Dedicated to Sudhana Kumāra (a.k.a. Sun Chai), an acolyte of Kwun Yam (a.k.a. Avalokitasvara), it is therefore highly likely that the printing blocks come from a temple at which Kwun Yam was venerated.

LOCATION

Inverell Pioneer Village

Fortune-paper printing blocks (IMG_6594, 16.4.21)
The same three blocks in IMG_6594, turned over (IMG_6595, 16.4.21)
Inverell Pioneer Village - Fortune-paper printing block "No. 81"
One of the three blocks shown above, Fortune-paper printing block “No. 81” – at Inverell Pioneer Village (IMG_6596 flipped horizontally, 16.4.21)

TRANSCRIPTIONS AND TRANSLATIONS

Verso inscriptions in top photograph (left to right)

第壹

First

第陸

Sixth

第捌拾壹

Eighty-first

Upper inscription on each fortune-paper template

善財童子靈籤

[Efficacious] Sudhana Kumāra Chim Sticks.

WHERE WERE THESE OBJECTS USED?

The answer to this question is not known. Sudhana Kumāra is a Buddhist deity who is an acolyte of Kwun Yam (a.k.a. Avalokitasvara), the Chinese goddess of mercy; it is therefore highly likely that the printing blocks come from a temple at which Kwun Yam was venerated.

NOTES

“Chim sticks”: The translation “fortune sticks” is more common than “chim sticks”, but as can be seen from the “Prescription printing block”, such sticks do not always relate to fortune papers.

Verso inscriptions: Each of the five templates on each block is sequentially numbered, with the lowest numbered fortune paper appearing at right when printed. The ordinal number neatly inscribed on the verso of each printing block reflects the number of the first fortune-paper template on it. The printing blocks labelled “No. 1” and “No. 6” are thus presumably the first and second blocks within the set, while the block labelled “No. 81” is presumably the sixteenth block within the set.

RELATED OBJECTS

See also Sudhana Kumāra plaque and “Kwun Yam Den” altar censer

This is a continually evolving website, and more information about this object will be published as further research is conducted.