Chinese Calligraphy: From Pictograph to Ideogram: The History of 214 Essential Chinese/Japanese Characters
By: Edoardo Fazzioli
This book, which introduces the Westerner to a rich and mysterious world, is based on a classic compilation of the Chinese language done in the 18th century, which determined that the characters then in use were devised from 214 root pictographs or symbols. These key characters, called radicals, are all delightfully presented in this volume, with their graphic development traced through stages to the present representation, where even now (in many of them) one can easily make out what was originaly pictured - with the author's guidance. Centuries ago, when the Japaense took up writing, they also adopted these symbols, though giving them different names in their own spoken language.