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SpringAndAutumnPeriod

Spring and Autumn period (春秋时期, Chinese: Chūn qiū shí qī, 722 – 476 B.C.)

After the fall of Western Zhou (西周, 1046 - 771 B.C.) to a nomadic clan 犬戎 (Chinese: Quǎn Róng, lit. “Dog Rong”), China enters three hundred years of struggle of Eastern Zhou dynasty (東周, 770 - 256 B.C.) for supremacy over other feudal states (which is referred to as The Spring and Autumn period. The political unrest continued through the Warring States period (三國時代, Chinese: Sānguó shídài, 475-221 B.C.). During that time the art of calligraphy evolved greatly, nourished by the cultural diversity of various regions and their will to dominate one another. Together with the weakening of central power, separate feudal states were growing, setting up independent kingdoms, developing unique culture including their own writing styles.

The Spring and Autumn Period was also a time when highly decorative (yet rather troublesome to read) scripts were created, with animal motifs (snakes, dragons, birds, worms, fish, etc) inter-woven into the designs. The script is generally called鳥蟲篆 (ちょうちゅうてん, chōchūten, lit. “bird and worm seal script”), and it belongs to the great seal script family (大篆, だいてん, daiten), and more precisely 金文 (きんぶん, kinbun, i.e. “text on metal”). There were many various types of decorative kinbun script. Please click here to read more about the history of Chinese calligraphy.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 04:31 AM