Interesting Flowers



This bone and bamboo Mahjong set of Flowers bears studying.

Some of the images are somewhat difficult to really understand but a few come readily to mind.

Ray Heaton has helped with translations of these Mahjong tiles.

"Top row with the green Chinese characters are the Four Noble Professions: 漁樵耕讀, Yu, Qiai, Geng, Dou or Fisherman, to Gather Wood (an abbreviated way of saying Woodcutter), to Plow and Read (or to Study). These represent Fisherman, Woodcutter, Farmer and Scholar.  The images on the tiles representing "tools of the trade".
You can see the fishing creel and line on tile 1, the axe in the lower left corner on tile 2, the rake on tile 3 and symbols of reading and writing on 4. What's also fun is to see other images in the background: the umbrella used to shade the fisherman on 1, the trees, twigs gathered into a bundle and birds on 2, perhaps crops (rice?) growing in the foreground and trees in the background on 3, and what appears to be a lamppost in the back and candle burning on tile 4.
"Bottom row with the red Chinese characters are 琹棋書畫, Qin, Qi, Shu, Hua; these are the Guqin or Zither, Chinese chess or Go, Calligraphy and Painting.  The last character is more like the simplified character 画.  "

These Mahjong tiles also are intriguing. Tile 1 clearly is a musical instrument, but it appears with what looks like a steaming pot on a stand with other pots behind. Tile 2 has a real teapot, mugs and part of a board for the game of Go. Tile 3 looks like an abstract desk used for calligraphy. Tile 4 is quite interesting. Clearly there is an abacus, what looks like a ruler, a building and a pennant. It is very hard to make out what is written on the pennant, but it may be all about pursuing knowledge, as this is what is associated with the work of the scholar. Note the use of the diagonal going from lower left to upper right on all four Mahjong tiles.