The Origin of Chinese Characters: An Illustrated History and Word Guide

The Origin of Chinese Characters: An Illustrated History and Word Guide

The Origin of Chinese Characters: An Illustrated History and Word Guide

The Origin of Chinese Characters: An Illustrated History and Word Guide

Synopsis

Relating details of Chinese history, anthropology and culture, the author shows how their writing system evolved from early pictograms into the more calligraphic symbols we see today. Copious illustrations of archaeological artifacts and scenes from ancient life give the cultural context. Used in East Asia for over 2000 years, the Hanzi (set of Chinese characters) is beautiful in typography and from an artistic perspective. Today's Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese character sets all originated here. However, due to historical and cultural changes, few people remember and recognize the original meanings of the characters. Therefore, it essentially required the skills of a talented code-breaker to discern the etymology and history behind them. An enthusiastic educator and a highly esteemed scholar in Chinese calligraphy, Kihoon Lee presents groups of words together with glimpses of early life, using the characters as a way to explore Asian traditions and concepts as well as the words to describe them. For more ambitious readers, vocabulary (with a pronunciation guide) is introduced in a friendly format and the author also provides step-by-step diagrams showing how to produce 600 words in proper Chinese calligraphy.
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