4 Qimen Dunjia Strange Gates Escaping Techniques

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1 Juan 82a, liezhuan 72a.

2 For detailed discussion on the meaning of the term 'dunjia', see Yu Zhengxie's

Guisi leigao HEMil juan 10. Ngo Van Xuyet (1976) contains a brief description of Dunjia.

3 See Nansbi (Official History of the Southern Dynasties), juan 9 on Emperor Wudi and juan 66, Biography of Wu Mingche. Biographies of exponents of sbusbu, including the three cosmic boards, fall within the investigation of Chang Yung-tang in his project mentioned in the Preface.

4 See Beishi (Official History of the Northern Dynasties), juan 89, Biography of Xindu Fang.

5 See Beishi, juan 89, Biography of Lin Xiaogong.

6 See Beishi, juan 171, Biography of Shu Renliang.

7 Juan 32.

8 Yang Weide's name is also given as W^tS.

10 In Yunji qiqian, juan 15, pp.Iff.

11 Zhuge Liang gains many military successes, makes weather forecasts and changes wind direction with the Qimen Dunjia system. Using the Liuren method, he gained advance information on another military success before the report arrives. See Chapter 5. The Quan Sanguowen JfeHSjt (Complete Collection of Three Kingdoms Period Literary Writings) contains a memorandum by Zhuge Liang to Liu Bei warning that, according to the Taiyi calculations he made, that particular year, which was a guisi year (ad 213), was ominous for the Commanding General in battle. Before the memorandum reached Liu Bei his Commanding General Pang Tong SI,fit had already lost his life in an enemy ambush. While all these are insufficient evidence to show that Zhuge Liang was actually knowledgeable of all the three cosmic boards, they certainly contributed to the mystification of these systems.

12 In houji juan 21, Dunjia fa.

13 Cf. Chapter 5 on the Twelve Heavenly Generals.

14 Juan 9.

15 The deities of the Nine Stars, known as Dunjia jiusben IS ^ /L-fi, are described in some detail in Wuxing dayi (juan 5). See Kalinowski (1991). Hence the rudiments of Qimen Dunjia should have already been known not later than the sixth century.

16 I have not been able to find any explanation on the name zbamen. The word 'zba' (deception) probably conceals the military purpose of the gates, reminding us of the often-quoted words that the art of war is the art of deception, as exemplified by Li Jing's conversation with the Tang emperor Taizong in Chapter 1.

17 This was the date and time when a demonstration of the Qimen Dunjia system was performed as illustration at a seminar on the Huangdi yinfujing at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Nankang.

18 See Songsbi 5(5juan 112. This charlatan employed 7,777 men to defend the city. The men were selected not on their abilities but on their dates of birth corresponding with the jia stem. The method he used was certainly not that of Qimen Dunjia.

19 See also Chapter 2.

20 See Figure 4.6 but note that in the traditional system the Nine Palaces and the Trigrams showing direction remained fixed and did not shift their positions on the heaven board.


1 Kalinowski, M. (1983), 'Les instruments astro-calendriques des Han et la méthode liuren', Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 72:309-410.

3 See, for example, critical editions of the Mengxi bitan by Hu Daojing $3ifiif (1985) (Guji chubanshe, Shanghai) and by Umehara Kaoru fëJffP (1979) (Tô yô Bunko, Tokyo). For discussions on the author and the book see, for example, Holzman, D. (1958), 'Shen Kua and His Meng-Ch'i Pi-Tan', Toung Pao, 46:260292, Teraji, Jun (1967), 'Shin Katsu no shizen kenkyu to sono haikei', Hiroshima daigaku bungakubu ktyo, 27.1, Sivin, N. (1975), 'Shen Kua', Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York: Scribner), pp.369-393, Sivin, N. (1982), 'Why the Scientific Revolution Did not Take Place in China - or Didn't it?', Chinese Science, 5:45-66, Joël Brenier et al. (1989), 'Shen Gua (1031-1095) et les sciences', Revue d'Historié des Sciences, 42.4:333-351, Fu, Daiwei (1993-1994), 'A Contextual and Taxonomic Study of the "Divine Marvels" and "Strange Occurrences" in the Mengxi bitan', Chinese Science, 11:3— 35, and Lei, Hsianglin and Fu, Daiwei (1993), 'Language and Similarity in the Dream Brook - Study of Prognostication, Divine Oddities, and Strange Events in Mengxi bitan', Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies, 23.1:3160. See website on Mengxi bitan by Fu Daiwei.

4 In juan 7. The term xiangshu has been variously rendered. See Ho Peng Yoke (1991c).

5 Translated by the author.

6 The Zhuanxu calendar was named after the traditional emperor Zhuanxu (traditional date 2513 bc), but Zhu Wenxin (1934) has pointed out that it was based on astronomical data of the fourth century bc. It was used from the time of Qin shihuangdi ilitpjfe'Sr in 246 bc to the year 104 bc in the reign of Han Wudi HlS'Îr, when it was replaced by the Taichu AÎU calendar. A specimen of the Zhuanxu calendar covering the period of only one year was recovered in Mawangdui and studied by Chen Jiujin and Chen Meidong (1978), 'Cong Yuanguang lipu he Mawangdui boshu Wuxingzhan zaitan Zhuanxuli wenti

Zhongguo tianwenxueshi wenji (Beijing). Counter-Jupiter, known variously as Suiyin Taiyin APÉ and

Taisui was an imaginary heavenly body that moved in the opposite direction to Jupiter. Counter-Jupiter at yin corresponding to Jupiter at hai and Counter-Jupiter at mao corresponding to Jupiter at xu, etc., were extrapolations to the time when the founder of the Zhou dynasty Wuwang âftï defeated the last Yin IS king. Liu Xin f'Ja^ in the first century bc gave the date as 1122 bc, but there has been much dispute over the actual year when this took place. Scholars in the twentieth century were particularly active over this issue. More than 40 different dates have been suggested, varying from 1130 bc to 1011 bc. Beijing Shifan Daxue (1997) published a comprehensive survey of these dates. Meanwhile, a detailed study by Hwang, Chang-chien (1999) suggests 1106 bc as the year when King Wuwang defeated Zhou fct, the last king of Yin, but yet an even more recent report made by Li Xueqin et al. (2000), the result of a five-year research programme by a team of experts, favours the year 1046 bc. Lee Eun-Hee (2000) has also independently established the year 1046 bc from analysis of Western Zhou astronomical phenomena. However, Jiang Xiaoyuan and Niu Weixing (2000) give 1044 bc as the year. The date seems to be now quickly converging.

7 Another factor was the synodic period of Jupiter not being exactly 12 years.

8 Lodge is now more fashionable than lunar mansion in the rendering of the term xiu Hi. The reason for the choice here is merely sentimental.

Juan 27, Tianguanshu 5. In juan 10 'Liuren gushi kao

In the sixth-century book by Xiao Ji 1$, the Wuxing Dayi Stroll, this is called Weiming ii^BJ (Dim Brightness). See Kalinowski, M. (1991), Cosmologie et divination dans la Chine Ancienne: le compendium des cinq agents (Paris). A commentary of the passage says that the first character was changed to avoid having a similar sound as the character zhen H in the name of the Song emperor Renzong jZtr, by reading Weiming as Zhengming (Summoning Brightness). Quoting from an earlier apocryphal treatise, the Xuannu shijing ^ciSM (Manual on the Xuannu's cosmic board), Xiao Ji mentions elsewhere in the Wuxing dayi,'Hai is called Weiming iSlf] (Dim Brightness) (because) the brightness within its Water body is not visible outside, and summoning together (zheng (S) (all) its Yang qi, brightness is due when (the next terrestrial branch) zi comes forth'. Perhaps this was how the term zhengming (Summoning Brightness) originated, Yu Zhengxie's Guisi leigao (juan 10, Liuren gushi kao) points out that the term Dengming was already in use before the Song period, for example in the Lun Heng fw^J and the Wu-Yue chunqiu ^kM^fik., and hence the commentary was incorrect.

Wu refers to zhiwu and genkui IS® (sprout from the root) refers to sprouting.

See Chapter 3 on the term Taiyi.

The word 'chong' is interpreted here as 'to raise up from below' as in the case of the phrase 'nu fa chong guan iSKifrxi' - extreme anger raising the hair that in turn lifts up the hat.

Quoting from what the Yijing says about the second Yang line in the qian H Hexagram.

The fourth lunar month is represented by the qian H Hexagram with six Yang lines, while the fifth lunar month is represented by the gou Hexagram with a Yin line at the bottom.

Note the use of the Yang line to represent those in official position and the Yin line to represent the common people.

The Taiwei Enclosure, consisting of stars in Ursa Major, Leo, Virgo and Coma Berenice, was one of the three Enclosures in traditional Chinese astronomy (and astrology). Together with the Ziwei Enclosure it was employed by the court astrologer to make predictions on matters pertaining to the emperor, the imperial household and officials around the emperor. The deity Taiyi ascends the steps of the Santai (Three Platforms) while performing his duties, according to the Astronomical Chapters of the Jinshu. Santai consisted of six stars in Ursa Major within the Taiwei Enclosure. See Ho Peng Yoke (1966), The Astronomical Chapters of the Chin Shu (Paris), p.80.

A commentary says that the Ladle of the Plough is called gang while the first group of stars of the Azure Dragon is called Kang (which forms a) straight (line) with the Ladle. This probably refers to the determinant star of Kang lunar mansion being approximately along the same longitude as the last star of the Ladle.

The bottom Yin line in the kun Hexagram for the 10th lunar month is replaced by a Yang line in the fu Hexagram for the 11th lunar month. Should probably read chou it.

Obviously the term Shangdi used here is not to be confused with the modern Christian adoption of the term for God. juan 2.

See, for example, Rhine, J.B. (1937), New Frontiers of the Mind, first published

1937 (Pelican, London, 1950), but currently not quite fashionable.

I.e. from the time of the Han Huainanzi until the late Qing Guisi leigao.

Mao, chen, si, wu, wei and shen are daytime double-hours, while zi, chou and yin are double-hours from midnight to before sunrise, and you, xu and bai are double-hours after sunset to before midnight.

They were meant to be committed to sheer memory and a learner would seldom ask for an explanation. In juan 7, p.13a.

This adoption of this method by Liurert operators did not seem to be universal. The Ming writer Li Ruzhen for example, argued in favour of a classifica tion from zi to si as Day Noble One and from wu to bai as Night Noble One. See ]inghuayuan, bui 76.

In Yan Dunjie (1985). There was not only one person known by the same name Chen Liangmo in the Ming period. We know of at least one writer and one civil servant with the same name, but these two did not fit in with the date mentioned. The Chen Liangmo in question appeared to be an exponent of the art of Liuren of considerable prestige, probably one who had worked in the Astronomical Bureau. The book bears a preface dated 1810. In bui 102.

In Yishudian, juan 706.

See Appendix II on fate-calculation.

The phases are described in Chapter 2.

Sanguo yanyi, bui 53. Cf Zhuge Liang in Chapter 4.

Juan 10.

In Yishudian, juan 720.

There were two of them. The other went by the name Da Bu Tong ^C^-fs], but did not seem to have left behind any writing. I owe this point to my friend and former colleague at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Professor Su Ying-hui who knew Yuan personally as a friend of his father and had helped

Yuan in collecting material for his Mingpu lip In in his youth. Su's father also wrote a preface for Yuan in the same book. I also had opportunities to talk about Yuan with Professor Liu Tsun-yan W-fft, who knew about this famous diviner in Shanghai. For further reference to Yuan Shushan, see Smith (1991). Much has been written on this remarkable sixteenth-century mathematician who was at the same time an astrologer, a physician and a natural philosopher. See, for example, Bellini, Angelo (1947), Girolamo Cardano e ¡1 suo tempo (Milan) and Morley, Henry (1854), The Life of Girolamo Cardano of Milan, Physician, 2 vols (London).

See Ho Peng Yoke (1988) for an account of Yuan's own horoscope. Reminding one of what Laozi says in the Daodejing iSISM, wuwei ftiS section, about tianxia zhi zbiruo ^cT^LlEi; - what is the most malleable under the heavens.

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