Uses of the Five Elements in East Asia



In the cultural history of East Asia, where precedent has been the leitmotif, the influence of classical thought has been profound and extensive. This article will suggest (not circumscribe) the social, religious, political, and historical implications of one classical Chinese theory known as Wu-hsing, usually translated as The Five Elements. Upon this theory, in close association with the so-called Yin-Yang theory, the whole scheme of Chinese philosophy is based.

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