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Why is the emperor called "Jiu Wu Zhi Zun"?


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:33 PM

For those who know chinese, you might often heard of the chinese emperor being referred to as the "Jiu Wu Zhi Zun 九五之尊", which seems to be translated as "the respected of the Nine Five".

["Jiu Wu 九五" refers to the emperor's position, and is literally translated as "Nine Five"

"Zhi Zun 之尊" means "of the respected"]

Now, why is the Emperor referred to as the "Nine Five" (Jiu Wu 九五)? What does "Jiu Wu" actually mean? What is the more appropriate translation for this idiom?

Edited by General_Zhaoyun, 16 June 2005 - 10:06 PM.

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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:03 PM

After checking my chinese dictionary, I found that this idiom originated from the classic I-Ching or Yi Jing [Book of Change]

《易乾》:九五,飞龙在天,利见大人。
Yi-Qian : Nine-Five, The flying dragon in heaven, at its disposal to meet the great person. (uhm.... not sure if my translation is correct)


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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 Yun

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:25 PM

The translation should be something like:

"The hexagram Qian: the Nine-Five line represents the dragon in flight; an advantageous divination for meeting important persons."

'Qian' is the first of the 64 hexagrams in the Yijing, represented by six horizontal unbroken lines and reflecting the strongest yang energy among the 64. Hence it is used to symbolise heaven and the emperor. The fifth (middle) line is called the Nine-Five line, because nine is the largest odd number within the first ten numbers, and the odd numbers are considered to be yang. As the Nine-Five line is the most auspicious line in the Qian hexagram, the emperor is referred to as the Lord of the Nine-Five.

This Chinese-language article is my source for the above: http://www.huaxia.co...c/00264856.html

Since I'm hardly versed in the complexities of the Yijing, I'd welcome clarifications or corrections from our Yijing experts here.
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#4 Klamath

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:27 PM

《易乾》:九五,飞龙在天,利见大人。
Yi-Qian : Nine-Five, The flying dragon in heaven, at its disposal to meet the great person. (uhm.... not sure if my translation is correct)


见=现, 古文通假字

It also can be translated like this:
Nine-Five(The name of the bo 驳), The dragon is flying in heaven, it's time to see a great person appear (born).
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#5 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 11:47 PM

The translation should be something like:

"The hexagram Qian: the Nine-Five line represents the dragon in flight; an advantageous divination for meeting important persons."

'Qian' is the first of the 64 hexagrams in the Yijing, represented by six horizontal unbroken lines and reflecting the strongest yang energy among the 64. Hence it is used to symbolise heaven and the emperor. The fifth (middle) line is called the Nine-Five line, because nine is the largest odd number within the first ten numbers, and the odd numbers are considered to be yang. As the Nine-Five line is the most auspicious line in the Qian hexagram, the emperor is referred to as the Lord of the Nine-Five.

This Chinese-language article is my source for the above: http://www.huaxia.co...c/00264856.html

Since I'm hardly versed in the complexities of the Yijing, I'd welcome clarifications or corrections from our Yijing experts here.

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Thanks Yun for the explanation and the link to the chinese article. It really answers my query. Basically I should put forth again what's exactly explained in that article.

Why is the Emperor referred to as the 'Jiu Wu Zhi Zun" (the respected nine-five)?
And what does nine-five (Jiu Wu) mean?

There are two explanations:

Explanation 1 - Basic Ancient Chinese Number Interpretation

In ancient chinese number system, those odd numbers are referred to as the Yang numbers while those even numbers are referred to as the Yin numbers. "Nine" is the highest odd number and "Five" is the middle of the Yang Number series, so naturally, "nine-five" is used to referred to the 'highest", if not, the most power person, the Emperor.

Explanation 2 - Yi-Jing's interpretation

In I-Ching or Yi-Jing (book of change), there existed the so-called "8 Diagrams (more specifically Trigrams )" known in chinese as Bagua 八卦. Each Diagram has a particular name and is represented by 6 lines (known in chinese as Yao 爻). There are altogether 8 diagrams with different 6-lines combination (some broken and some unbroken).

These 8 diagrams can be combined with one another to form new different hexagrams. 8 x 8 = 64 different combinations = 64 hexagrams. Each of these 64 hexagrams represent a phenomenon and meaning in the world and is used for divinations.

Now, "Qian 乾" hexagram is the 1st of the 64 hexagrams and it happens to be a symbol of heaven, thus it is used to represent the "Emperor". The Qian hexagram is made up of 6 lines, and the 5th line (counting from bottom to top) is called "Nine-Five" line ("Nine" represents Yang as in the "Yang" number series, while "Five" represents the "fifth" line). The "Nine-Five" line is the best and most auspicious line in the Qian hexagram, and Qian hexagram is the 1st in the 64 hexagrams. This would mean the "Nine-Five" line is the "no. 1 line" in the 384 lines of the 64 hexagrams, and is thus a representation of the highest person, the Emperor.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#6 Klamath

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:04 AM

Here is an link that hold different explanation about it:

http://cul.sina.com....9-10/81019.html

........
或问:既然上九最高,九五次之,那么以帝王之尊,为何不称上九之尊,而谓之 九五之尊?盖吾国思想,谓满招损,谦受益(《尚书》),知雄守雌,知白守黑(《老子》),过犹不及(《论语》),虚则剞,中则正,满则覆(《荀子》),全则必缺,极则必反,盈则必亏(《吕氏春秋》),盛之有衰,生之有死(《晏子春秋》),昌必有衰,兴必有废(《论衡》)。以《易》言之,则是复极必剥、泰极必否。故《易乾》上九之爻辞曰亢龙有悔,《易文言》曰:亢龙有悔,穷之灾也。亢之为言也,知进而不知退,知存而不知亡,知得而不知丧。知进退存亡,而不失其正者,其唯圣人乎?用俗话来说,就是爬得越高,跌得越惨。

  九五本非示尊之意,而是示退之意。天子者,天之子也。天最高,可居上九之位,即使贵为天子,也只能屈居九五之位。
.......

It's hard to translate.
蜀道难 难于上青天

#7 Yun

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 10:37 PM

Essentially, this version says that the topmost line in the Qian hexagram (called the Upper-Nine 上九 line) is actually the most prestigious, but the interpretation of the hexagram is "亢龙有悔", which means "the haughty dragon will have regrets" (i.e. pride goes before a fall). Hence the emperor chose to be identified with the second-best Nine-Five line to show his humility, letting Heaven take the Upper-Nine position since he is only the Son of Heaven.

BTW, I wonder if everyone noticed that the 18 Dragon-subduing Palms (降龙十八掌) martial arts moves in Jin Yong's novels are each named after one of these hexagram interpretations? E.g. 亢龙有悔, 飞龙在天.
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#8 Klamath

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:46 AM

BTW, I wonder if everyone noticed that the 18 Dragon-subduing Palms (降龙十八掌) martial arts moves in Jin Yong's novels are each named after one of these hexagram interpretations? E.g. 亢龙有悔, 飞龙在天.

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It seems there are like "龙战于野(坤),鸿渐于陆(渐),, Jin Yong had pick so many out from <<Yijing>>. Funny to see that the movie of Stephen Chou had invented a 龙的传人 into the Dragon-subduing Palms.
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#9 Yun

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 02:35 AM

Another interesting thing is that Singapore TV is currently screening a rather silly Hong Kong comedy series about the Yongzheng emperor getting transported forward in time and having to switch to a life as an office employee in the early 21st century. Silly, but the title of the show is a stroke of genius: 九五之尊, a play on the phrase to mean "Lord of the 9 to 5" :P
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#10 ahbian

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 05:22 AM

Silly, but the title of the show is a stroke of genius: 九五之尊, a play on the phrase to mean "Lord of the 9 to 5"  :P

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heh, i didn't realize that. it was silly how they protrayed luu si niang and her relationship with yongzheng.

#11 青文景武剑

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:14 AM

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

5=center
9=greatest
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雪中送炭是朋友,
有福同享有难同当是兄弟,
心有灵犀一点通的是知己,
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#12 青文景武剑

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 08:10 PM

i saw the cover of that movie, it looks pretty funny and stupid :)
锦上添花是哥们,
雪中送炭是朋友,
有福同享有难同当是兄弟,
心有灵犀一点通的是知己,
一生知己不多,
你就是我的知己。




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