East Asian Mythology: China and Japan


Who invented Chinese writing?

We do not have a factual answer to this question, but there is a mythological answer. The inventor of the Chinese writing characters was said to have been a culture hero, Cangjie, who had four eyes and who could write from the day of his birth. From his precise visualizations of aspects of the natural world around him, Cangjie created the pictograph signs that would become Chinese written characters. The design of feathers, the footprints of various animals—everything in nature—contributed to the characters.


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