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The Eight Trigrams and Their Changes: An Inquiry into Japanese Early Modern Divination

Abstract : In this article I will study a peculiar divination method involving the eight trigrams known as hakke that, I will attempt to show, was among the most popular techniques used in Japan from the end of the sixteenth to the end of the eighteenth century. My goal here is to show how this mantic knowledge was passed on through a specific kind of manual while undergoing several transformations. These changes, far from being coincidental, may be linked to the inner evolutions of Japanese society and culture during the Edo period. Therefore such an inquiry should help us to gain a better understanding of the reciprocal informing relationship between mantic knowledge (correlative thinking) and people's general expectations and/or mentality. I will first present the nature of hakke-uranai, before tracking down how and by whom it was used. Finally, I will detail how its inner structure relates to the way the clients of the diviners were viewing fate, time, daily life, and the world.
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Contributor : Matthias Hayek <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 15, 2012 - 10:43:41 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:56:22 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00741720, version 1


Matthias Hayek. The Eight Trigrams and Their Changes: An Inquiry into Japanese Early Modern Divination. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nagoya, 2011, 38 (2), pp.329-368. ⟨halshs-00741720⟩



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