I Ching

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I Ching (Yijing)
I Ching Song Dynasty print.jpg
Title page of a Song dynasty (c. 1100) edition of the I Ching
Original title
Country Zhou dynasty (China)
Language Old Chinese
Genre Divination, cosmology
PublishedLate 9th century BC
Original text
at Chinese Wikisource
I Ching
Book of Changes / Classic of Changes
I Ching (Chinese characters).svg
"I (Ching)" in seal script (top), [note 1] Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters

The I Ching has been translated into Western languages dozens of times. The earliest published complete translation of the I Ching into a Western language was a Latin translation done in the 1730s by the French Jesuit missionary Jean-Baptiste Régis that was published in Germany in the 1830s. [89] Historically, the most influential Western-language I Ching translation was Richard Wilhelm's 1923 German translation, which was translated into English in 1950 by Cary Baynes. [90] Although Thomas McClatchie and James Legge had both translated the text in the 19th century, the text gained significant traction during the counterculture of the 1960s, with the translations of Wilhelm and John Blofeld attracting particular interest. [91] Richard Rutt's 1996 translation incorporated much of the new archaeological and philological discoveries of the 20th century. Gregory Whincup's 1986 translation also attempts to reconstruct Zhou period readings. [92]

The most commonly used English translations of the I Ching are: [89]

Other notable English translations include:

See also


  1. 1 2 The *k-lˤeng (jing, "classic") appellation would not have been used until after the Han dynasty, after the core Old Chinese period.
  2. The word tuàn () refers to a four-legged animal similar to a pig. This is believed to be a gloss for "decision," duàn (). The modern word for a hexagram statement is guàcí (卦辭). Knechtges (2014), pp. 1881
  3. Referred to as yao () in the Zuo zhuan. Nielsen (2003), pp. 24, 290
  4. The received text was rearranged by Zhu Xi. (Nielsen 2003, p. 258)

Related Research Articles

Chinese classic texts or canonical texts or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confucian tradition, themselves a customary abridgment of the "Thirteen Classics". All of these pre-Qin texts were written in classical Chinese. All three canons are collectively known as the classics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zhu Xi</span> Chinese historian, philosopher, poet and politician (1130–1200)

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<i>Book of Documents</i> One of the Five Classics of ancient Chinese literature

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">I Ching's influence</span>

As an important component of Chinese traditional culture, the I Ching's influence throughout history has been profound. The I Ching, or Classic of Changes, which dates from over 3,000 years ago, is believed to be one of the world's oldest books. The two major branches of Chinese philosophy, Confucianism and Taoism have common roots in the I Ching.

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Jiaoshi Yilin (Chinese: 焦氏易林; pinyin: Jiāo shì Yì lín; lit. 'Forest of Changes of the Jiao Clan' is a Chinese book of divination composed during the Western Han Dynasty. Modeled on the I Ching, the work was attributed to Jiao Yanshou, courtesy name Jiao Gan焦贛, who came from Liang 梁 and was a tutor in the household of the Prince of Liang. He was a scholar and official, reaching the rank of district magistrate in Xiao Huang 小黃. He was a student of the great Yi Jing scholar Meng Xi 孟喜 and passed on the traditions of his school to Jing Fang 京房. However, some scholars suspect that the book was composed later, perhaps in the late Western Han, perhaps even somewhat later. I am inclined to agree with those who attribute the book to Cui Zhuan, a scholar and official who was active in the time of the Wang Mang interregnum. Many of the verses seem oriented to the use of traveling merchants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kaicheng Stone Classics</span> Group of early Chinese classic works

The Kaicheng Stone Classics (開成石經) or Tang Stone Classics are a group of twelve early Chinese classic works carved on the orders of Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty in 833–837 as a reference document for scholars. The works recorded are:

The Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial is a Chinese classic text about Zhou dynasty social behavior and ceremonial ritual as it was practiced and understood during the Spring and Autumn period. The Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial, along with the Rites of Zhou and the Book of Rites, formed the "Three Rites" which guided traditional Confucian understandings of propriety and behavior.

The text Tài Xuán Jīng is a guide for divination composed by the Confucian writer Yang Xiong. The first draft of this work was completed in 2 BCE. During the Jin dynasty, an otherwise unknown person named Fan Wang salvaged the text and wrote a commentary on it, from which our text survives today.

The history ofTaoism stretches throughout Chinese history. Originating in prehistoric China, it has exerted a powerful influence over Chinese culture throughout the ages. Taoism evolved in response to changing times, with its doctrine and associated practices being revised and refined. The acceptance of Taoism by the ruling class has waxed and waned, alternately enjoying periods of favor and rejection. Most recently, Taoism has emerged from a period of suppression and is undergoing a revival in China.

Edward Louis Shaughnessy is an American Sinologist, scholar, and educator, known for his studies of early Chinese history, particularly the Zhou dynasty, and his studies of the Classic of Changes.

The Thirteen Classics is a term for the group of thirteen classics of Confucian tradition that became the basis for the Imperial Examinations during the Song dynasty and have shaped much of East Asian culture and thought. It includes all of the Four Books and Five Classics but organizes them differently and includes the Classic of Filial Piety and Erya.

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The Yu Gong or Tribute of Yu is a chapter of the Book of Xia (夏書/夏书) section of the Book of Documents, one of the Five Classics of ancient Chinese literature. The chapter describes the legendary Yu the Great and the provinces of his time. Most modern scholars believe it was written in the fifth century BCE or later.

Shuanggudui is an archeological site located near Fuyang in China's Anhui province. Shuanggudui grave no. 1, which belongs to Xiahou Zao (夏侯灶), the second marquis of Ruyin (汝陰侯), was sealed in 165 BCE in the early Han dynasty. Excavated in 1977, it was found to contain a large number of texts written on bamboo strips, including fragments of the Classic of Poetry and the Songs of the South, a text on breathing exercises, a "year table" (年表) recounting historical events, a manual on dogs, a version of the I Ching (Yijing) that differs from the received one, and artifacts including the oldest known cosmic board, a divinatory instrument. Like Mawangdui and Guodian, two other tombs from the area of the old state of Chu, the Shuanggudui find has shed great light on the culture and practices of the early Han dynasty.

Wen Wang Gua is a method of interpreting the results of I Ching divination that was first described in writing by Jing Fang in Han dynasty China. It is based on correlating trigrams to the Celestial Stems and Earthly Branches of the Chinese calendar, and then using the stem and branch elements to interpret the lines of the trigrams and hexagrams of the I Ching. The method is popular in South East Asia. It is known by various names: refers to the fact that it interprets the meaning of six symbols; the Najia method, indicates its logic of elemental values derived from the Chinese calendar; Wu Xing Yi ; or Wen Wang Ke.

The Yi Zhou Shu is a compendium of Chinese historical documents about the Western Zhou period. Its textual history began with a text/compendium known as the Zhou Shu, which was possibly not differentiated from the corpus of the same name in the extant Book of Documents. Western Han dynasty editors listed 70 chapters of YZS, of which 59 are extant as texts, and the rest only as chapter titles. Such condition is described for the first time by Wang Shihan (王士漢) in 1669. Circulation ways of the individual chapters before that point are subject to scholarly debates.

Guicang is a divination text dating to the Zhou dynasty, which was once used in place of the I Ching. The text of Guicang was rediscovered in a rural bog in 1993; it had been lost for roughly two thousand years.



  1. Kern (2010), p. 17.
  2. Redmond 2021; Adler 2022, chs. 1,6,7.
  3. Smith 2012, p. 22; Nelson 2011, p. 377; Hon 2005, p. 2; Shaughnessy 1983, p. 105; Raphals 2013, p. 337; Nylan 2001, p. 220; Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 37; Rutt 1996, p. 26.
  4. Nylan (2001), p. 218.
  5. Shaughnessy 1983, p. 219; Rutt 1996, pp. 32–33; Smith 2012, p. 22; Knechtges 2014, p. 1885.
  6. Shaughnessy 2014, p. 282; Smith 2012, p. 22.
  7. Rutt 1996, p. 26-7; Redmond & Hon 2014, pp. 106–9; Shchutskii 1979, p. 98.
  8. Knechtges (2014), p. 1877.
  9. Shaughnessy 1983, p. 106; Schuessler 2007, p. 566; Nylan 2001, pp. 229–230.
  10. Shaughnessy (1999), p. 295.
  11. Redmond & Hon (2014), pp. 54–5.
  12. Shaughnessy (2014), p. 144.
  13. Nielsen (2003), p. 7.
  14. Nielsen 2003, p. 249; Shchutskii 1979, p. 133.
  15. Rutt (1996), pp. 122–5.
  16. Rutt 1996, pp. 126, 187–8; Shchutskii 1979, pp. 65–6; Shaughnessy 2014, pp. 30–35; Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 128.
  17. Shaughnessy (2014), pp. 2–3.
  18. Rutt 1996, p. 118; Shaughnessy 1983, p. 123.
  19. Knechtges (2014), p. 1879.
  20. Rutt (1996), pp. 129–30.
  21. Rutt (1996), p. 131.
  22. Knechtges (2014), pp. 1880–1.
  23. Shaughnessy (2014), p. 14.
  24. Smith (2012), p. 39.
  25. 1 2 Smith (2008), p. 27.
  26. Raphals (2013), p. 129.
  27. Rutt (1996), p. 173.
  28. Smith 2012, p. 43; Raphals 2013, p. 336.
  29. Raphals (2013), pp. 203–212.
  30. Smith 2008, p. 27; Raphals 2013, p. 167.
  31. Redmond & Hon (2014), pp. 257.
  32. Shaughnessy 1983, p. 97; Rutt 1996, p. 154-5; Smith 2008, p. 26.
  33. Smith (2008), p. 31-2.
  34. Raphals (2013), p. 337.
  35. Nielsen 2003, pp. 48–51; Knechtges 2014, p. 1889.
  36. Shaughnessy 2014, passim; Smith 2008, pp. 48–50.
  37. Rutt (1996), p. 39.
  38. Shaughnessy 2014, p. 284; Smith 2008, pp. 31–48.
  39. Smith (2012), p. 48.
  40. Nylan (2001), p. 229.
  41. Nielsen (2003), p. 260.
  42. Smith (2008), p. 48.
  43. Knechtges (2014), p. 1882.
  44. Redmond & Hon (2014), pp. 151–2.
  45. Nylan (2001), p. 221.
  46. Nylan (2001), pp. 248–9.
  47. Yuasa (2008), p. 51.
  48. Peterson (1982), p. 73.
  49. Smith 2008, p. 27; Nielsen 2003, pp. 138, 211.
  50. Shchutskii 1979, p. 213; Smith 2012, p. 46.
  51. 1 2 Adler, Joseph A. (April 2017). "Zhu Xi's Commentary on the Xicizhuan 繫辭傳 (Treatise on the Appended Remarks) Appendix of the Yijing 易經 (Scripture of Change)" (PDF).
  52. Smith (2008), p. 37.
  53. Shaughnessy (2014), pp. 52–3, 16–7.
  54. Rutt (1996), pp. 114–8.
  55. Nylan (2001), pp. 204–6.
  56. Weinberger, Eliot (February 25, 2016). "What Is the I Ching?". The New York Review of Books . In China and in East Asia, it has been by far the most consulted of all books, in the belief that it can explain everything.... is surely the most popularly recognized Chinese book.
  57. Smith 2008, p. 58; Nylan 2001, p. 45; Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 159.
  58. Smith (2012), p. 76-8.
  59. Smith 2008, pp. 76–9; Knechtges 2014, p. 1889.
  60. Smith (2008), pp. 57, 67, 84–6.
  61. Knechtges (2014), p. 1891.
  62. Smith 2008, pp. 89–90, 98; Hon 2005, pp. 29–30; Knechtges 2014, p. 1890.
  63. Hon 2005, pp. 29–33; Knechtges 2014, p. 1891.
  64. Hon (2005), p. 144.
  65. Smith 2008, p. 128; Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 177.
  66. Redmond & Hon (2014), p. 227.
  67. Adler 2002, pp. v–xi; Smith 2008, p. 229; Adler 2020, pp. 9–16.
  68. Smith (2008), p. 177.
  69. Nielsen (2003), p. xvi.
  70. Ng (2000b), pp. 55–56.
  71. Ng (2000b), p. 65.
  72. Ng (2000a), p. 7, 15.
  73. Ng (2000a), pp. 22–25.
  74. Ng (2000a), pp. 28–29.
  75. Ng (2000a), pp. 38–39.
  76. Ng (2000a), pp. 143–45.
  77. Smith (2008), p. 197.
  78. Nelson 2011, p. 379; Smith 2008, p. 204.
  79. Nelson (2011), p. 381.
  80. Nelson (2011), p. 383.
  81. Smith (2008), p. 205.
  82. Redmond & Hon (2014), p. 231.
  83. Smith 2008, p. 212; Redmond & Hon 2014, pp. 205–214.
  84. Smith (2012), pp. 11, 198.
  85. Smith (2012), pp. 11, 197–198.
  86. "I Ching Methods Represented with Big Data Science" . Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  87. Knechtges (2014), pp. 1884–5.
  88. Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 122ff; Shaughnessy 2014, passim.
  89. 1 2 Shaughnessy (1993), p. 225.
  90. Shaughnessy 2014, p. 1; Redmond & Hon 2014, p. 239.
  91. Smith (2012), pp. 198–9.
  92. Redmond & Hon (2014), pp. 241–3.

Works cited

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