In other words, what am I missing by not analyzing the characters?

It seems that 牧 (mù) can be used in a very Chinese sense to connote a benevolent ruler, in that the term is also used for shepherd. (By this I mean to say that it seems to reflect a conception of legitimacy I've have gleaned from the Classical Novels, Three Kingdoms in particular, and the Analects, in regards to the central importance of both the conduct and the humanity of a leader.)

牧 also seems to have a connection to the number 9, in that it was used to connote a ruler of one of the 9 states dating back to the Spring and Autumn Period. But is this connection merely arbitrary? (This point is of particular interest as the inquiry relates to an entirely novel game in the same class as Chess and Go, which uses empty Sudoku as gameboards--classic Sudoku has nine regions. The intent is to use the game to commemorate an event of monumental importance in world culture in both the establishment of the new dynasty, and the explication of the Mandate of Heaven, which the game may be said to reflect, particularly in the "west", where this history is little known.)

野 (yě) appears to be simpler, connoting an uncultivated topography, but also has additional meanings related to the general populace, and even coarseness and unofficiality to the point of illicitness.

I'm looking for correction, contextualization, and instruction on these characters individually and in combination. I'm also interested to know how 牧野 alone might be interpreted differently than 牧野之戰 (Mù Yě zhī Zhàn).

  • Not sure exactly what you are asking about, since 牧野 is just a place name. It don't have any significant meaning except "grazing in the wild", which is interpreted literally. Jul 21, 2017 at 2:52
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    Very interesting. 牧野之战 is a fight that determine who will 牧 that 野.
    – sfy
    Jul 21, 2017 at 8:21
  • @jacob The game I'm mentioning involves the practical task of finding stability in a condition of chaos, which is itself a metaphor for Muye and the Mandate of Heaven. It seems to me that "grazing in the wild", finding sustenance in an uncultivated setting, is also a metaphor.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 21, 2017 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


牧野之戰 (Mù Yě zhī Zhàn) in here,"牧野" is a place name.Don't think too much.

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