Fu His

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East Asia

Legendary Chinese emperor, thought to have ruled at the beginning of the third millennium bc. Though attributed to Fu Hsi, the pa kua, ‘eight trigrams’, used for divination were not invented till about 1000 bc. These three-lined figures, in their sixty-four combinations, form the basis of Chinese cosmological speculation, whose classical handbook is the I Ching (Book of Changes). Some representations of Fu Hsi show the ancient ruler as possessing a fish-like tail.

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