Bamboos

Tiles in this suit are numbered from 1- 9 and are described below. The Bamboo suit is considered the first of the three suits (the others being Circles and Wan). It is important not to confuse the Bamboo suit with the Bamboo Flower tile, these are quite different.

Bamboo is a most versatile plant that is used for a vast range of purposes. It's leaves and shoots are used for food, and it's stems can be utilized for sewing needles, writing implements, cooking utensils, furniture, for house and boat building, etc. Thus the many uses of the Bamboo plant are signified by the virtues of strength, uprightness, integrity and service.

1 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "K'ung"

The first tile of the first suit, of the three suits (the others being Circles and Wan) - it signifies primarily success. However success can lead to pride, which in turn can lead to vanity. It is symbolised by a peacock - an emblem of beauty that represents a lady, in the prime of her life, gazing in a mirror. The mirror is the symbol of the cosmos, depending on interpretation, the lady can be admiring her own reflection or contemplating her own mortality. The mirror frequently indicates a change of direction in life.

2 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Ya"

Represented by the duck - the Chinese believe that a pair of ducks remain together for life, so the symbolism of the duck is an enduring partnership and/or fidelity.

3 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Min"

Represented by the toad. To Western people the flecks on the moon's surface are regarded to be the face of the "man in the moon", the Chinese however, regard these markings to be two creatures, the hare and the toad. The hare is attributed with knowledge of the elixir of life, whereas the three-legged toad is symbolic of a long life and the unattainable. It is also associated with medicine, where it represents both sickness and cure. The major qualities represented by this tile are therefore, healing and over-ambition.

4 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Li"

Represented by the carp - a symbol of peace, inner calm and tranquillity, qualities which if practised lead to a long life. The carp signifies contemplation, freed from the cares and pressures of modern life and the rich colours of the carp signify wealth and refinement. This tile therefore signifies peace and contentment.

5 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Lien"

Symbolised by the lotus flower and representing new birth, possibly a spiritual awakening, or on a more material level, the birth of a child. It can also suggest regeneration following an experience of extreme or endured hardship, indicating that there is a need to come to terms with the present and begin life anew.

6 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Shui"

Represented by the element water and signifying communication (correspondence) or travel (particularly short frequent journeys).

7 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Kuei"

Symbolised by the tortoise, and often indicates a dissatisfaction with the length of time that is being taken to resolve an issue. The tile therefore signifies that thought is required and that progress will be achieved gradually. It is also a symbol of longevity, given the great age that a tortoise can achieve. The tortoise is one of the four great Chinese astrological constellations covering the Northern part of the sky and is therefore associated with the North Wind, Winter and Water.

8 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Chün"

Represented by a mushroom, it is a symbol of immortality and eccentricity. This is because the mushroom is a plant lacking leaves or flowers yet resembles both - this has led to it becoming interpreted as a symbol of the bizarre. The general significance that this tile portrays is the occurrence of an unexpected event the nature of which will be remarkable, curious and of lasting impression.

9 Bamboo
Chinese Character: "Liu"

Symbolised by the willow tree, it's meaning is strength through flexibility, in a word - diplomacy. This is because the willow bends to the wind during winter, survives, and once more flourishes again upright and strong in the spring.

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