Tui bei tu

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Tui bei tu
A sample frame (Frame 3)
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaningpush back chart
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Tui bei tu (simplified Chinese: 推背图; traditional Chinese: 推背圖; pinyin: Tuī bèi tú) is a Chinese prophecy book from the 7th-century Tang dynasty. The book is known for predicting the future of China, and is written by Li Chunfeng and Yuan Tiangang (袁天罡). It has been compared to the works of famous western prophet Nostradamus.[1] Well known in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, it was long banned in the People's Republic of China under the Communist party for superstition (one of the “Four Olds”), though it has since re-appeared in street-side book stalls in the 1990s as a bestseller.[1]


The book is supposed to contain clues to China's future conveyed through a series of 60 surreal drawings, each accompanied by an equally obscure poem.[1] The title means "Back-Pushing Sketch" and comes from the last illustration.

Each poem is a prophecy, which describes a Chinese historical event that will occur in order. For example, the 36th poem should occur before the 40th poem. Poem number 60 is the last prophecy. Some sources have said that out of the 60 prophecies, 55 of them are supposed to have already been fulfilled.[2] Though just like Nostradamus's work, the interpretations largely depend on the individuals. Some scholars compared the different versions and found the book has been rewritten many times.

The most unimaginable part is the name. Characters of each name are spelled out exactly. It seems not a big deal for the techniques they used, if they wish. We cannot do the same only from star map. This precise information overwhelms all the other prophecies, past and current.[clarification needed] [3][4]

《中國預言七種》“the Seven Chinese Prophecies" 清溪散人編, 1915(民國四年) 上海 中華書局,文明書局 發行 Chunghua Books, Shanghai, 1915


During the end-of-dynasty turmoil, rebels used it to prophesize victory for their cause and thereby drum up public support.[1] As the introduction to one mainland China version of the book explained, Tui Bei Tu is a way of shaping public opinion used by feudal rulers to seize power or consolidate power. It is also similarly used by oppressed people to overthrow their rulers.[1]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Miles, James A. R. [1996] (1996). Legacy of Tiananmen: China in Disarray. University of Michigan. ISBN 0-472-08451-8
  2. ^ Alexchiu philosophy super I-Ching
  3. ^ 推背图的起源和变迁
  4. ^ 六种版本《推背图》 Archived 2010-04-19 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]