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By Heinrich Robert Zimmer

This publication translates for the Western brain the major motifs of India's legend, fantasy, and folklore, taken without delay from the Sanskrit, and illustrated with seventy plates of Indian artwork. it truly is basically an creation to image-thinking and picture-reading in Indian artwork and idea, and it seeks to make the profound Hindu and Buddhist intuitions of the riddles of existence and dying recognizable now not simply as Oriental yet as common parts.

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Additional info for Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization (THE BOLLINGEN SERIES)

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DO ¯ YIN-YANG, MANDALA AND ONYO The three systems which I describe in this section are all binary. Yinyang is the basic symbolism of such systems in the traditional culture. The meaning is simply that the two component elements, known in Japanese as in and y ) , 5 are, according to circumstances, both complementary and in opposition to each other. In-y) is essentially a principle of order born out of a time when the universe was in a state Alternative number systems 35 of primordial chaos. At this first stage, the universe may be seen as simply uch*, or a cosmos with ten thousand (ban) different images (sh)), represented by the expression shinra-bansh), which evokes all the different forms of life to be found in the luxurious growth (shinra) of a forest.

Having said all this, there are still special rules for using the autochthonous Japanese numerals (which have not been introduced) in forms which count up to four people and up to ten days, or sometimes more. Japanese, therefore, makes explicit the logical priority of ‘seven apples’ (or seven of anything else) over the number 7. 26 The abacus therefore represents the sum 7+11 as 7 beads added to 11 beads, and indeed abacus calculation is simply known as shu-zan, meaning ‘bead calculation’. The secret of success is to be found in the use of a place-value system for ordering the beads so as to represent any number occurring, for the written form of numerals, being ordered according to a different system, cannot be used directly for calculation.

These autochthonous numbers, in their modern form, are: hitotsu futatsu mittsu yottsu itsutsu 1 2 3 4 5 muttsu nanatsu yattsu kokonotsu to¯ 6 7 8 9 10 The remaining numbers in old Japanese are no longer used, except occasionally in proper names (which can then be difficult to decipher)39 and in one or two common forms, such as yaoya—literally ‘eight-hundred-shop’—for a 24 The Japanese numbers game greengrocer. Before looking at the actual use of the numbers up to ten, which one hears in everyday conversation (and particularly in counting up to ten), it is worth noting how, by a vowel shift, hitotsu (1) becomes futatsu (2), mittsu (3) becomes muttsu (6), yottsu (4) becomes yattsu (8), and rather less obviously, itsutsu (5) becomes t) (10), the derivative form being in each case twice the original form.

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