Why 108?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by ElefantVerd, Nov 28, 2018.

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  1. ElefantVerd

    ElefantVerd It's not me, and it's not you.

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    Having read some chinese novels, I noted that the number 108 appears with some frequency: you have 108 maidens of destiny, 108 countries, 108 planes, 108 cultivation levels, and so on.

    Why this exact number? Why not 100, for example?
     
  2. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep The laziest and the King of Procrastination

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    Raneday, Tensoku, ElefantVerd and 7 others like this.
  3. SoulZer0

    SoulZer0 Heaven Refining

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    Because it's 100 with bonus 8.
     
  4. juniorjawz

    juniorjawz Well-Known Member

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    It's a really nice number.
    Some people forget/don't know that it's more toward the whole Eastern area in general. It has quite a wide range of cultural + religious mention of it, not just in China.
     
  5. art17

    art17 [Wandering Poet]

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    182 is better imo
     
  6. tahzib1451

    tahzib1451 Title?is it food?

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    i know u r baffled with Su Xing and the 108 Maidens of Destiny but hold your horses.... images.jpeg
     
  7. domon

    domon Well-Known Member

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    well if im not mistaken suikoden n even final fantasy also use that number...i remember seeing an acc in FF called 108 something
     
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  8. Kurotsubaki

    Kurotsubaki Reincarnation of the Seven Deadly Sins

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    One- O -Eight machinegun!

    Who still remember?
     
  9. justmehere

    justmehere Well-Known Member

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    I really love suikoden btw...

    1st and 2nd are the best imo, the rest are a bit trashy....
     
  10. Bakaturq

    Bakaturq Tell me, what do you see?

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    Because 9 is the max single number and 12 is a "whole" number in chinese. For example a day consist of 12 chinese hour (1 CN hour = 2 EN hour), 12 months in a year etc.
    So you combine the 2 to get the fullest of something

    Edit: just my own guess btw(y)
     
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  11. ElefantVerd

    ElefantVerd It's not me, and it's not you.

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    I can understan the misticism, but... why 108 countries, for example? Is that a way to say "I don't know, let's say it's a big number"?
     
  12. snorri

    snorri Well-Known Member

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    As for this novel, it's apparent because of the famous 108 brothers beside the water.
     
  13. chillo

    chillo NUF BioTerrorist

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    because 101 is too common
     
  14. Bakaturq

    Bakaturq Tell me, what do you see?

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    It's like saying that the way of 'Dao' consist of 3000 dao when in fact there are countless number of dao.
     
  15. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    But why not? If 108 is already established as a nice and neat number to use, then why wouldn't it make sense to use it in all sorts of situations. Also, bear in mind that using a precise number like 108 will make it look like the writer put more thought into it than just a vague "lots".
     
  16. ElefantVerd

    ElefantVerd It's not me, and it's not you.

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    Except that in some cases it's only a number, and could have been replaced by "lots" or "5" without any problem. Unless the MC would deal with all 108 towns/countries/kings/pricesses in any way...

    It's just "a big number" with a symbolism/superstition...
     
  17. SummerMascot

    SummerMascot Well-Known Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_Stars_of_Destiny
     
  18. tides

    tides Well-Known Member

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    iirc because of water margin
     
  19. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! It's a big number with something extra and having something extra is a good reason to use it!
     
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