Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (212) Winter - 冬

The shell bone script of character Winter is


which is a two knotted rope. Chinese used to knot rope to record things happened. Two knotted rope means end of something, including end of a year. Chinese believed that the year starts in spring, and end in winter.


Its bronze script is

which is similar to the shell bone script.

Its small seal script is


which changed dramatically. The top is a rope crossing a line as knots, the bottom is Ice, which is only exist in winter when people go to river to cut the ice and transport them back in the underground storage to keep the food for long time.


Its clerical script is
which changed again from small seal script, especially the top, the bottom became two big dots.

Its Pinyin is Dong1.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (211) Autumn - 秋

The shell bone script of character Autumn is


which is a picture of cricket which are seen everywhere in autumn.

There is another shell bone script of Autumn


which is a cricket in a hole, which means that the weather is getting cold, cricket is back to hole for winter.

The big seal script of the character is 

on the left is Rice plant, on the right is Fire, totally different from the shell bone script.

Why it changed so big? The Pictography Dictionary explains that people miswrote the Rice as cricket   + Fire. I disagree. I think that people just created the character from different description of the autumn: the Rice plant means that it is the harvesting season, the Fire means that it is a red season (red looks like fire). The fruits are red, the leaves are red, the clouds are red, and more are red in autumn.

The small seal script of the character is

similar to big seal script except the Fire on left and the Rice on right, exchanged position.

The clerical script of the character is 
similar to big seal script 

The song typeface of the character is 


Its pinyin is Qiu1.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (210) Summer - 夏

The shell bone script of character Summer is


The left part is a bare foot person, the right part is a hoe. Summer is the season when people are busy on the field.


The bronze script is

The middle top is a head of person, middle right is a hand, middle left means divination, the bottom one is an ancient plough, the bottom left is a knife, which means that people have to predict the weather by divination, then use plough and knife to work in the summer.


The small seal script is

The top is the head, and two hands in the middle sides, and the bottom is a foot. Summer people are busy with their hands and feet.

The clerical script is

We still see the head, and foot, but no hands.

The song typeface for the character is


Its Pinyin is Xia4.


Amazing Chinese Characters (209) Spring - 春

The shell bone script for character Spring is


There are two character Wood


 on the top,  another on right.

The left bottom one

is character Sun.

The middle part means seedling.


Spring is the time the trees and plants are seedling under the sun.

The big seal script for character Spring is


on the top is grass.

The middle one is seedling, and the right bottom one is the sun.


The small seal script for the character Spring is


similar to the big seal script except the sun is on left bottom now.

The clerical script for the character is

Big change except the bottom "Sun", difficult to see the similarity of it to the old scripts.

The song typeface for the character is


Its pinyin is Chun1.


Amazing Chinese Characters (208) Ice - 冰

The bronze script of character Ice is


which means half-wave. We know that the water wave is repeating the above to describe the continuing water flow. So half-wave means that the water flow stops, no continuing, which is frozen ice.

The bronze script of the character is

The left part is character Water, the right part is half-wave, which means water is frozen to be ice.

The two big dots on the right may be an ice cubes because Chinese cut the ice to cubes and carry them home by horse, which could be stored in basement or a cave to keep food cold in summer.



The big seal script of the character is

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of Ice is


now, the left is half-wave, and right part is Water.

The clerical script of Ice is


the left two dots is half-wave, and the right part is Water.

The song typeface for character Ice is


The pinyin for the character is Bing1.