Chinese characters are a popular form of tattoo which has evolved from Chinese calligraphy.

Chinese calligraphy is an ancient art form that has been around for at least 4000 years. The Han Dynasty and the Jin Dynasty were the two times in history when Chinese writing flourished.

Chinese characters are not based on an alphabet but are based on drawings and combine shape, sound and meaning to become a type of unique block-shape character with meaning. So written Chinese is not an alphabetic language but a script of ideograms.

Legend tells that during the reign of the Yellow Emperor a man named Cangjie invented the Chinese language.

One legend claims that Cangjie saw a divine being whose face had unusual features which looked like a picture of writings. In imitation of this image, Cangjie created the earliest written characters. After that, millet rained from heaven and the spirits howled every night to lament the loss of the divine secret of writing.

Another story says that Cangjie saw the footprints of birds and animals and it was that which inspired him to create written characters.

However it came about, Chinese characters and the tattoos that are so often formed from them have their roots in history and their meaning in the divine.

%d bloggers like this: