Correct Ying Yang
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: blort-ga
List Price: $5.00
23 Nov 2004 07:15 PST
Expires: 23 Dec 2004 07:15 PST
Question ID: 432859
Which direction does a "proper" ying-yang spin: clockwise or counter-clockwise?
Re: Correct Ying Yang
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 22 Dec 2004 16:09 PST
Hi blort, This is incredibly complex. It does indeed spin clockwise (right). And counter-clockwise (left). It is up to the artist to determine the intent of the art, and to select the proper orientation. I didn't find a site that said that EXACTLY, but they explain it nevertheless. Why Yin Yang Symbol looks like this way? http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/yinyang.htm This page explains in painful detail why the symbol "should" spin clockwise. ..."In general, the Yin Yang symbol is a Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon. It contains the cycle of Sun, four seasons, 24-Segment Chi, the foundation of the I-Ching and the Chinese calendar..." The balance of Yin and Yang (scroll down to this title) http://www.168fengshui.com/Articles/whatis.htm ..."Shown above, the image represents the true orientation of the Yang and Yin. Yang, representing heat rises on the left (or East) and reaches its peak at the top (South). Yin representing coolness descends on the right (West) and reaches its maximum at the bottom (North)..." Even sites that "SEEM" to contradict this, do not, if you read them carefully. They state the same principles, and explain the opposite orientation. The clockwise orientation relates to the celestial (heavenly), and counter-clockwise to the "terrestrial" (earthly). Example: Orientation of the yin yang symbol http://users.belgacom.net/symbolisme/orientannex2.htm Scroll down to "Orientation Choice" ...These orientation questions do not only seem complex, but are complex. We have not only to pay attention to any possible confusion between various associations, but also, within any association, to the predominance of left or right according to the celestial or terrestrial way considered..." So, as an artist, your only responsibility to the symbol, to render it in it's proper rotation... is to determine the INTENT of your art: celestial as relating to heaven, stars, etc. or --terrestrial, as relating to earthly concerns. I hope this shelps... ~~Cynthia Search Terms used at Google: "yin yang" orientation "yin yang" direction
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Re: Correct Ying Yang
From: plethora121-ga on 23 Nov 2004 10:13 PST
Paul Halsall, a professor at Fordham University has created something called the Internet History Sourcebooks Project, for use in historical research. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ One of his sourcebooks is on East Asian History: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/eastasia/eastasiasbook.html If you search for "yin-yang" on his page, there will be a link to an image of a yin-yang: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/images/yinyang.gif It spins clockwise. This was the closest to an authoritative source I could find.. ! But also, just searching for "yin-yang" on Google Images will show predominantly clockwise signs, if that helps any.
Re: Correct Ying Yang
From: blort-ga on 24 Nov 2004 01:33 PST
Yes, it is nice that the image at the link you point-to at fordham.edu spins clockwise, as does the image on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_yang But the images at Encarta.com go counter-clockwise: http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/search.aspx?q=yin+yang as do the ones at Britannica.com: http://www.britannica.com/search?query=yin+yang&ct= Even more confusing, the Korean flag's ying-yang spins counter-clockwise, but the Mongolian flag's yin-yang spins clockwise. What I'm looking-for is some definitive explanation of when or why the yin-yang should spin a particular direction. For example, if it is per the rotation of the earth in relation to the sun, this would mean it would be clockwise in the Northern hemisphere, but counter-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere (http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/yinyang.htm). OR, please find a source that explicitly states that it just doesn't matter at all and the symbol can spin either direction and that it is stated explicitly to be up to the whim of the artist. Thank you! -Blort
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