Tui bei tu
|Tui bei tu|
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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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
During the end-of-dynasty turmoil, rebels used it to prophesize victory for their cause and thereby drum up public support. 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.
In popular culture
|Chinese Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Taiwan Sina book scan images with poem - words are in classic vertical alignment
- Chinese prophecy research group (Traditional Chinese)
- Alexchiu philosophy super I-Ching (English)
- Hinet (Traditional Chinese)
- Cs.columbia.edu (Simplified Chinese)
- Jilm (Simplified Chinese)
- Mmkey (Simplified Chinese)
- An interpretation of the Tui Bei Tu and related prophecies