Heavenly Stems

The ten Heavenly Stems or Celestial Stems[1] (Chinese: ; pinyin: tiāngān) are a Chinese system of ordinals that first appear during the Shang dynasty, ca. 1250 BCE, as the names of the ten days of the week. They were also used in Shang-period ritual as names for dead family members, who were offered sacrifices on the corresponding day of the Shang week. The Heavenly Stems were used in combination with the Earthly Branches, a similar cycle of twelve days, to produce a compound cycle of sixty days. Subsequently, the Heavenly Stems lost their original function as names for days of the week and dead kin, and acquired many other uses, the most prominent and long lasting of which was their use together with the Earthly Branches as a 60-year calendrical cycle.[2]


Chinese Japanese (romaji) Korean
Vietnamese Yin and Yang
Wu Xing
Wu Xing
on'yomi kun'yomi
1 ㄐㄧㄚˇ jiǎ ciaeh43 gaap3 コウ (kō) きのえ (kinoe) 갑 (gap) ᠨᡳᠣᠸᠠᠩᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ (niowanggiyan, "green") giáp 陽 (yang) 木 (wood) 東 East
2 ㄧˇ ieh43 jyut6 オツ (otsu) きのと (kinoto) 을 (eul) ᠨᡳᠣᡥᠣᠨ (niohon) ất 陰 (yin)
3 ㄅㄧㄥˇ bǐng pin51 bing2 ヘイ (hei) ひのえ (hinoe) 병 (byeong) ᡶᡠᠯᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ (fulgiyan, "red") bính 陽 (yang) 火 (fire) 南 South
4 ㄉㄧㄥ dīng ting44 ding1 テイ (tei) ひのと (hinoto) 정 (jeong) ᡶᡠᠯᠠᡥᡡᠨ (fulahūn) đinh 陰 (yin)
5 ㄨˋ vu231 mou6 ボ (bo) つちのえ (tsuchinoe) 무 (mu) ᠰᡠᠸᠠᠶᠠᠨ (suwayan, "yellow") mậu 陽 (yang) 土 (earth) 中 Middle
6 ㄐㄧˇ ci51 gei2 キ (ki) つちのと (tsuchinoto) 기 (gi) ᠰᠣᡥᠣᠨ (sohon) kỷ 陰 (yin)
7 ㄍㄥ gēng keng44 gang1 コウ (kō) かのえ (kanoe) 경 (gyeong) ᡧᠠᠨᠶᠠᠨ (šanyan, "white") canh 陽 (yang) 金 (metal) 西 West
8 ㄒㄧㄣ xīn sin44 san1 シン (shin) かのと (kanoto) 신 (sin) ᡧᠠᡥᡡᠨ (šahūn) tân 陰 (yin)
9 ㄖㄣˊ rén nyin223 jam4 ジン (jin) みずのえ (mizunoe) 임 (im) ᠰᠠᡥᠠᠯᡳᠶᠠᠨ (sahaliyan, "black") nhâm 陽 (yang) 水 (water) 北 North
10 ㄍㄨㄟˇ guǐ kue51 gwai3 キ (ki) みずのと (mizunoto) 계 (gye) ᠰᠠᡥᠠᡥᡡᠨ (sahahūn) quý 陰 (yin)

The Japanese names of the Heavenly Stems are based on their corresponding Wu Xing elements, while their Manchu names are based on their respective elements' colors.


The Shang people believed that there were ten suns, each of which appeared in order in a ten-day cycle (旬; xún). The Heavenly Stems (tiāngān 天干) were the names of the ten suns, which may have designated world ages as did the Five Suns and the Six Ages of the World of Saint Augustine. They were found in the given names of the kings of the Shang in their Temple Names. These consisted of a relational term (Father, Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother) to which was added one of the ten gān names (e.g. Grandfather Jia). These names are often found on Shang bronzes designating whom the bronze was honoring (and on which day of the week their rites would have been performed, that day matching the day designated by their name). David Keightley, a leading scholar of ancient China and its bronzes, believes that the gān names were chosen posthumously through divination.[3] Some historians think the ruling class of the Shang had ten clans, but it is not clear whether their society reflected the myth or vice versa. The associations with Yin-Yang and the Five Elements developed later, after the collapse of the Shang Dynasty.

The literal meanings of the characters were, and are now, roughly as follows.[4] Among the modern meanings, those deriving from the characters' position in the sequence of Heavenly Stems are in italics.

Original Modern
shell first (book I, person A etc.), methyl group, helmet, armor, words related to beetles, crustaceans, fingernails, toenails
fishguts second (book II, person B etc.), ethyl group, twist
fishtail [5] third, bright, fire, fishtail (rare)
nail fourth, male adult, robust, T-shaped, to strike, a surname
lance (not used)
threads on a loom [6] self
evening star age (of person)
to offend superiors [7] bitter, piquant, toilsome
burden[8] to shoulder, to trust with office
disposed grass [9] (not used)

Current usage

The Stems are still commonly used nowadays in Chinese counting systems similar to the way the alphabet is used in English. For example:

  • Names in legal documents and contracts where English speakers would use A, B, C, etc. Korea and Japan also use heavenly stems on legal documents in this way. In Korea, letters gap (甲) and eul (乙) are consistently used to denote the larger and the smaller contractor (respectively) in a legal contract, and are sometimes used as synonyms for such; this usage is also common in the Korean IT industry.
  • Choices on multiple choice exams, surveys, etc.
  • Organic chemicals (e.g. methanol: 甲醇 jiǎchún; ethanol: 乙醇 yǐchún). See Organic nomenclature in Chinese.
  • Diseases (Hepatitis A: 甲型肝炎 jiǎxíng gānyán; Hepatitis B: 乙型肝炎 yǐxíng gānyán)
  • Sports leagues (Serie A: 意甲 yìjiǎ)
  • Vitamins (although currently, in this case, the ABC system is more popular)
  • Characters conversing in a short text (甲 speaks first, 乙 answers)
  • Students' grades in Taiwan: with an additional Yōu ( "Excellence") before the first Heavenly Stem Jiǎ. Hence, American grades A, B, C, D and F correspond to 優, 甲, 乙, 丙 and 丁 (yōu, jiǎ, yǐ, bǐng, dīng).
  • In astrology and Feng Shui. The Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches form the four pillars of Chinese metaphysics in Qi Men Dun Jia and Da Liu Ren.

See also


  1. ^ "Heavenly Stems"
  2. ^ Smith (2011).
  3. ^ David N. Keightley, "The Quest for Eternity in Ancient China: The Dead, Their Gifts, Their Names" in Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China ed. by George Kuwayama. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1987, pp. 12–24.
  4. ^ William McNaughton. Reading and Writing Chinese. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1979.
  5. ^ Wenlin Dictionary: Picture of a fish tail.
  6. ^ Wenlin Dictionary: 己 may have depicted thread on a loom; an ancient meaning was 'unravel threads', which was later written 紀 jì. 己 was borrowed both for the word jǐ 'self', and for the name of the sixth Heavenly Stem (天干).
  7. ^ Wenlin Dictionary: "The seal has 𢆉 'knock against, offend' below, and 亠 above; the scholastic commentators say: to offend (亠 = ) 上 the superiors"
  8. ^ Wenlin Dictionary: 壬 rén depicts "a 丨 carrying pole supported 一 in the middle part and having one object attached at each end, as always done in China" --Karlgren(1923). (See 扁担 biǎndan). Now the character 任 rèn has the meaning of carrying a burden, and the original character 壬 is used only for the ninth of the ten heavenly stems (天干).
  9. ^ Wenlin Dictionary: 癶 "stretch out the legs" + 天; The nicely disposed grass, on which the Ancients poured the libations offered to the Manes


Allan, Sarah (1991). The shape of the turtle: myth, art, and cosmos in early China. Albany NY: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-0459-1.

Barnard, Noel (1986). "A new approach to the study of clan-sign inscriptions of Shang". In Kwang-chih Chang (ed.) (eds.). Studies of Shang archaeology : selected papers from the International Conference on Shang Civilization. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 141–206. ISBN 978-0-300-03578-0.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)

Tsien, Tsuen-hsuin; Kwang-chih Chang (1978). "T'ien kan: a key to the history of the Shang". In David Roy (ed.) (eds.). Ancient China : studies in early civilization. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. pp. 13–42. ISBN 978-962-201-144-1.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)

Chang Tai-Ping (1978). "The role of the t'ien-kan ti-chih terms in the naming system of the Yin". Early China. 4: 45–48.

Keightley, David (2000). The ancestral landscape: time, space, and community in late Shang China, ca. 1200-1045 B.C. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley, Center for Chinese Studies. ISBN 978-1-55729-070-0.

Norman, Jerry (1985). "A note on the origins of the Chinese duodenary cycle". In Graham Thurgood (ed.) (eds.). Linguistics of the Sino-Tibetan area : the state of the art : papers presented to Paul K. Benedict for his 7lst birthday. Canberra: Australian National University. pp. 85–89.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)

Pulleyblank, E. G. (1995). "The ganzhi as phonograms". Early China News. 8: 29–30.

Smith, Adam (2011). "The Chinese sexagenary cycle and the ritual origins of the calendar". In John Steele (ed.) (eds.). Calendars and years II : astronomy and time in the ancient and medieval world (PDF). Oxford: Oxbow. pp. 1–37. ISBN 978-1-84217-987-1.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)

External links

Braille pattern dots-56

The Braille pattern dots-56 ( ⠰ ) is a 6-dot braille cell with the middle and bottom right dots raised, or an 8-dot braille cell with the upper-middle and lower-middle right dots raised. It is represented by the Unicode code point U+2830, and in Braille ASCII with a semicolon: ;.

China League One

The Chinese Football Association China League (Chinese: 中国足球协会甲级联赛; pinyin: Zhōngguó Zúqiú Xiéhuì Jiǎjí Liánsài), also known as China Super League One or Chinese Jia League (中甲联赛), is the second tier of Chinese clubs. Above League One is the Chinese Super League.

Prior to the formation of the Chinese Super League, Jia League was known as Jia B League. The then top two levels of Chinese football league were known as Jia A League and Jia B League respectively. Jia A was rebranded as CSL and Jia B was rebranded as the current Jia League in 2004. Below the Jia League is the Yi League, following the Chinese Heavenly Stems naming convention of numbers.

It is currently made up of 16 teams, playing each other home and away once. At the end of each season, the top two teams are promoted to the CSL and the two lowest placed teams from the CSL are relegated to China League One. The top two teams from China League Two are promoted and replace the two lowest placed teams from China League One.

Chinese astrology

Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. The development of Chinese astrology is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD).

Chinese astrology has a close relation with Chinese philosophy (theory of the three harmony: heaven, earth, and water), and uses the principles of yin and yang and concepts that are not found in Western astrology, such as the Wu Xing teachings, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, the lunisolar calendar (moon calendar and sun calendar), and the time calculation after year, month, day, and shichen (時辰).

Chinese calendar

The traditional China calendar (officially known as the Rural Calendar [農曆; 农历; Nónglì; 'farming calendar']), or Former Calendar (舊曆; 旧历; Jiùlì), Traditional Calendar (老曆; 老历; Lǎolì) or Lunar Calendar (陰曆; 阴历; Yīnlì; 'yin calendar'), is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017.

Although modern-day China uses the Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar governs holidays—such as the Lantern Festival—in both China and in overseas Chinese communities. It also gives the traditional Chinese nomenclature of dates within a year, which people use for selecting auspicious days for weddings, funerals, moving, or starting a business.

Like Chinese characters, variants of this calendar are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere. Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Islands adopted the calendar, and it evolved into Korean, Vietnamese, and Ryukyuan calendars. The main difference from the traditional Chinese calendar is the use of different meridians, which leads to some astronomical events—and calendar events based on them—falling on different dates. The traditional Japanese calendar also derived from the Chinese calendar (based on a Japanese meridian), but its official use in Japan was abolished in 1873 as part of reforms after the Meiji Restoration. Calendars in Mongolia and Tibet have absorbed elements of the traditional Chinese calendar, but are not direct descendants of it.Days begin and end at midnight, and months begin on the day of the new moon. Years begin on the second (or third) new moon after the winter solstice. Solar terms govern the beginning and end of each month. Written versions in ancient China included stems and branches of the year and the names of each month, including leap months as needed. Characters indicated whether a month was long (大, 30 days) or short (小, 29 days); stem branches for the first, eleventh, and 21st days, and the date, stem branch and time of the solar terms.


Dizhi or Di Zhi may refer to:

Earthly Branches, twelve traditional Chinese (later East Asian) signs, usually combined with the ten Heavenly Stems to form the Sexagenary cycle

Emperor Zhi, a mythological emperor of ancient China

Dizhi Subdistrict (地直街道), a subdistrict in Tiexi District, Siping, Jilin, China

Earth (Wu Xing)

In Chinese philosophy, earth (Chinese: 土; pinyin: tǔ), is the changing point of the matter. Earth is the third element in the Wu Xing cycle.

Earth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilizing and conserving. It is associated with the color yellow and the planet Saturn, and it lies at the center of the compass in the Chinese cosmos. It is associated with the turn of each of the four seasons and with damp weather. It governs the Spleen, Stomach, mouth and muscles. Its negative emotion is anxiety and its positive emotion is empathy. Its Primal Spirit is represented by the Yellow Dragon. Colour Yellow, Golden (Sun)

Earthly Branches

The twelve Earthly Branches or Terrestrial Branches are an ordering system used throughout East Asia in various contexts, including its ancient dating system, astrological traditions, and zodiac.

Fire (Wu Xing)

In Chinese philosophy, fire (Chinese: 火; pinyin: huǒ) is the prosper of the matter, or the matter's prosperity stage. Fire is the second phase of Wu Xing.

Fire is yang in character. Its motion is upward and its energy is expansive.

Fire is associated with Summer, the South, the planet Mars, the colour red (associated with extreme luck), hot weather, daylight, and the Vermilion Bird (Zhu Que) in the Four Symbols (which is associated with a red phoenix in Western culture).


Kanbun (漢文, "Chinese writing"), a form of Classical Chinese as used in Japan, was used from the Heian period to the mid-20th century. Much Japanese literature was written in this style, and it was the general writing style for official and intellectual works throughout the period. As a result, Sino-Japanese vocabulary makes up a large portion of the Japanese lexicon, and much classical Chinese literature is accessible to Japanese readers in some semblance of the original. The corresponding system in Korean is gugyeol (口訣/구결).

Kanbun Kundoku can be classified as some sort of creole language, as it is the mixture between native Japanese and classical literary Chinese.

Korean calendar

The traditional Korean calendar is a lunisolar calendar. Like most traditional calendars of other East Asian countries, the Korean Calendar is mainly derived from the Chinese calendar. Dates are calculated from Korea's meridian (135th meridian east in modern time for South Korea), and observances and festivals are based in Korean culture.

The Gregorian calendar was officially adopted in 1896, but traditional holidays and age-reckoning for older generations are still based on the old calendar. The biggest festival in Korea today is Seollal, the first day of the traditional Korean New Year. Other important festivals include Daeboreum also referred to as Boreumdaal (the first full moon), Dano (spring festival) and Chuseok (harvest moon festival), and Samjinnal (spring-opening festival). Other minor festivals include Yudu (summer festival), and Chilseok (monsoon festival).

Metal (Wu Xing)

Metal (Chinese: 金; pinyin: jīn), the fourth phase of the Chinese philosophy of Wu Xing, is the decline of the matter, or the matter's decline stage. Metal is yin in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the autumn, the west, old age, the planet Venus, the color white, dry weather, and the White Tiger (Bai Hu) in Four Symbols. The archetypal metals are silver and gold.

Pig (zodiac)

The Pig (豬) is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in Chinese zodiac, in relation to the Chinese calendar and system of horology, and paralleling the system of ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches. Although the term "zodiac" (etymologically referring to a "[circle of] little animals") is used in the phrase "Chinese zodiac", there is a major difference between the Chinese usage and Western astrology: the zodiacal animals (including the zodiacal Pig) do not relate to the zodiac as the area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun, the Moon, and visible planets across the celestial sphere's constellations, over the course of the year.

In Chinese astrology, "zodiacal" animals refer to fixed cycles of twelve animals. The same cycle of twelve is used for cycles of years and cycles of hours. In the case of years, the cycle of twelve corresponds to the twelve-year cycle of Jupiter. In the case of the hours, the twelve hours represent twelve double-hours for each period of night and day. In the continuous sexagenary cycle of sixty years, every twelfth year corresponds to hai, 亥 (the twelfth of the twelve Earthly Branches); this re-recurring twelfth year is commonly called the Year of the Pig (豬年).

There are five types of Pigs, named after the Chinese elements. In order, they are: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. These correspond to the Heavenly Stems. Thus, there are five pig years in every sexegenary cycle. For example, in the year 2019, the Earthly Branch is the twelfth, hài, and the Heavenly Stem is the sixth, jǐ 己. The Chinese New Year in 2019 is February fifth: this corresponds with the beginning of both the sexegenary year of jǐ hài and also the zodiac year of the Earth Pig.

In the Japanese zodiac and the Tibetan zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the boar. In the Dai zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the elephant. In the Gurung zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the deer.

Sexagenary cycle

The sexagenary cycle, also known as the Stems-and-Branches or ganzhi, is a cycle of sixty terms, each corresponding to one year, thus a total of sixty years for one cycle, used for reckoning time in China and the rest of the East Asian cultural sphere. It appears as a means of recording days in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang oracle bones of the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years began around the middle of the 3rd century BC. The cycle and its variations have been an important part of the traditional calendrical systems in Chinese-influenced Asian states and territories, particularly those of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, with the old Chinese system still in use in Taiwan.

This traditional method of numbering days and years no longer has any significant role in modern Chinese time-keeping or the official calendar. However, the sexagenary cycle is used in the names of many historical events, such as the Chinese Xinhai Revolution, the Japanese Boshin War, and the Korean Imjin War. It also continues to have a role in contemporary Chinese astrology and fortune telling.

Symbolic stars

In Chinese astrology, the symbolic stars (Chinese: Shen Sha 神煞, pinyin: shén shā) represent different relations of the specific positions and interactions of the heavenly stems and earthly branches.

"The symbolic stars" is sometimes translated literally, as "gods and devils"; but in fact, the symbolic stars do not relate to any ghosts or celestial beings— in this case, "shen (神)" means beneficial influence, and "sha (煞)" means baneful influence of the cyclical signs of the heavenly stems and earthly branches.

The calculation of the symbolic stars is logically connected to the theory of Yin and Yang, Five Elements, Ten Gods theory, Na Yin melodic elements theory, Twelve Energy States, etc. The symbolic stars are like the “leaves” of the heavenly stems and earthly branches in the big tree of Chinese astrology and can provide a very specific information in the horoscope analysis.

The symbolic stars are used in many methods of Chinese astrology and metaphysics: Four Pillars of Destiny, Zi wei dou shu, Da Liu Ren, and Feng Shui.

In Chinese astrology, there are more than 180 symbolic stars.


The tōnalpōhualli (Nahuatl pronunciation: [toːnaɬpoːˈwalːi]), meaning "count of days" in Nahuatl, is an Aztec version of the 260-day calendar in use in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. This calendar is neither solar nor lunar, but rather consists of 20 (veintenas), 13-day (trecenas) periods. Each trecena is ruled by a different deity.

Vietnamese numismatic charm

Vietnamese numismatic charms (Vietnamese: Bùa Việt Nam; Hán tự: 越南符銭; Chữ Nôm: 符越南), also known as Vietnamese amulets, Vietnamese talismans, or simply Vietnamese charms, refer to a family of cash coin-like and other numismatic inspired types of charms that like the Japanese and Korean variants are derived from Chinese numismatic charms (also referred to as Yansheng coins or huāqián), but have evolved around the customs of the Vietnamese culture although most of these charms resemble Vietnamese cash coins and the amulet coins of China. These "coins" were used at temples, as tokens within the imperial palace, and as everyday charms with supposed magical power such as having the ability to curse evil spirits and bogies. Some of these charms contained the inscriptions of real circulating cash coins but with added imagery.Inscriptions on Vietnamese numismatic charms can be written in Chinese, Taoist "magic" writing, Devanagari, pseudo-Devanagari, Chữ Nôm, and Latin scripts. Common inscriptions include Trường Mạng Phú Quý (長命富貴), Chính Đức Thông Bảo (正德通寶), and Châu Nguyên Thông Bảo (周元通寶).Like with Chinese numismatic Buddhist charms there are Vietnamese numismatic Buddhist charms that contain Sanskrit inscriptions, however some of these Buddhist amulets from Vietnam contain only Sanskrit syllables associated with certain sounds but without meaning, these meaningless inscriptions were presumably borrowed from Chinese monks who used them as religious iconography.During the 60th birthday of Revival Lê dynasty Emperor Lê Hiển Tông in 1774 a special Vạn Thọ Thông Bảo (萬夀通寶) amulet was cast, these charms were often used to commemorate the birthday of an emperor as had happened in the Qing dynasty with the 60th birthdays of Chinese emperors. The reason these charms are cast on this particular event is because 60 years symbolises a complete cycle of the 10 heavenly stems and the 12 earthly branches.Under the Nguyễn dynasty era Emperor Minh Mạng large (often 48 millimeters in diameter) presentation coins with the inscription Minh Mạng Thông Bảo (明命通寶) were made that featured inscriptions from the Huainanzi on their reverse, it is believed that this work was chosen because it states that a monarch or ruler should embrace both Confucianism and Taoism and attain sagehood. Because the term Minh Mạng (Hán tự: 明命) can also be translated as "bright life" or "intelligent decree" the inscription Minh Mạng Thông Bảo is commonly used on Vietnamese numismatic charms.During the Vietnam war era Vietnamese numismatic charms with cash coin inscriptions were produced in large numbers as souvenirs for foreigners interested in antiques. In large South Vietnamsee cities like Saigon, Da Nang, and Huế, these charms usually sold for $1 or $2. They bore inscriptions of authentic Vietnamese cash coins like Quang Trung Thông Bảo (光中通寶), Gia Long Thông Bảo (嘉隆通寶), and Minh Mạng Thông Bảo (明命通寶), but many also contained fantasy inscriptions like Quang Trung Trọng Bảo (光中重寶), Hàm Nghi Trọng Bảo (咸宜重寶), and Khải Định Trọng Bảo (啓定重寶), the latter of which being based on the Khải Định Thông Bảo (啓定通寶).

Water (Wu Xing)

In Chinese philosophy, water (Chinese: 水; pinyin: shuǐ), is the low point of the matter, or the matter's dying or hiding stage. Water is the fifth stage of Wu Xing, the five elements.

Water is the most yin in character of the five elements. Its motion is downward and inward, and its energy is stillness and conserving.

Water is associated with certain colors, with the planet Mercury, with the moon (which was believed to cause the dew to fall at night), with night, with the north, with winter or cold weather, and with the Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) in the Chinese constellation Four Symbols.

Wood (Wu Xing)

In Chinese philosophy, wood (Chinese: 木; pinyin: mù), sometimes translated as Tree, is the growing of the matter, or the matter's growing stage. Wood is the first phase of Wu Xing. Wood is the most yang in character of the Five elements. It stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the color green, windy weather, and the Azure Dragon (Qing Long) in Four Symbols.

The color blue also represents wood.

Zhang Zhu

Zhang Zhu (Chinese: 張翥; pinyin: Zhāng Zhù; 1287–1368), courtesy name Zhongju (仲舉), was a Yuan Dynasty poet.

A native of Jining (晉密), Yunnan, he brought himself into notice by his poetry, and was subsequently employed upon the histories of the Liao, Later Jin, and Song dynasties, rising to be a Doctor in the Hanlin Academy and holding other high offices. He was the author of a collection of verses (titled 蛻巖詞). His phrase "cataclysm of the red Goat" (红羊劫), is still used in the sense of "great calamity.""In the hexagenary system of calendrical calculation, the years bingwu and dingwei in the cycle were believed to be years in which national disasters would occur. In the ten heavenly stems (tiangan) bing and ding, the first character in each combination, belong to the element fire, and their color is red; furthermore, of the zodiac animal signs for the twelve earthly branches (dizhi), the Goat stands for wei. Hence, the "calamity of the red Goat.""

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