Monday, May 9, 2011
Wind and Water
Kato, are you salacious?
Don’t you know what it means?
I think I’ve heard of the word before. It is an adjective, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
Ummm… it means to be hard to please or something like that, I suppose.
No, it doesn’t. “Salacious” is “lustful” or “obscene”. Hu, hu, hu, hu…
So, Diane, you think I’m an obscene man, don’t you?
Diane, how come you’ve asked me such a funny and lewd question in the first place?
A friend of mine used to make a salacious joke to me.
Kato, have you ever heard of the following joke?
George W. Bush was wandering in the Arabian desert. Unfortunately, he got lost. So, he had to find a way out with his camel. Although he became hungry, his desire increased somehow. And he couldn’t control his desire. After a while, he removed his underpants and walked around his camel, which refused his salicious act by kicking him back.
George tried it the next day, but he didn’t succeed. He tried again the following day, but he failed miserably.
He almost gave up his lustful act when he saw an attractive young woman who, like himself, lost her way in the desert and wandered aimlessly.
She seemed exhausted. So, George handed her a bottle of water and several strips of jerky.
“Oh, thank you. You’re my lifesaver.”
“You’re quite welcome, lady.”
“I’m very grateful. I owe you my life. Tell me what you want me to do. I’ll do anything you want.”
“Do you really mean it?”
“Yes, of course, I do.”
Suddenly, George recovered his desire and stared at the shapely Marilyn-Monroe look-alike, who seemed to understand what George wanted, and to prepare for whatever he wanted.
“Tell me what you want me to do.”
“Well…could you hold the rear legs of my camel for me so that I’d be able to satisfy my desire?”
Wow! What a joke! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha …
Do you like it, Kato?
Yes, I do. But, Diane, did your lewd friend really crack such a salicious joke at you?
Yes, he did.
That’s not nice. You’re such a polite, good-natured, and kind-hearted lady that he should’ve behaved himself.
Oh, Kato! Do you really think so?
Yes, I do. I honestly think so.
By the way, Kato, how come you jotted down “Wind and Water” on the top of this page?
A good question, Diane! The other day, you showed me a book on feng shui.
Feng shui (風水)
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive qi(気).
Qi(気) is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as “energy flow”, and is often compared to Western notions of energeia or élan vital (vitalism), as well as the yogic notion of prana and pranayama. The literal translation of “qi” is air, breath, or gas.
The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water(風水)” in English.
Qi(気) rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water.
Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but has since seen an increase in popularity.
So, the Chinese as well as the Japanese use the same term “wind-water(風水)” as feng shui, don’t they?
Yes, that’s right. Do you know that Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, was built according to the principles of feng shui?
No, I don’t know. What principles?
Heian-kyō (平安京, “tranquility and peace capital”), a scaled replica of the then Tang(唐) capital Chang’an(長安), became the seat of Japan’s imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto (Muromachi shogunate) or in other cities such as Kamakura (Kamakura shogunate) and Edo (Tokugawa shogunate), Kyoto(京都) remained Japan’s capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Edo in 1868 at the time of the Imperial Restoration.
The Form School(形法), or Hsing Fa, of feng shui studies the relationship between forms. Originally, the discipline studied the placement of homes, villages, public buildings, and graves in relation to geographical factors such as mountains, water, soil, and ground coverage. The Form School teaches that the most divine earthly site has a dragon (low, long mountains) to the east, a tiger (tall peaks) to the west, a turtle (tall mountain) to the north and a phoenix (flat land or water) to the south.
In ancient Chinese mythology, the dragon, tiger, turtle, and phoenix were celestial animals, each associated with a specific landform. The ultimate goal of early feng shui masters was to find a valley protected by these four celestial animals, for that land was said to be a place of heaven on earth.
In feng shui, the dragon—also known as the green or blue dragon(青龍)—refers to a long, undulating mountain chain or human-made structure. The dragon represents east, spring, green, and yang.
The tiger, or white tiger(白虎), is a chain of mountains or a human-made structure that is taller than the dragon mountains, yet not as long. The tiger was at one time common in Western China, which is why it represents the west. It also symbolizes autumn, white, and yin. Interestingly, a small number of feng shui practitioners believe that the dragon mountains should be taller than the white tiger mountains.
The black or dark turtle(玄武)—a symbol of steady power in China—represents north, winter, black, and yin. While some feng shui masters claim that the height of a turtle mountain or building does not matter, other feng shui masters say the turtle’s peaks must be higher than the tiger’s.
What is now called the phoenix(朱雀) was known in ancient China as the crimson or red bird, an animal originally modeled after the common sparrow. Because of the larger amount of birds toward China’s tropical south, the phoenix represents south, as well as summer, red, and yang. This is the flattest of the landforms and need not be elevated at all. In fact, the most common phoenix forms in ancient China were a body of water such as a stream or large pond. In modern times, the phoenix can be represented by a road or lane.
So, Kyoto is surrounded by the blue dragon, the white tiger, the dark turtle, and the phoenix, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. I’ll show it in the following diagram:
Quite interesting! But I’d rather study the basic feng shui for any living space to lead a happy life, not to locate an auspicious capital city.
That’s understandable. BUt I wonder why you’re so attracted to feng shui in the first place.
A good question…Well…I’d say…love.
Oh, yes…you know, Kato, feng shui improves love.
Really?…I’ve never heard of that. Tell me, Diane, how it improves love.
Well…, feng shui interior design improve the ‘qi’ or energy of my debroom.
Oh, yes. Obviously, my bedroom serves a specific purpose.
What is it?
Love between me and my better half!
Tell me, Diane, how feng shui improves love between you and your partner.
The aim of the bedroom is usually to be the room inside the house that promotes rest, relaxation and romance.
This is meant for being an area that brings out calmness and tranquility. As a way to do that, colors play a necessary role. Loud colors are the very last thing we wish to use, because they are too much of a distraction and actually promotes restlessness. Furniture placement is also a key factor. The bed should be the main feature of a room and has to be displayed at a commanding position, which is diagonal with the door.
Wow! You’ve got a nice and loveble bedroom, Diane.
Thank you, Kato.
So, this is the bedroom where you improve love between you and your partner, isn’t it?
Oh, yes, it is.
Wow! You and your partner, eh?
Yes…hu, hu, hu, hu, …
… looks like, he loves you very much.
Oh, yes, he does.
But, tell me Diane, exactly what aspect of feng shui improves love between two of you.
Yes, that’s it! This is the technique you should utilize to optimize your bedroom, Kato.
So the above picture shows the love corner, doesn’t it?
Yes, it does. The love corner is a critical part of your bedroom. And make good use of this area to attract love or maintain a good relationship between you and your better half.
I see… thank you, Diane…I’ve learned another important thing from you.
Wow! What a beautiful and romantic bedroom it is!
I really want to have one like that.
How about you?
Feng shui is one thing; romance is another.
Well, come to think of it, I’ve never met a decent man in my life.
How come I’m always a loner?
I wish I could meet a nice gentleman at the library in my town as Kato met Diane.
Well, they say, there is a way where there is a will.
Have a nice day!
Bye bye …
■“Catherine de Medici”
■“Catherine the Great”
■ 『ちょっと変わった 新しい古代日本史』
■ 『 ○ 笑う者には福が来る ○ 』
ギリシア語では γεωμαντεία のように書きます。
でも、近年、John Michael Greer の作品などで