Cangjie Creating Chinese Characters仓颉造字
Yesterday, we talked about the history of Chinese characters, today, I will introducing the legend of Chinese characters for you. About this legend, there’s many kind of statements, but the most convincing is “Cangjie made the Chinese characters.”
Huainanzi(Masters in the Kingdom of Huainan) says that it was because of the characters Cangjie made that the Heaven rained grains and the ghosts cried at night.Xunzi(Hsun Tzu) and Shijing(The book of Odes) and other ancient books also record the legend of Cangjie creating Chinese characters. By the Qin (221-206BC) and Han (206BC-220AD) dynasties, the legend had become more widespread and had more far-reaching influence.
Historians in the past once tried to prove whether there was a person named Cangjie in the history, and if there was one, when he lived, but they failed to draw a conclusion due to lack of irrefutable(无可辩驳wúkě biànbó) proofs.
Some people guessed that Cangjie was the historiographer(历史学家lìshǐ xuéjiā) of the Yellow Emperor. Xunzi thought Cangjie must have been a prehistoric(史前shǐqián) wise man who sorted out(整理zhénɡlǐ) and standardized the characters that had already been in use.
Evidently the legend of Cangjie creating Chinese characters cannot be accepted as the truth, for any script can only be a creation developed by the people to meet the needs of social life over a long period of trial and experiment. Chinese characters are a huge and complicated system, and it could only come into being after a long period of creation and development.
This is the legend of Chinese characters, though it isn’t true, it reflects the wisdom of the Chinese ancestors, they got it from labor, communicating, living and many other things. It is great of us, right?