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Warring States period (戰國時代, Chinese: Zhànguó shídài, 475 – 221 B.C. )

The second half of Eastern Zhou (東周, 770 – 221 B.C.) dynasty. The Warring States period was a time of political unrest in ancient China (involving seven warring kingdoms), that ended with the unification of China in 221 B.C. under the Qin dynasty (秦朝, 221 to 206 BC). The Warring States period is historically significant for the art of calligraphy.

Recent archeological discoveries of bamboo slips (木簡, もっかん, mokkan) prove, that reisho (隷書, れいしょ, i.e. “clerical script” also known as official script) began to emerge during that period.

The earliest seal script (篆書, てんしょ, tensho) text carved in stones was 石鼓文 (せっこぶん, sekkobun, lit. “text on stone drums”). The dating of these, however, is debatable and ranges from the late Western Zhou (西周, 1046 - 771 B.C.), i.e. 8th century B.C., to the late Warring States period, i.e. the late 3rd century B.C.

The oldest intact brush ever found is over 2000 years old. It was discovered in Changsha (長沙), a capital city of Hunan Province (湖南省). Its history goes back to the Warring States Period. It was made of rabbit hairs attached to a wooden handle. Please click here to read more about the history of Chinese calligraphy.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 06:08 AM