MAKE: points to a new electro-fashion item: shirts that display randomly-generated I-Ching Hexagrams from the Book of Changes. Those who've read Philip K. Dick's classic alternate-history novel The Man in the High Castle know that the I-Ching makes many appearances there: it takes place partly in California after the States lost World War II, and the West Coast has become a colony of Japan. Many of the characters are obsessed with trying to see the future by interpreting hexagrams they've thrown. The inventors of the Hexagram shirt say they're directly inspired by Dick.

They write:

The Hexagram shirt was inspired by and conceived to fit into the dystopic universe of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, a novel depicting what the world would have been like during the 1960s, had the Axis won WWII.

In the book, the U.S. west coast is a colony of Japan, whose rule and influence has permeated and dominated Californian society for years. The Book of Changes has become the mainstream method, for Japanese and Californian people alike, to take important decisions in life.

Whenever someone has a choice to make, that person takes out three little coins that are shaken and tossed on a surface several times, the resulting heads and tails data is then translated into one of the 64 hexagrams that comprise the Book of Changes.


Who doesn't love a nice dystopian shirt? You can see video of the shirts in action on the inventors' Web site. Zazaiza's Hexagram Shirt [MAKE]