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Josho (女書, じょしょ; Chinese: nǔ shū)

Until the discovery of josho in 1983 everyone was convinced that the Chinese writing system consisted exclusively of logographic ideograms, i.e. kanji. Nushu is an ancient syllabary created by the women of Jiang Yong Prefecture (江永縣), located in the southern part of Hunan Province (湖南省) in central China. It is said that there were approximately 1700 characters created. Josho characters are not of semantic nature. They bare phonetic relevance to the local Chengguan dialect (城關土話, Chinese: Chéngguān tǔhuà), which is why they cannot be acknowledged as logographic characters. In this capacity, nushu is similar to Japanese kana (仮名, かな, i.e. syllabary). To read more about nushu please click here.

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Page last modified on October 27, 2011, at 07:11 PM