What Does Ruyi Meaning In Feng Shui

What Does Ruyi Meaning In Feng Shui

The noun "ruyi" did not initially refer to the exquisite artifact we are familiar with today. Its origin can actually be traced back to a more everyday and practical item - the "back scratcher." In ancient times, people often experienced itching and discomfort on their backs, so the "back scratcher" came into existence as a tool to relieve itching. Similar to the modern "back scratcher" commonly found in our homes, it was simple yet practical, solving many of life's minor annoyances for ancient people.

However, over time, the "back scratcher" did not remain limited to its simple practical function. Through the wisdom and creativity of ancient people, it gradually evolved, not only retaining its original practical value but also incorporating auspicious and propitious meanings. People discovered that this tool originally used for itching relief could also carry more cultural significance and auspicious wishes.

Thus, in the hands of craftsmen, the "back scratcher" gradually transformed into a decorative treasure that combined practicality and artistry. Its shape became more elegant, and the materials became more precious, some even adorned with gemstones or intricately carved patterns. This type of "back scratcher" was no longer just a simple itching relief tool but became a cultural symbol representing auspiciousness and good fortune.

Eventually, the "back scratcher" evolved into what we now call "ruyi" today. This transformation not only reflects the ancient people's pursuit of beautifying and artisticizing everyday items but also demonstrates their longing for and expectations of a better life. Today, "ruyi" has become an important element in traditional Chinese culture, widely used in various handicrafts and decorations, continuing to inherit the wisdom and good wishes of ancient people.


Shape and Material of Ruyi


The shape and material of "ruyi" have undergone rich variations throughout history, summarized as follows:



Traditional Shape: Ruyi typically takes an S-shaped form, somewhat resembling the Big Dipper constellation.


Variations in Handle:

During the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, the handle of ruyi mainly exhibited a curved palm-shaped style.

By the Tang Dynasty, the handle became flat, with the top bending to form a neck, while the handle head displayed a three-petal cloud scroll style.


Special Designs:

Lingzhi-style Ruyi: This type of ruyi resembles lingzhi mushrooms.

Tianguan-style Ruyi: Also known as straight-handle ruyi, characterized by simple lines, appearing noble and dignified.

Triple-inlaid Ruyi: Refers to ruyi with gemstone inlays on the head, body, and tail respectively.



Traditional Materials: Ruyi can be made from various materials, commonly including gold, jade (such as white jade, green jade, jadeite, and ink jade), bamboo, and wood.

Other Materials: In addition to traditional materials, ruyi can also be crafted from rhinoceros horn, ivory, ceramics, as well as various gemstones like agate, coral, etc.


Decoration and Craftsmanship:

Various decorative techniques are employed, such as Chinese knot patterns like the Pan Chang knot and the bronze coin knot, not only enhancing visual effects but also enriching the cultural connotations of ruyi.

Some ruyi are also carved with dragon patterns, or jade ruyi may be inlaid with carved floral patterns made of gemstones such as jadeite, turquoise, etc., representing auspicious meanings like peaches, lingzhi mushrooms, bats, etc., symbolizing longevity and good fortune. 

In summary, the shape and material of ruyi have gradually become more diverse throughout history, not only reflecting the exquisite craftsmanship of artisans but also carrying people's good wishes and auspicious meanings.


History of Ruyi


The history of ruyi can be traced back a long time and has undergone several stages of evolution. The following is a clear summary of the history of ruyi:



Ruyi evolved from ancient scepters and back scratchers.

Initially used as a tool for itching relief, hence the name "ruyi," meaning "as one wishes."


Development and Evolution:

Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties:

The prevalent style of ruyi featured a handle with a curved palm-shaped head.

Tang Dynasty:

Ruyi evolved to have a flat body, with the top bending to form a neck, and the handle head adopting a three-petal cloud scroll style.

Ming and Qing Dynasties:

Ruyi reached its peak during this period, becoming popular due to its precious materials (such as gold, jade, bamboo, wood, etc.) and exquisite craftsmanship.

Ruyi with lingzhi mushroom motifs gained auspicious meanings of warding off evil during this period.


Symbolism of Ruyi in Buddhism 

In Buddhism, ruyi symbolizes auspiciousness, longevity, and smoothness. It is one of the Buddhist ceremonial objects and is often used as a symbol of auspiciousness. In Buddhism, ruyi is also considered a kind of ceremonial object used to help people achieve inner peace and wisdom. Specifically, the symbolism of ruyi includes the following aspects:

Auspiciousness: Ruyi is seen as a symbol of good luck, bringing auspiciousness and smoothness. In Buddhism, it is believed that ruyi can dispel evil and obstacles, bringing good luck and happiness.

Longevity: Ruyi is also considered a symbol of longevity. In Buddhism, longevity is considered a kind of blessing, and ruyi is seen as a symbol that can bring about longevity.

Smoothness in All Matters: Ruyi also symbolizes smoothness in all matters, meaning that everything can be successful. In Buddhism, it is believed that through practice and accumulation of merits, one can achieve such good luck and success.

Assisting in Practice: As a ceremonial object, ruyi can also help people in their practice. In Buddhism, practice is a long-term process that requires constantly overcoming afflictions and attachments. Ruyi is believed to help people achieve inner peace and wisdom, thereby facilitating their practice.


Symbolism of Ruyi in Feng Shui


Ruyi has multiple symbolic meanings in Feng Shui, detailed explanations of which are as follows:

As One Wishes: The term "ruyi" itself means as one wishes, implying fulfilling desires. Placing ruyi appropriately in homes or offices symbolizes the hope that everything will go smoothly and wishes will be fulfilled.

Auspiciousness and Prosperity: Ruyi is a symbol of auspiciousness, representing good fortune. In Feng Shui, it is often used as an ornament to enhance auspicious energy. People believe that by properly placing ruyi, they can attract good luck and happiness, making homes or businesses more prosperous.

Ensuring Safety: In ancient times, people made jade pendants in the shape of ruyi, which were worn by soldiers or travelers before going on expeditions, wishing them a safe and smooth journey. This traditional symbolism is still used in modern Feng Shui, where ruyi is seen as a charm that can ensure the safety of family members.

Enhancing Harmony in Relationships: Ruyi also helps enhance harmony among family members and promotes fertility. In Feng Shui, it contributes to strengthening the harmonious atmosphere within a family or team.

Boosting Career and Wealth: Business people often place ruyi ornaments in the wealth sector, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune in business. In Feng Shui, ruyi is considered a charm that can boost career and wealth.

Resolving Obstacles: Ruyi can also be used to resolve work-related obstacles and reduce conflicts and gossip. In Feng Shui, it is regarded as a charm that can transform and resolve difficulties.


In summary, ruyi holds profound symbolic meanings and rich cultural significance in Feng Shui. It is not just a decorative item but also a mysterious cultural symbol. Whether placed at home or in the office, ruyi, when appropriately positioned, can bring good luck and happiness to people's lives.



Feng Shui Schoolhouse | Why it is said "To Achieve Success, Place the Ruyi"?

What is the Feng Shui Effect of Jade Ruyi? Home Placement Smoothly_Room_Lucky_Living Room

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Featured collection