- The Legendary Fu Xi (伏羲 , ~ 3000 BCE) - He is reputed to be the very original ancestor of all Chinese, who not only introduced fire, tools and hunting, ... etc but also retained a serpent tail in the lower half of his body. I-Ching is just one of his inventions based on the desire to understand the natural environment. He envisioned an empty cosmos in the very beginning (can be considered as 20 in binary), the sky and earth emerged from this nothingness forming the Ying/Yang (陰/陽) and the opposition of everything (hence 21, the middle circle inside the big circle in Figure 01). With the four seasons in mind, he further expanded the idea to 4 symbols (the binary now becomes 22, as shown by the second ring in Figure 01). It was not too difficult to encompass the eight directions as well (which are represented by the first ring in Figure 01, and the binary number is just 23). It is clear from the above scenario that I-Ching was conceived purely by observation of the nature.
- Emperor Zhou-Man (周文王 , ~ 1300 BCE) - He further developed the number of symbols to 64 = 26 and added meaning to each symbols. That was when divination was introduced into the I-Ching. These symbols are shown in Figure 02 in a tablet form (the numerals denote the actual sequence). He invented this system while being locked up in jail for eight years by a wicked king.
- Confucius (孔子, ~ 500 BCE) - He made further interpretation into the symbols with his own brand of moral values. Another sage in the same period actually had the wisdom to observe that "Those who know I-Ching would not do divination" (荀子：『善易者不卜』).