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

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

by Vivien Sung

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452139395
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 47 MB
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About 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.

Table of Contents

Luck character22
God of luck28
Door gods36
Spring couplet42
New year pictures45
Lucky children46
Dragon and lion dances54
Buddha's hand62
Laughing mouth65
Fortune cookie66
God of prosperity77
Carp leaping over the dragon's gate80
Three ingots88
Sticky rice cake91
One hundred long lives104
God of longevity106
Pine tree112
Queen mother of the west130
Moon goddess132
Goddess of longevity134
Eight immortals138
Fungus of immortality142
Longevity noodles148
Longevity lock150
Double happiness
Double happiness character162
God of double happiness167
Mandarin ducks174
Qi lin182
Gods of unity and harmony191
Melons and seeds199
Red eggs201
Four-happiness boys204
God of wealth220
Money tree228
Gold and silver ingots232
Red packet234
God liu hai238
Fa cai plant246
Beckoning cat249

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Five-Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness, and Wealth 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Five-fold happiness is a wonderful little book that suffers from its clumsy sub-sized coffee table format that makes reading the book uncomfortable. The book's strengths reveal themselves in browsing, any way. The five Chinese concepts of happiness are: Luck, prosperity (actually: eminence), longevity (health), happiness (marital bliss) and wealth. Compared to the Lockean life, liberty and property and Jefferson's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness one can detect different relations toward government. Similar to the etatist French and Austrians, the Chinese seek liberty only within a government framework not liberty from government. The Austrian quip of defining Professor as a wide-spread Viennese first name, the Chinese display a penchant for rank and external validation (see also the Roman ideal of the vir clarus). The atrocious history of Chinese famines might explain the importance of longevity. The Confucian hierarchy also means that only the old are truly allowed to fool around. The quest for longevity is thus also seen as a reward for a life of toil in the service of others. Absent both from the Chinese and Anglo-American concepts is the idea of solidarity that goes beyond the family clan level: Neither equality and solidarity reach the pantheon of values. The Chinese concepts are surprisingly individualistic, with the benefits accruing to the individual and his/her family. How the Communist ideas of fraternity fit into these concepts isn't apparent. In the current Vienna exhibition about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, much of the resentment presented was directed towards the rich/educated blocking the masses from advancement.Vivien Sung presents her five concepts with auspicious objects. A surprising number of associations are based on homophones: Sound forms its meaning. Food, animals, objects and color display a very concrete and also ancient manifestation of these concepts (in contrast to more cerebral appeals to ideas), a rich enchanting collection of symbols. The book lacks a further reading section. A companion volume on Chinese negative values and dreads might be less marketable but would be equally interesting.
jasonli on LibraryThing 21 days ago
"Five-Fold Happiness" is a comprehensive guide to symbols from traditional Chinese culture, particularly those that fall under the five tenets of "luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness, and wealth." The book is beautifully designed, bilingual throughout, and well-researched.The book can be read in any order -- 1-2 pages are devoted to each symbol (examples of symbols include the lotus and the god of double happiness), and these are grouped accordingly under the five tenets listed above. Unfortunately, this format is also its downfall: It's hard to really learn about these symbols by just reading about them one by one. Thus, the book is a great reference but remains only a pretty good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!