The Interpretation of Dreams in Chinese Culture

by ThingsAsian Booklist, Jun 4, 2003 | Destinations: China / Beijing

Title: The Interpretation of Dreams in Chinese Culture

Authors: Fang Jing Pei and Zhang Juwen

Publisher: Weatherhill (New York & Tokyo) (2000)

ISBN: 0834804379

Details: paper, 6" x 9", 159 pages, illustrations.

About the Authors: Dr. Fang Jing Pei has practiced psychiatric medicine for over 25 years and is the author of Treasures of the Chinese Scholar and Natural Remedies from the Chinese Cupboard. Zhang Juwen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in Chinese folklore.

From the back cover: Dreams analysts at the Chinese court are mentioned in historical sources dating from the second millennium B.C., while belief in portents, omens, and systems of prognostication have kept dream imagery and its interpretation very much in the mainstream of Chinese popular culture. This book, illustrated with woodblock prints from classical texts, presents an overview of the subjects of dream interpretation in traditional China and an alphabetical compilation of Chinese dream images and their meanings. Perusing them offers extraordinary insights into a dynamic culture with ancient roots, and leads us to a deeper appreciation of goals and aspirations common to humanity, as well as the differences that derive from our cultural diversity.

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Excerpt from Part Two - Dream Symbols and their Interpretations.

Crane - A dream of a crane means longevity or immortality.

The crane has traditionally symbolized longevity. It flies in the skies above the dusty world and is thus also a symbol of cleanliness and purity. As the crane is a wild bird it is always seen to be free. The ancients considered "a crane standing among chickens" as a phrase meaning that the crane has unusual ability and is not of the common world. A dream of a flying crane is a good omen, portending that the dreamer will become a high official...

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Available at

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