by Expat Life

by Masako Turuta (Ph.D)

Why we need Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is the most critical oriental method to be implemented at our houses, offices, gardens, hospitals, schools, factories, surroundings, city planning and burial sites. As there is a front and a back of the coin, good Feng Shui can bring abundance in all aspects of our lives. Vice versa, bad Feng Shui can demolish relationship, marriage, health, business and success, and bring many misfortunes. 

風水”(Feng Shui), the ancient Chinese mythology was also called“堪輿 (Kanyu).  Kanyu means observing heaven and earth, coming from “”(Taoism).  

There is a Chinese proverb saying that all of us need to have three lucks; “Heaven Luck”, “Earth Luck”, and “Human Luck”. The Heaven Luck means our destiny. However destiny cannot be changed so easily. For an example, we can never choose our own parents, siblings, or children. The second one is Human Luck. We need to make some effort in order to achieve our aims, goals and responsibilities in our lives. The third one, Earth Luck means applying Feng Shui (FS) into our lives, so we can live with good energy, surroundings and environment to bring good fortune. One might work very hard, but cannot get what they deserve. With implementing Feng Shui in our lives, we can achieve our goals and happiness easier.  

The name Feng Shui came from a Chinese poem in 250AD

風水”, Feng Shui in Japanese and Chinese simply means wind and water. The words are believed to have come from a famous Chinese poem in “葬書”(Zangshu), Book of Burial written by 郭璞”(Guo Pu), during the Three Kingdom period (220-280), around 250AD. Guo Pu described the law of heaven and earth emphasising the auspicious energy (Qi).

“Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water. Ancient people did not disperse this Qi, but let it flow to accumulate.  This is called Feng Shui”  

「気乗風則散 界水則止 古人聚之使不散 行之使有止 故謂之風水」 

Feng Shui, wind and water is the basic essence of Feng Shui.  

The well known Singapore Flyer (the giant observation wheel at Downtown Core) used to rotate outward from inland to the sea, later, they reversed the movement inward from the sea to inland. In Feng Shui, seawater represents abundant wealth. Therefore, the Flyer’s movement signifies bringing wealth into the country with the wind. The casino, at the Marina Bay Sands was opened in February 2010. The infinity swimming pool with on the top floor is world famous and a favourite instagram and receives strong winds. In Feng Shui, this water, brings more wealthy clients and good business to the casino situated in the basement of the building.  

The Feng Shui practice of building a palace

From ancient times, Chinese and Japanese emperors have been using Feng Shui, to sustain and bring prosperity to them and their family members, subjects, people and nations. 

“HEIJYOUKYO” (平城京), the Japanese ancient capital was built during Nara period (710-794) by Emperor Genmei who asked the Chinese Emperor Ruizong to support this project. Feng Shui masters from Chang’an, the capital of Tang (618-907) arrived for this mission. However, Feng Shui Masters made the identical difference between these two capitals on the palace location. In CHANG’AN, the Chinese Emperor’s palace was located at the back of the capital, at the North, facing South. In Feng Shui terms, the palace’s location stimulates successful business, brings harmony, happiness, sustainability, and good governance. At HEJYOKYO, the palace was located at the centre of the capital. Locating the palace at the centre means no sustainability and creates chaos.  In 794, HEIJYOKYO was abandoned, and the capital was moved to Kyoto, closing 84 years of the Nara dynasty.  

The new capital at Kyoto was named ‘HEIANKYO”(平安京). With good natural formation this capital lasted for 812 years (794-1603). At the back of the capital in the North, there are strong and tall mountains to improve longevity and deliver good governance.  At the front of the capital in the South, there is a large lake to have welcome business opportunities and income.  In the East, there is a large road with a small mountain behind, to enhance power and authority. In the West, there is a river with a small mountain behind to bring abundance in all aspects. Therefore, Kyoto still remains as the international tourist destination, and HQ of many international corporations. 

When the Japanese capital was moved to Tokyo (old name “Edo’), in 1603, Tokugawa Shogun, built “NIKKO TOSYOGUU’ (日光東照宮)at the North East of the capital to enhance luck to have plenty of good descendants to continue EDO Dynasty. At the South West of EDO, there is Mount Fuji to keep the stable authority.  In front of the EDO palace, there is Tokyo bay to accumulate and circulate abundant wealth.  Edo lasted under Major General Tokugawa and his descendants for 264 years (1603 – 18670). After the period changed from Edo, Tokyo still remains as the Japanese capital, centre for international business and the largest city in the world.  

In China, the Forbidden City was built in 1420, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  After the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) took power, the Qing Emperor and his family members, and all officials stayed in control until 1912, 544 years.  The Forbidden City’s formation was the same as the Tang Dynasty’s CHANG’AN, and Kyoto’s HEIANKYO, North as the back of the palace with tall stable mountains, South as the front of palace with plenty of water.  

Feng Shui masters

Feng Shui started to regain the popularity after successful Chinese business people started bringing in their own masters in to China to operate their business a few decades ago. 

In China it was suppressed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Most of the masters freed from China settled in different countries in different continents around the world: Canada, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, etc. Present professional masters are students of these masters, and carry their own linages. My Master Grand Master Yap Chieng Hai ‘葉清海大師匠’ originally came from Fujian Province, in the Southern part of China, but then settled in Malaysia.  

As mentioned earlier, the first ancient Feng Shui book “Book of Burial” was written by Guo Pu (AD 276 – 324). During this Kan period (BC 206 – 220), Feng Shui was extremely popular among aristocrats, and they all used masters for their residence and tombstones. Feng Shui for the residence is called “Yang Feng Shui”, and for the tomb stone is called “Ying Feng Shui”.       

It was Great Grand Master Yang Kon (AD 834-900), who used Feng Shui to help poor villagers at Guangzhou province, in the South of China. He also spread his knowledge to commoners. He was a direct disciple of Kyuu enn kann (AD 650 – 741) who acquired the knowledge from the ancient saints in the cave.   

In Japan, they started using Feng Shui services many centuries ago. Some say that ancient Japanese masters were trained by Chinese masters. Japanese Shogun, Tokugawa also used Feng Shui to build “Edo” (ancient name for Tokyo). Not only shoguns, but warriors like, Itou Masamune who used master Ryougakuin Eishin, Shimazu Yoshihisa used Yoshiaki Kawada.  Later this Feng Shui became known as “Japanese Kasou”.  

Most of Asian countries, government officials and business owners have their own Feng Shui Masters as consultants.  

Feng Shui practices of four pillar readings (八柱) 

As a Feng Shui Master, before my consultation, I always request my clients’ date of birth.  Based on their birthday, I do Four Pillar Readings to know the characteristic and luck of my clients.  

FOUR PILLARS READING is determined by the birth date. The birthday is classified into year, month, date and time with 2 Chinese characters each (year, month, day, time).  Each Chinese character has its own meanings, numbers and characteristics. By putting all these in one formula, masters can select the best day and time for certain events.   

Since ancient time in China and Japan, Emperors and court officials use auspicious time and date to select for their important events; building a new palace, moving into a new home, entering in to marriage, opening new trade with other nations, starting a war, promoting new officials. 

Feng Shui calendar 

Practitioners and followers, use the “Feng Shui Calendar”. In this calendar, there are auspicious and non auspicious things to do on each particular day. Below is the 2021 January calendar sample.  

The initials inside each date mean: 

B: Business, BB: Buying business, BL: Buying land, CH: Cut hair, CL: Cleaning, CR: Cremation, DR: Doctor, ED: Earth digging, EN: Engagement, ET: Entry, IP: Installing pillar, LD: Legal dispute, MA: Marriage, MD: Money deposit, ME: Meeting, MH: Moving house, MO: Moving, OP: Opening, PB: Placing bed, PRA: Pray to ancestors, PRG: Pray to God, RE: Renovation, RR: Repair road, SD: Sign documents, SMY: Spending money, SP: Stove placement, SN: Start new job, TR: Travel, X: Clashing date.  The initials marked in red have auspicious meaning. Full Moon in gold circle, and new moon in black circle. If you are moving in to a new house, or office, it is recommended to move in after the new moon and before the full moon.

Feng Shui’s good and bad numbers and directions

Feng Shui uses numbers of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, to determine the welfare of the individuals, business, and nation.  Generally, 1 is associated with academia, 2 sickness, 3 quarrel, 4 romance, 5 disaster, 6 power, 7 a legal dispute, 8 abundant wealth, 9 wealth. The good numbers are therefore 1,6,8,9.  

Every year, Feng Shui numbers change. In 2020, South had “sick number” 2, East had “disaster number 5”, North had a “quarrel number” 3, at the centre had a “legal dispute number’ 7. In 2021, the sickness number 2 is at North, disaster number 5 is at South East, the quarrel number 3 is at South West, legal dispute number 7 is at North West.

To encounter bad omens and enhance good luck, traditionally, there are some items to hang in certain directions. For sickness number 2: place 6 coins, disaster number 5: place wind chime, quarrel number 3: place red carpet, legal dispute number 7, place water plants in a vase.   

 This is the degree of each direction: North (337.5 – 22.5), North East (22.5 – 67.5), 

East (67.5 – 112.5), South East (112.5 – 157.5), South (157.5 – 202.5), South West (202.5 – 247.5), West (247.5 – 292.5), North West (292.5 337.5)

  1. MASAKO’s profile 

Dr. Masako graduated with BA Honours from Ravensbourne (College), London, UK.  After settling in Thailand, she obtained a M.Ed. from Assumption University, and was conferred a Ph.D. by the prestigious Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. She has been practicing Feng Shui since the early 1990s and her appointments have taken her work to Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam. Her late godfather was the renowned Feng Shui Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai who recognised her talent and encouraged her to build a profession in this ancient Chinese metaphysical practice. Based in Bangkok, Dr. Masako’s company “SSF CONSULTATION LTD” was established in February 2009 to serve her worldwide clients.  The web address is www.ssfconsultation.com.

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