QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you know anything about the Forbidden City in China. Can you comment about the feng shui?

Built during the Ming Dynasty (between 1406 and 1420), the Forbidden City is where the emperors of each dynasty ruled the country. The complex is huge — close to eight million square feet — and com- prised of 980 buildings and 9,999 rooms.

Using feng shui principles came into play in the early 1400s as the ruling emperor used every known feng shui principle because he wanted to create a place on earth that would reflect and match the divine power of the heavens above.

Many things were considered in the construction: placement, direction, symmetry, balance, elements, numbers, color and shapes, to name a few. Today I will share how the first three concepts were used in the building of the city, and how you can use them to create an energetic flow and a more powerful environment for yourself.



• The concept: Where things are placed is important, and having a mountain behind you balances the energy and adds stability and protection, preventing “enemies” from sneaking up from behind.

• The Forbidden City: Based on the above principle, an artificial mountain was built at the rear of the city, and all the doors of the pavilions were built so that the city had a mountain at its back.

• Your environment: Place an image of a mountain behind your desk or above your bed for greater stability and symbolic protection.


• The concept: Symmetry brings power. The human body is, for the most part, visually symmetrical. We have two eyes, two arms, two legs, etc. When we match our environment to our body, we operate in power.

• The Forbidden City: The principle buildings and pavilions in the city are aligned and symmetrical along a straight north to south axis, and all the major structures mirror each other.


• Your environment: Whenever you can, create symmetry in rooms or at the very least on some of your shelves. For example, place matching figurines an equal distance apart on a shelf.


• The concept: Balance around you supports balance within you.

• The Forbidden City: Every detail in the city was designed with balance in mind. Straight lines were balanced with curvy lines, points with waves, round archways with square doorways, light areas with dark areas, etc.

• Your environment: Make sure you have complementary opposites represented in your home. For example, if your sofa is boxy and square, use round throw pillows. If it is round and puffy, use square pillows. If you have a square dining table, select chairs that have a round back. If your bedroom furniture is linear, choose a flowing pattern for your bedspread.

Send your questions to alice@ Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kakaako. For more information visit,