Friday, December 2, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (118) Tiger - 虎

Tiger is the third animal in Chinese Zodiac.

The order of Chinese Zodiac:

Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit,
Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep,
Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

Even though Dragon is the most important animal in Chinese culture, but Tiger is the most loved real animal to Chinese who think that Tiger is the king of the mountain (there are no lions in China). You can see character Tiger very often in Chinese calligraphy works, and tiger in Chinese paintings.

The shell bone script of character Tiger is


which is a vertical image of tiger. The top is the head, what are the two skew lines, I think that they may be the opening mouth with teeth in the far ends.

Let's turn it 90 degree

which is the tiger we see. Because ancient Chinese wrote on bamboo slips which is narrow, so people wrote or drew the tiger vertically.


In comparison with character Dog (Post 116, and Post 123)


which is similar to Tiger but no body stripes, and big head.

The big seal script of character Tiger


Similar to shell bone script but no belly, and no stripes. 

The small seal script for Tiger is


The top is the tiger head, then bottom 刀 is the body including legs and tail, which is really too simplified to see any similarity.

Its clerical script is


not similar to old scripts, the top is the head, and the bottom 几 is the legs, belly, and tail.

The the song typeface oft Tiger is


Its pinyin is "Hu3".


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