On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, Adrian Havill wrote:
> > Even for school, there is more variance allowed than one usually
> > thinks. I have a handbook for Japanese school teachers that has
> > a page for each character, from first to sixth grade, and it's
> > amazing how many variants it lists as being acceptable.
> The only official guide I know of (for Japanese-- don't know about other
> languages) for writing order and variants is $@I.=g;XF3$N<j$S$-(J (Hitsujun
> Shidou No Tebiki), published by $@J8It>J(J (Monbushou; Japanese Ministry of
> Education) in 1958. Note that this document concerns plain $@\4=q(J (Kaisho;
> square style) Han characters, not calligraphy.
> In its "writing variations" section, it lists exactly eight examples for
> recognized stroke order variations, and gives the "preferred" writing
> order for all of them.
Adrian - I digged out something from my resources that should be
highly interesting for you. It's a little book, called Kanji Hitsujun
Handbook ($@4A;zI.=g%O%s%I%V%C%/(J) by K. Emori ($@9><i8-<#(J),
Sanseido, ISBN 4-385-20074-2, about 600 Yen. He was a Monbusho official,
and drafted some of the "Hitsujun Tebiki" you mention.
He explains that the "Tebiki" was a reaction to the lack of stroke
order education in immediate postwar Japanese school education,
that it is important to teach a single stroke order in school,
that it is important to use correct stroke order in general,
but that for many characters, there are various stroke orders,
and that for some, the order currently used in schools is not
based on historical sources. For the first four strokes of
$@8W(J (tiger) and similar characters, he gives four different
Very interesting reading! Regards, Martin.
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