A Chinese character, also known as a Han character, is a logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi), Japanese (kanji), less frequently Korean (hanja), and formerly Vietnamese (hán tự), and other languages. Chinese characters are also known as Sino graphs, and the Chinese writing system as sinography. Chinese characters are the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world. To come to China check out the following links! Air China, China Tours.
The number of Chinese characters contained in the Kangxi dictionary is approximately 47,035, although a large number of these are rarely used variants accumulated throughout history. Studies carried out in China have shown that full literacy in the Chinese language requires knowledge of between three and four thousand characters.
According to legend, Chinese characters were invented by Cangjie (c. 2650 BC), a bureaucrat under the legendary emperor, Huangdi. The legend tells that Cangjie was hunting on Mount Yangxu (today Shanxi) when he saw a tortoise whose veins caught his curiosity. Inspired by the possibility of a logical relation of those veins, he studied the animals of the world, the landscape of the earth, and the stars in the sky, and invented a symbolic system called ‘zì` the first Chinese characters. It was said that on the day the characters were born, Chinese heard the devil mourning, and saw crops falling like rain, as it marked the beginning of the world.
The oldest Chinese inscriptions that are indisputably writing are the so-called oracle bone script. These were identified by scholars in 1899 on pieces of bone and turtle shell being sold as medicine and by 1928, the source of the oracle bones had been traced back to modern Xiaotun village at Anyang in Henan Province, where official archaeological excavations in 1928–1937 discovered 20,000 oracle bone pieces, about 1/5th of the total discovered. The inscriptions were records of the divinations performed for or by the royal Shang household. The oracle bone script is a well-developed writing system, attested from the late Shang Dynasty (1200–1050 BC). Only about 1,400 of the 2,500 known oracle bone script logographs can be identified with later Chinese characters and thus be deciphered by paleographers.
The art ofwriting Chinese characters is called Chinese calligraphy. It is usually done with ink brushes. In ancient China, Chinese calligraphy is one of the Four Arts of the Chinese Scholars. There is a minimalist set of rules of Chinese calligraphy. Every character from the Chinese scripts is built into a uniform shape by means of assigning it a geometric area in which the character must occur. Each character has a set number of brushstrokes; none must be added or taken away from the character to enhance it visually, lest the meaning be lost. Finally, strict regularity is not required, meaning the strokes may be
accentuated for dramatic effect of individual style. Calligraphy was the means
by which scholars could mark their thoughts and teachings for immortality, and
as such, represent some of the more precious treasures that can be found from
ancient China. If you want to enrich your culture you must come to China,check out the following link for additional information… China Flights.