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Five-Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness, and Wealth

Overview

Surround yourself with lucky objects, the Chinese believe, and good fortune will come to you. In word and image, this exquisite volume-a delight to hold in the hand-explores the bounteous meanings of the five-fold symbols of happiness: luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness, and wealth. Drenched in color and lavishly illustrated from ancient and modern sources, Five-Fold Happiness interweaves both Chinese and English text. Peaches, the number eight, the imperial color of gold, a cat with one paw beckoning, or the...

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Five-Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness, and Wealth

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Overview

Surround yourself with lucky objects, the Chinese believe, and good fortune will come to you. In word and image, this exquisite volume-a delight to hold in the hand-explores the bounteous meanings of the five-fold symbols of happiness: luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness, and wealth. Drenched in color and lavishly illustrated from ancient and modern sources, Five-Fold Happiness interweaves both Chinese and English text. Peaches, the number eight, the imperial color of gold, a cat with one paw beckoning, or the dragon dance-here are some of the familiar images now revealed in their rich significance. Whether readers choose to embrace these symbols in their everyday lives or simply enjoy them on these glorious pages, Five-Fold Happiness is altogether auspicious.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Graphic designer Sung's book belongs to the relatively new class of small, sensuously crafted books meant to be pleasing to the hand and eye as well as to the mind. Her contribution to the genre takes for its subject the Chinese concepts of luck, prosperity, happiness, and wealth: she discusses each concept, as well as the varied legends that surround them, in Chinese and English; for each symbol of each concept there are pictograms, photographs, and other illustrations. Sung's distinctive way with design is evident from the delightful, brilliantly red and yellow pages. her writing is clear and engaging; her subject is too-little understood in the West. Highly recommended for all collections. -Library Journal
Library Journal
Graphic designer Sung's book belongs to the relatively new class of small, sensuously crafted books meant to be pleasing to the hand and eye as well as to the mind. Her contribution to the genre takes for its subject the Chinese concepts of luck, prosperity, happiness, and wealth: she discusses each concept, as well as the varied legends that surround them, in Chinese and English; for each symbol of each concept there are pictograms, photographs, and other illustrations. Sung's distinctive way with design is evident from the delightful, brilliantly red and yellow pages. Her writing is clear and engaging; her subject is too-little understood in the West. Highly recommended for all collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811835268
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Edition description: Hardcover Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 872,146
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Vivien Sung was born in Sydney, Australia. She now lives in San Francisco, where she works as a graphic designer. She has studied in China and travels there frequently.

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Table of Contents

Preface 8
Introduction 11
Luck
Luck character 22
God of luck 28
Bat 32
Door gods 36
Spring couplet 42
New year pictures 45
Lucky children 46
Vase 48
Gourd 50
Dragon 52
Dragon and lion dances 54
Scepter 56
Cloud 58
Windmill 60
Buddha's hand 62
Shrimp 64
Laughing mouth 65
Fortune cookie 66
Oysters 67
Prosperity
Deer 74
God of prosperity 77
Carp leaping over the dragon's gate 80
Six 82
Peony 84
Monkey 86
Three ingots 88
Rooster 89
Crab 90
Sticky rice cake 91
Longevity
One hundred long lives 104
God of longevity 106
Pine tree 112
Bamboo 116
Plum 119
Cypress 120
Crane 122
Tortoise 125
Peach 126
Queen mother of the west 130
Moon goddess 132
Goddess of longevity 134
Eight immortals 138
Fungus of immortality 142
Chrysanthemum 144
Narcissus 146
Ginseng 147
Longevity noodles 148
Longevity lock 150
Nine 152
Double happiness
Double happiness character 162
God of double happiness 167
Magpie 170
Mandarin ducks 174
Phoenix 178
Qi lin 182
Carp 184
Spider 186
Firecrackers 188
Gods of unity and harmony 191
Lotus 194
Date 196
Chestnut 197
Peanut 198
Melons and seeds 199
Pomegranate 200
Red eggs 201
Four-happiness boys 204
Wealth
Eight 214
God of wealth 220
Coins 226
Money tree 228
Tangerine 229
Gold and silver ingots 232
Dumpling 233
Red packet 234
God liu hai 238
Fish 242
Goldfish 244
Fa cai plant 246
Lettuce 248
Beckoning cat 249
Index 250
Acknowledgments 252
Biographies 255
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2002

    GREAT GIFT BUY

    I am first generation Taiwanese and started out buying the book for myself. I was so impressed with the content and detail of the writing that I bought two more copies the next day. I showed it to my father to see if the stories were accurate and it even passed my father's approval who is a skeptic on many traditional chinese translations. He couldn't even put the book down, so I just gave it to him. The next day I bought three more....and more and more. The book makes a great gift for those interested in the asian culture, especially those of us who have wondered about the meanings and stories of chinese characters, symbols, objects and traditions. Now when my friends ask me what certain chinese symbols and objects mean, I'll have an answer. I am pleased to say I can pass on this part of my history to my friends and feel confident that it is right. If it passed my father's approval than it must be pretty good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2002

    I bought 8 copies!

    I'm 2nd generation Chinese-American, and this book is like an encyclopedia to my heritage! I've bought copies for all of my 2nd generation friends. My sisters are using this book to help them teach their children about these fundamental principles of Chinese culture, which otherwise may have been forgotten. Another Chinese-American friend of mine (who grew up in Taiwan) said that she learned so much from this book; many of the Chinese idioms she heard all of her life are now explained, with great accuracy in context and origin. Even my parents (who are from China) were impressed with this book's comprehensive coverage and accuracy. It is also aesthetically striking, from the beautiful cover, to the photos and drawings on nearly every page which complements the storytelling perfectly. What an amazing compilation!

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