Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lu Ban 魯班(1)

LuBan (Gong Shu Ban 公輸班) was the most celebrated carpenter/engineer in ancient China. He was born around 507 BCE in the State of Lu 魯國 during the Spring Autumn Era 春秋時代. He wrote a book titled Lu Ban Jing 魯班經. In this book, he explained how different forms including houses, windows and doors, and furnitures can affect the occupants. This probably is the earliest Feng Shui book for houses.

The instrument he used in designing and building houses was a L-shaped ruler. Carpenters and builders later all used this instrument which is known as Lu Ban Che 魯班尺.

                                                                   Lu Ban Che 魯班尺

The length of the ruler is 1 che 尺 4 cun 寸 4 fen 分 divided into 8 subdivisions labeled with eight meaningful words. The length of the ruler is approximately equivalent to 46 cm. The Che 尺 used during Ming/Qing 明/清 Dynasties was 32 cm. LuBan Che is 1.44 Che and therefore 32 x 1.44 = 46.08 cm. This matches the LuBan Che in Imperial Palace Museum in Beijign.

The four divisions labeled Cai 財, Yi 義, Guan 官 and Ji 吉 are auspicious. The four divisions labeled Bing 病, Li 離, Jie 劫 and Hai 害 are inauspicious.

According to the book "Lu Ban Cun Bai Ji 魯班寸白集":

財者財帛榮昌          病者災病難免
離者主人分張          義者主產孝子
官者主生貴子          劫者主禍妨蔴
害者主被盜侵          吉者主家興崇

Wealth indicates money and prosperity. Sickness indicates inevitable sillness and calamity.
Separation indicates severence of people. Righteousness indicates birth of filial son.
Officer indicates birth of noble son. Robbery indicates misfortune from all directions.
Harm indicates being robbed. Fortune indicates fame and fortune arriving at the family.

How was the ruler designed? Was it just according to the average size of the people in those days in China? Were comfort and beauty the main concern?



Dax Loh said...


how does this measurment work? is it used to measure anything in particulars? main door ?

how we know which to use? most will seek wealth & fortune, how we know which fits us?

Lucy Ng

Joseph Yu said...

Hi Lucy,

It simply does not work. You don't need to seek wealth and fortune. Let wealth and fortune look for you.


Dax Loh said...

Sir, if wealth can come looking for us. Life won't be so hard. Sir help me find a solution