In honor of the numerology post (#88), I will be featuring lucky Chinese numbers as their corresponding post numbers come up. For that reason, the ambivalent number 9 is today’s feature.
The Chinese have always viewed the world in a reciprocal fashion , which is epitomized by the overly used “yin & yang” model. The number nine falls under the “yang” category, which stands for strength and masculinity. As opposed to the number 1, which represents the starting point, the number 9 is a microcosm of Asian goodness.
Allow me to explain: “Jiu Zhuo” refers to the 9 immeasurably large states that China encompasses. The highest level of heaven is the 9th level. “Jiu Quan” refers to the 9th spring, where the afterlife is located. If you’ve ever been to a royal palace or monastery, you’ll notice that doors, windows, stairs, and other fixtures were created in the magical number or multiples of it. The gilded knobs of the Forbidden City are a great example:
The Japanese view the number in totally different light because it sounds like pain (è‹¦ kunrei ku). They might be saying the number nine because they banged their foot on the side of a door, or when they need help.
So how does this even apply to the average person? Asians view life very diametrically. In other words, when change occurs, it is the result of a change in the opposite. For that reason, the number 9 also represents warning, or a turning point. If you ever go to China on the 9th day of the 9th month (September 9th), you’ll probably be greeted by people in the streets writing poetry and drinking wine to honor the fall. It is also a time of reflection and looking deep within and afar to remember friends and family abroad.
The number 8 represents infinity. 9, on the other hand, ranges from lucky, to pain, to distress and despair. The Japanese may not like it , but many Asian cultures have embraced the numeral for its deeper diametric meaning.
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