zàng (藏)

it is a place of storage, or ‘storehouse’ (as in 庫 (kùzàng, which apparently inspired Unschuld’s translation); in Chinese medicine, the 五 (wǔzàng) refer to what Wiseman and Ye render as the ‘five viscera.’ However, both that rendition and the common ‘zàng-organs’ project a modern physical bias that distorts the classical meaning; Porkert translated the zàng () as ‘orbs’ of influence, and indeed each has particular ‘resonances’ — yìng (), which Unschuld and many others refer to as their Five Phase ‘correspondences.’ Regardless of translation, these yìng () are the specific sense organ, tissue, emotion, etc. that practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine learn are associated with each zàng ().
In Buddhism and Daoism, zàng () refers to a scripture, sutra, or canon, as in 大 (Dàzàngjīng) or 道 (Dàozàng), which is where particularly treasured teachings are recorded.
Zàng () is a government storehouse or arsenal, where important things including the means of defending oneself are stored.
zàng () is also frequently used as a shortened form of zàng (臟) — with the ‘flesh radical’ on the left, which is specifically the zàng () used in Chinese medicine to refer to the ‘vital organs’ of the heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys, where the five spirits are stored or treasured. However, I believe it’s dangerous to identify the zàng (臟) with physical/anatomical organs, because doing so shifts one into modern scientific worldview where, among other things, nouns are nouns, and they signify something material. Instead, the zàng (臟) are far better understood as ‘orbs of influence,’ as Manfred Porkert defined them many years ago.
In common language, this character is sometimes pronounced differently — cáng (藏).

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