Yama also referred to as “King Yan” or “The king of hell”, is the ruler of the underworld and judge of the dead in East Asian mythology.
Yama presides over the realm of Hell, or “Diyu”, where the spirits of the dead go to atone for their sins, navigating their way through levels of mazes and various tortures depending on their karma.
King Yama is featured on what is usually referred to in English as “Hell money”; which is joss paper printed in the style of bank notes, usually burned in ancestor worship as an offering to passed spirits. It is believed that when burned, these representations of legal tender and material goods will appear in the afterlife and benefit the spirits in their court hearings etc.
Modern day burnt offerings not only consist of money but also luxury items such as I-phones, sports cars, jewelry and watches.