Tag Archives: writing


Chinese Red Ink Superstition

Informant: E, a 22-year-old Chinese-Taiwanese female who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California. Background info: E’s first language was English, but because her parents were immigrants, she quickly learned Mandarin as well. Her parents are proud of their culture, and thus they often participated… Continue Reading »

Cāng Jié and the Origin of the Chinese Writing System

[Translated from Mandarin] Back in the early years of Chinese history, a four-eyed man named Cāng Jié (倉頡) was the historiographer of the Yellow Emperor. To record things, Cāng Jié used the rope-tying method, the only form of documentation around during that time. After a while, the more Cāng Jié stared at his repetitive knots, the less… Continue Reading »

Cheng Miao and the Clerical Script

[Translated from Mandarin] The clerical script, or lìshū (隸書), is a form of Chinese calligraphy that is said to have been invented by Chéng Miǎo (程邈), who had somehow offended the emperor Qín Shǐ Huáng (秦始皇) of the Qin dynasty. Qín Shǐ Huáng threw Chéng Miǎo into prison. However, during his time in prison, Chéng Miǎo was able to simplify Chinese script. You… Continue Reading »

交換日記 — Exchange Journals

「交換」(koukann) in Japanese means exchange, and 「日記」(nikki) means journal. Together they mean exchange journal, although, in fact, it is more of a sharing journal than anything else. In Japan, girls in the later years of elementary and early years of middle school often participate in a game of sorts, where a group of about three… Continue Reading »