Tang Sancai, the trio-colored glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty, has three basic colors, yellow, brown and green, thus being called Sancai, which means “three colors” in Chinese. Colorful as it is, the three basic colors of red, green and white are distinct. So Sancai refer to the natural color of the pottery.
As the development of archeology, many Tang Saicai of other colors appeared, the three basic colors being far exceeded. Some believe that “San”, namely “three” in Chinese, refer to a general idea of “many”, especially in ancient Chinese, frequently, without stress on a specific number. Therefore the “San” of “Tang Sancai” means “many” instead of “three”.