From: Andrew C. West (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Feb 06 2003 - 10:47:19 EST
James Kass wrote,
> (What happens if someone discovers a 257th variant? Do they
> get a prize? Or, would they be forever banished from polite
I was thinking about that. 256 variants of a single character may seem a tad
excessive, but there is a common Chinese decoartive motif (frequently seen on
trays and tea-pots and scarves and such like) comprising the ideograph shou4
(U+58FD, U+5900, U+5BFF) "longevity" written in 100 variant forms (called "bai3
shou4 tu2" in Chinese). See
http://www.tydao.com/sxsu/shenhuo/minju/images/mj17.htm for an example.
A quick google on "qian1 shou4 tu2" (the ideograph "shou4" written in a thousand
different forms) came up with a piece of calligraphy by Wang Yunzhuang (b.1942)
which comprises the ideograph shou4 written in no less than 1,256 unique variant
Googling on "wan4 shou4 tu2" (the ideograph "shou4" written in 10,000 forms)
also had a number of hits, but these refer to a compilation of calligraphy by
forty artists that took 16 years to create (written on a scroll 160 metres in
length), so these may not all be unique variants.
There are also a number of other auspicious characters, such as fu2 (U+798F)
"good fortune" that may be found written in a hundred variant forms as a
All in all the new variant selectors may be kept quite busy if applied to the
ideograph shou4 and its friends !
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