like a wild animal having horns and sharp finger-nails, and wearing clothes with a grass collar and made of animal skin. The blue top with rain-like spots expresses the position of the Rain God. The costume of Emperor Ku in this book shows the classical image of an emperor and the clothes he wore for important ceremonies or occasions in ancient China. A rectangular board on the top of the crown with hanging pearls was designed to remind emperors to stand or sit straight and always to look dignified; otherwise it would not be comfortable when those hanging pearls were swinging around too much against their heads. The Dragon and the Phoenix are two of the four great lucky animals in Chinese culture. A Dragon is the symbol of authority and a Phoenix is the king of all birds. In ancient China, emperors wore golden dragon robes and Empresses wore phoenix robes; in the past, ordinary people were not allowed to wear any golden colour or any clothes displaying a dragon or a phoenix. The story suggests several important truths: that beautiful music has a transcendent quality that can lift our lives above ordinary things; that while kindness is rewarded, further effort may be necessary to gain the reward; and, that position is sometimes obtained by the hard work of other people.