Chinese Corner

All Stick and No Carrot

How the ancients wrote (and enforced) “learning” – by Ash Henson

In the late 90s, there was a band out of Beijing called Cold-Blooded Animals that played a type of grunge music with Chinese characteristics. One of my favorite lyrics of theirs was, “No matter where you go, you can’t escape your own mind.” How true. In the same way, Chinese characters are also a product of a given cultural environment and a given mindset – an ancient Chinese hive-mind, if you will. As such, we can expect to see this reflected in the products of this culture. To put it more plainly, we can learn something about how the early Chinese viewed their world by studying the characters that they created.

 

Chinese Corner

A Horse Is a Horse… of Course?

Chinese characters aren’t pictographs (anymore) – by Ash Henson

From my earliest memories, I’ve always been fascinated by things foreign, and upon first glance, Chinese writing looked really, really foreign. Chinese characters have always held a certain mystique. They are the subject of mountains of misinformation, originating both from the Chinese themselves and from everyone else. Starting with this post, I will be guiding you through the entrancing and enraging word of Chinese characters.