"Design by Numbers" History Tip by Willettsworld

History, Beijing: 8 reviews and 9 photos


The harmonious principle of yin and yang is the key to Chinese design. As odd numbers represent yang (the preferred masculine element associated with the emperor), the numbers three, five, seven, and the ultimate odd number - nine, recur in architectural details. It is said that the Forbidden City has 9,999 rooms and, as nine times nine is especially fortunate, the doors for imperial use usually contain 81 brass studs.

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  • Written Aug 8, 2009
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