The Story of Xuanzang: Righteous Belief and Miracles

Journey to the West, a well-known Chinese novel, talks about a monk’s journey to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures. The monk and his three disciples, which include the Monkey King, overcame many obstacles and witnessed many miracles. In real life, a monk named Xuanzang did travel to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures during the Tang

The Story of Laozi

Laozi (or Lao Tzu) is the founder of Daoism and the reputed author of Dao De Jing. Based on available historical records, Laozi’s philosophy is closely connected with three ancient books, namely Lian Shan written in the Xia Dynasty, Gui Cang in the Yin Dynasty and the Book of Changes in the Zhou Dynasty. Laozi’s surname is Li. His given name is Er,

Mayan Calendar Similar to Ancient Chinese: Early Contact?

Ancient Mayan and Chinese calendar systems share so many similarities, it is unlikely they developed independently, according to the late David H. Kelley, whose paper on the subject was published posthumously in August, 2016. Kelley was a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at the University of Calgary in Canada. He earned fame in the 1960s for

The Spirit of Giving and Charity in Ancient China

As we prepare for and take part in holiday festivities this time of year, celebration and merriment may come with increased demands that can add stress to our lives. But we can prevent that from getting the better of us. Reflecting on the true spirit of the season and the wisdom of kindness is one

Ancient Legends about Plague Gods

In Chinese traditional culture, people held various gods in awe, such as river gods, mountain gods, thunder gods, land gods, etc. It is believed that gods are in charge of everything in heaven and on earth, and legendary stories about them have been passed down from generation to generation. Many people have also seen the

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Yi

The symbol 義 has broad inner content, and includes values such as justice, honesty, loyalty and reliability. It is composed of 羊 (sheep) on top and 我 (I, myself) on the bottom. The sheep is obedient and kind, and mutton tastes good and is nutritious. Given those characteristics, the sheep was considered to be a

Exploring Chinese Characters: Explaining cì for Ceramics or Porcelain

The character 瓦 (wǎ) means tile, the ceramic pieces used for covering roofs. A tiled roof is a major characteristic of traditional Chinese architecture. According to historical records, in the Xia Dynasty, about 4000 years ago, Chinese people were already producing tiles. Archeologists have unearthed tiles produced in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.–771 B.C.)

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Fu

夫 (Fu) in Chinese is especially used with the connected characters 丈夫 (zhangfu), husband, spouse,  and consists of the two ideograms 大 (da) and 一 (yi). 大 means big, because in contrast to a woman, a man was always bigger in the imagination of the Chinese people. The Chinese character 一 originally means the number

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Ren

仁 (ren) represents the Chinese character for goodness of heart, compassion and wanting the best for others. It consists of two components – the left side 亻 symbolizes man, and is a radical appearing in many Chinese characters. In contrast, the right side 二 (er) is not just a component of 仁, but is also

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Dao

The complexity of Chinese characters does not only derive from the almost inscrutable number of them, but also because of the many different meanings each character conceals. 道 (Dao) describes a path, a course, or also the path of life of a person, such as Daoism. The left ideogram 辵 consists of an upper 彡

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Wu

The Chinese character for ‘enlightenment’, pronounced wu. 悟 (wù) means recognition, realization and comprehension. This character was derived from the symbols 覺 (jué) and寤 (wù), which both mean ‘awakening’ or ‘awareness’. Awakening in this context corresponds to the idea of waking up from sleep. For Chinese this meant attaining enlightenment and deep insight into the

Exploring Chinese Characters, A Preface

By Chang Fuchang/author] An illustration of the composition of some basic Chinese characters, such as that for ‘person,’ ‘see,’ and ‘search.’ (The Epoch Times)Many who are interested in learning Chinese are baffled by the seemingly complicated Chinese characters. However, contrary to English and other phonographically derived languages, Chinese characters are actually easier to learn. How

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Hai

Chinese characters have evolved over thousands of years, changing with Chinese thought often influenced by Taosim. A good example of how Taoism has influenced this process is the character 還 (hái), which stands for “also, in addition, more, still, yet.” It is composed of two ideograms: 辶 and 睘, where 睘 is the root of

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Yi

Changes in Chinese characters for medicine or medical treatment show changes in the practice of Chinese medicine. The character 醫 (yī) represents the noun “medicine” as well as the verb for medical treatment. The original symbol as found on the oracle bones from the pre-Christian era was much simpler. It consisted of an easily discernible

Mysterious Chinese Character : Party

黨 (dăng) is a character that contains many negative implications. Originally it came from the word 不鲜 (bùxiăn). The 鲜 (xiăn) consists of the ideograms 鱼 (yú) and 羊 (yáng), where 鱼 is the character for fish and 羊 is the character for sheep. 不 (bù) on the other hand constitutes the negation form in

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Huai

The Chinese character 壞 (huài) means bad, evil or nasty, and is the opposite of good. It derives its origin from the symbol 敗 (bài) meaning rot or loss, in combination with the symbol 土 (tŭ) meaning soil. Soil and rot have associated meanings in Chinese tradition, because things that rot, mold, and fester eventually

Indecipherable Ancient Books Found in Chongqing

The Tujia have been known as an ethnic minority with its own spoken language but without a written language. Yet a succession of ancient books in the same written language have been found in the Youyang Tujia habitation straddling the borders of Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing City. For the past two years none

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Jia

The Chinese ideogram for family, household, or home 家 “Jia” consists of the signs for house, 宀, on top, and pig 豕, below. The reason “a pig in the house” came to signify home, household or family in China is explained by history. In ancient China, pigs were regarded as intelligent animals, and their courage

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Hao

If something is good, the Chinese describe it as 好 (hăo). For example, in China people greet each other with 你好嗎 (nĭhăo ma?)  “Are you doing well?” One possible answer could be 我很好 (wŏ hĕnhăo) “I am doing (very) well.” According to a principal work on Chinese characters 說文解字 (shūowénjĭezì) “Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound

Mysterious Chinese Characters : Shan

The Chinese pictograph 善 (shàn) is comprised of the ideogram 羊 (yáng) and 言 (yán), where 羊 signifies a sheep, and 言 means “that which is spoken,” or simply the noun “word.” A sheep in ancient China was a fixture in every proper household. Because of its obedience it was an especially favorite house pet.

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