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Volume 4 takes one though the process of designing a pack of composite Tarot-Mahjong cards based on a synthesis of the Five Elements of ancient China and ancient Greece and drawing on the legacy of Ming Dynasty playing cards, Mahjong and Japanese Flower Cards. Numbered sequences of asterisms, constellations, planets, moons, elements and signs of the zodiac of both Eastern and Western origins are presented in Volume 5 where a total of over 1000 images are displayed. How they can be integrated and intertwined to create a fascinating mythical and astrological structure is then explained in this volume. Tables are designed to show how the Chinese Five Elements are related to the five Chinese directions East, South, Centre, West and North, to the five planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn and to the Roman days named after them. Further relationships with the five Tarot suits of Swords, Batons, Coins, Cups and Major Arcana are then shown. There is an analysis of the invention of paper in ancient China which led to the printing of the world’s first bank note in 1023 AD by the Northern Song Dynasty. Then it is explained how different denominations of money evolved into four monetary suits in playing cards. It is postulated that four-suited card games were transmitted to Europe in the 1300s by Italian merchants along the Silk Road. It is argued that court cards or honor cards in European card games had their origin in the images of heroes from the rebellion of Song Jiang and his band of 36 outlaws against the government of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Similarities in the suits of Tarot and the four suits of ancient Chinese money cards are further evidence of transmission. The story goes on to show how one of the four Chinese suits was discarded leaving Mahjong and modern Chinese cards with only three suits. I have then drawn up a list of ten requirements for designing a composite pack of Tarot/ Mahjong cards. Then a table of five columns shows the five newly designed Tarot/Mahjong suits. Each of the cards is explained in some detail with historical backgrounds to the images. For example, in an explanation of Card 10 of the suit of Swords, China’s first female military commander Fu Hao (died c. 1200 BC) is presented and an account given of how she gained control of the Shang Dynasty army. The suit of Cups related to the element Water has cards showing China’s ancient mariners with short biographies and known facts about them. Similar information is given in suits devoted to China’s ancient Silk Road merchants, Robin Hood style rebels and ancient philosophers. The alchemist Wei Bo Yang (100-170 AD) takes the place of the Magician in the Major Arcana with a short biography. Then there is a lot of information on Cai Shen the God of Wealth, the Five Auspicious animals and the Eight Immortals. History and legends then tell of the Seven Chinese Luminaries including the Moon goddess Chang E and her husband Hou Yi who shot down 9 of the 10 suns. The 28 Chinese Lunar Mansions and the 24 Solar Terms are presented in some detail and related to the 12 signs of the Western Zodiac and the 48 Japanese Flower Cards. Then the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches are woven into the fabric producing the 60 Year Cycle. I have constructed a table which accurately converts the Traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar to Gregorian years from 1804 to 2044 allowing readers to find which of the 12 animals governs the year of their birth, their children’s birth or even their grandparents’ birth. Another table aligns Chinese Northern Dipper stars with the Five Elements for fortune telling in marriage from 1924 to 2044. Finally Yin and Yang together with the 8 Trigrams, 9 Northern Dipper stars, 6 Southern Dipper stars and the 9 Sons of the Dragon are given a detailed analysis. At the back of the book 37 color pages show tiles of early 20th Century Mahjong, traditional Chinese playing cards and 6 strange animals from the 28 Lunar Mansions.
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John Oxenham Goodman was born in Australia. As a young man he studied Spanish and German and then travelled extensively in Western Europe. On returning to Australia he found employment in the Australian National University Library where he came in contact with many Asian people who worked in or frequented the university’s Oriental Library. He developed an interest in Chinese and Japanese civilizations and in 1969 enrolled in the Asian Studies Faculty hoping to learn Asian languages and teach them in Australian schools. He first studied Indonesian and Japanese as Chinese was then rarely taught in Australian schools. Eventually, in early 1973 he undertook an intensive course in spoken Chinese at the University of Canberra and then studied Classical Chinese at the National University where he began to learn the Three Character Classic (San Zi Jing) and read parts of the Analects (Lun Yu) of Confucius. He finished his Indonesian major and studied Javanese and Arabic for one year. Later he completed graduate diplomas in Education and Librarianship and went on to major in Japanese language at the University of New South Wales. Much later he studied the Teaching of English as a Second Language at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney. He worked in the University of Sydney Library in the 1980s and later taught Japanese and Indonesian in Australian secondary schools, finally teaching English to foreign students who came mainly from China. He attended art classes at TAFE (Technical and Further Education) College in Sydney thus enhancing his lifelong interest in art and photography. After retiring in 2010 he lived in China visiting museums and temples (Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian) all over the country and this inspired him to write this book.
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