Saturday, June 11, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (1) - Chen Tuan

This is caligraphy by Chen Tuan 陳摶(also known as Chen Xi Yi 陳希夷, Chen Tu Nan 陳圖南, Fu Yao Zi 扶搖子, Bai Yun Xian Sheng 白雲先生) who was born at the end of the Tang Dynasty. During the "five generations" period, he became a hermit in Hua Shan 華山practicing Daoism. He fed solely on air and slept continuously for 100 days. He met the founder of the Song Dynasty long before the latter became emperor. One day they played Wei Qi 圍棋 and the bet was the mountain Hua Shan. He won and when Song Tai Zu 宋太祖was coronated as emperor, he remembered his bet and waived the tax on Hua Shan.

Chen Tuan was so famous that when Zi Wei Dou Shu 紫微斗數 was compiled in writing, his name was on it as the author. This was the usual practice in ancient China and it created a lot of trouble for scholars later to determine who the author really was.



Marianna Halassy said...

Dear Joseph, a longtime awaited post and series!
As you might remember, my passion and focus came to be zi wei since I held your correspondence course book in my hand the first time. I kept studying, researching and now I’m tutoring zi wei, but the information about it is very limited and as usual, with Chinese metaphysics, it’s conflicting to people who don’t speak Chinese.
So I’m anxiously waiting for all the bits and pieces which you will give us here.
What is ‘Wei Qi’?
Thank you,

Joseph Yu said...

Wei Qi is also known as "Go" in Japan.