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#90 The Number 9

Posted August 28th, 2008 by Peter · 9 Comments

In honor of the numerology post (#88), I will be featuring lucky Chinese numbers as their corresponding post numbers come up. For that reason, the ambivalent number 9 is today’s feature.

The Chinese have always viewed the world in a reciprocal fashion , which is epitomized by the overly used “yin & yang” model. The number nine falls under the “yang” category, which stands for strength and masculinity. As opposed to the number 1, which represents the starting point, the number 9 is a microcosm of Asian goodness.

Allow me to explain: “Jiu Zhuo” refers to the 9 immeasurably large states that China encompasses. The highest level of heaven is the 9th level. “Jiu Quan” refers to the 9th spring, where the afterlife is located. If you’ve ever been to a royal palace or monastery, you’ll notice that doors, windows, stairs, and other fixtures were created in the magical number or multiples of it. The gilded knobs of the Forbidden City are a great example:

The Japanese view the number in totally different light because it sounds like pain (苦 kunrei ku). They might be saying the number nine because they banged their foot on the side of a door, or when they need help.

So how does this even apply to the average person? Asians view life very diametrically. In other words, when change occurs, it is the result of a change in the opposite. For that reason, the number 9 also represents warning, or a turning point. If you ever go to China on the 9th day of the 9th month (September 9th), you’ll probably be greeted by people in the streets writing poetry and drinking wine to honor the fall. It is also a time of reflection and looking deep within and afar to remember friends and family abroad.

The number 8 represents infinity. 9, on the other hand, ranges from lucky, to pain, to distress and despair. The Japanese may not like it , but many Asian cultures have embraced the numeral for its deeper diametric meaning.

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Aug 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    As lucky or unlucky number, Chinese culture

    Nine (九 pinyin jiÇ”) is considered a good number in Chinese culture because it sounds the same as the word “longlasting” (ä¹… pinyin jiÇ”)[citation needed]. The Japanese consider 9 to be unlucky, however, because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for “pain” or “distress” (苦 kunrei ku)[citation needed]. The fear of the number nine is enneaphobia.

    Nine is strongly associated with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power. There are nine forms of the dragon, it is described in terms of nine attributes, and it has nine children It has 9a!—13 scales, 9a!—9 being yang (masculine, or bad influence) and 9a!—4 being yin (feminine, or good influence).[6] The dragon often symbolizes the Emperor, and the number nine can be found in many ornaments in the Forbidden City. The circular altar platform (Earthly Mount) of the Temple of Heaven has one circular marble plate in the center, surrounded by a ring of nine plates, then by a ring of 18 plates, and so on, for a total of nine rings, with the outermost having 81=9a!—9 plates.

  • 2 Toby // Aug 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    When giving out red pocket money to wedding couple or members of the wedding party, the dollar amount must be 9 or end in 9 like $99, $29.

  • 3 Ed // Aug 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    In Central Java, their most sacred court dance genre, called the bedhaya, has nine dancers, each symbolizing a cardinal direction (plus center), and an orifice in the human body (2 nostrils, 2 ear canals, 2 eye sockets, 1 mouth, 1 genital opening, 1 anus) where both beneficial and malevolent forces can enter. In fact, the goal of this dance is to close these orifices temporarily to release the self from base desires.

    In the most powerful version of bedhaya, the Bedhaya Ketawang (it’s so powerful that it can only be rehearsed once every 35 days – and it’s only performed on the anniversary of the Susuhunan’s [like a sultan] coronation in Solo, Central Java), if all conditions are right, the Queen of the South Seas, Nyai Ratu Loro Kidul, appears as the tenth dancer. She is the one who gave the dance as a palatial heirloom.

    So, the number 9 is a spiritually powerful number in Central Java.

  • 4 Anonymous // Sep 1, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    that’s my birthday! 09/09

  • 5 Samantha H // Nov 10, 2008 at 7:57 am

    My birthday is on 02/07

    My initials are S and H
    Which are the 19th and 8th letter.
    Which is divisble by 9(and again 2+7=9)

    My initials with my middle name is S, V, and H.
    49/9=5.444444 (5+4=9)

    I tried to tie my birth year(1990) and birth time(10:32) into it but couldn’t lol


  • 6 Anonymous // Aug 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm


  • 7 debbie // Feb 12, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    my birthday is 19/08/1980 = 9.9.9.
    very interesting.

  • 8 debbie // Feb 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    sorry i meant 18/09/1980. – 9.9.9

  • 9 juicy couture // Jan 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t find.

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