By Wolfram Eberhard
This special and authoritative consultant describes greater than four hundred very important chinese language symbols, explaining their esoteric meanings and connections. Their use and improvement in chinese language literature and in chinese language customs and attitudes to lifestyles are traced lucidly and precisely.`An perfect reference ebook to aid one research and discover extra, whereas concurrently giving better perception into many different features of chinese language lifestyles ... the main authoritative consultant to chinese language symbolism to be had to the final reader this present day ... a well-researched, informative and wonderful advisor to the treasure trove of chinese language symbols.' - South China Morning publish
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: hidden symbols in Chinese life and thought
The Homeric motif of Odysseus’ bow which no one else can draw, can be found in a Chinese text dating from the 3rd century BC, according to which none of the courtiers could draw a certain king’s bow: a story which the text rather spoils by suggesting that this was only because they were too polite to offend him! A later text has it that the Buddha alone could draw the bow of his ancestors. As a reward, he is youthful supposed to have been given a wife. In the medieval play ‘The Story of the Iron Bow’, it is the successful suitor of the heroine alone who can draw the bow.
Headhunters in the borderlands between Burma and China were particularly on the lookout for men with flowing beards. It is several hundred years since a writer pointed out that while distinguished Chinese are very deficient in the matter of beards, painters always portray them with a manly growth. On the Chinese stage as well, it is customary for important male characters to have long beards. Beauty rangmao Female beauty was a subject of considerable interest to the Chinese from the earliest times, and there was even a special handbook specifying the qualities a young woman had to have if she was to be considered for the imperial harem.
The story about a Taoist who goes inside a bottle-gourd is well-known; his voice can be heard outside before he emerges. heaven and earth: in its shape it The bottle-gourd is a miniature replica of unites the two. When it is opened, a sort of cloud comes out which can be used to trap demons. Temple paintings depicting the battles between good and evil gods (scenes based usually on the celebrated early 17th-century novel ‘The Metamorphoses of the Gods’) show the bottle-gourd as an active protagonist on the side of the good, helping them to victory over their evil opponents.
A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: hidden symbols in Chinese life and thought by Wolfram Eberhard