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[Vol.25 (2016)] Regional Differences of Writing in the Warring States Period
Author : BIN Dongchoel
Date : 19.03.28
Page : 97-132
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Abstract :


This article discusses the issue of regional differences in writing style during the Warring States period (Zhanguo 戰國, 467-221BCE). Models of regional Scripts developed by Chinese scholars generally consider distinctive Scripts in terms of “the five regions,” which are the Scripts of the states of Yan 燕, Qi 齊, Chu 楚, Qin 秦 and the Three Jin晉. While these models divide Warring States writing into the five regional Scripts in terms of orthography and provenance in general, this classification does not represent a more complicated reality of the interactions among the states, especially in calligraphic Manner. In this respect, I review the models of regional Scripts developed by Chinese scholars, and then investigate stylistic differences between Warring States regions using archaeological sources to show a different picture of the reality of Warring States writing. Bronze inscriptions from Zhongshan 中山, far to the north, show a calligraphic Manner reminiscent of the Chu Manner in the south. Bird-and-insect Script, which was prevalent over a wide area of the south, appears to have spread far to the north, including the states of Jin, Qi, and Yan. While the influence of the calligraphic Manner of the south may have extended to a wide range of the north, it seems evident in the case of Chu manuscripts that Chu scribes combined an artistic exploitation of their own tradition with the influence of Western Zhou tradition from the northern China. Differences in regional norms seem to be apparent in the evidence provided by bronzes, and, therefore, might be expected to serve as a guide to understanding the evolution of ink practice in manuscripts. However, as we see the case of the Houma mengshu texts, written c. 500 BCE in a Jin brush style that was very close to brush style found in Chu c. 300 BCE., our current data of scribal practice is not sufficient for fully understanding the similarity over time and space.


Attachments : Regional Differences of Writing in the Warring States Period(BIN DOngchoel) 97-132.pdf


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