Taijitu  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Taijitu (rough English translation: “diagram of ultimate power”) is a term which refers to a Chinese symbol for the concept of yin and yang (Taiji). It is the universal symbol of the religion known as Taoism and is also often used by non-Taoists to represent the concept of opposites existing in harmony. The taijitu consists of a symmetrical pattern inside a circle. One common pattern has an S-shaped line that divides the circle into two equal parts of different colors. The pattern may have one or more large dots. The classic Taoist taijitu (pictured right), for example, is black and white with a black dot upon the white background, and a white dot upon the black background.

Patterns similar to the taijitu also form part of Celtic, Etruscan and Roman iconography, where they are loosely referred to as yin yang symbol by modern scholars; however no relationship between these and the Chinese symbol has been established.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Taijitu" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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