Ruyi (Chinese: ??; pinyin: rúyì; Wade–Giles: ju-i; literally "as [one] wishes; as [you] wish") is a curved decorative object that is a ceremonial sceptre in Chinese Buddhism or a talisman symbolizing power and good fortune in Chinese folklore. A traditional ruyi has a long S-shaped handle and a head fashioned like a fist, cloud, or lingzhi mushroom. .... Scholars have proposed two basic theories for the origin of the ruyi, writes Kieschnick (2003:141). The former is that ruyi originated from Sanskrit anuruddha "a ceremonial scepter" used by Buddhist monks in India, who later brought it to China, transliterated as analu ??? or translated as ruyi. The latter theory is that ruyi originated as a backscratcher in early China, and was amalgamated with the Buddhist symbol of authority.
During the Later Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) and Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD), literati and nobles often held ruyi during conversations and other social occasions. It was called a tanbing ?? "conversation baton" (cf. the Native American talking stick) and was used much like zhuwei ?? "fly-whisk", which practitioners of the qingtan ?? "pure conversation" movement popularized during the Six Dynasties period (220-589 AD).