Decorative Strokes of Chinese Characters Added by Scribes on the Bamboo and Silk Manuscripts of Chu State During the Warring States Period

Yanping DENG


Allographs of Chinese characters from various state during the Warring States period can be spotted from the handwritten bamboo and silk manuscripts of Chu State unearthed over the past century. The changes in the shape and structure of characters were closely related to the scribes, who played an important role in the development and evolution of Chinese characters. One of the key features of characters written by scribes at that time was the additional decorative strokes that were not related to the tone, meaning, or distinctive trait of the characters. In the present study, common decorative strokes are categorized into three types: horizontal, vertical, and other strokes, and systematically examined for a better understanding of the evolution of Chinese characters.


Chu’s bamboo and silk manuscripts; Allographs of Chinese characters; Decorative strokes; Scribe

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