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Gyōsho (行書, ぎょうしょ, i.e. “semi-cursive script”)

Gyōsho (also known as running style) was last of the five major styles to develop. It was a natural result of everyday handwriting. Whenever a calligrapher decided to put his thoughts down slightly faster and in a more emotional manner, he inadvertently laid foundations for the semi-cursive script. Gyōsho is understood as a bridge between “rectangular” styles (楷書, かいしょ, kaisho and 隷書, れいしょ, reisho) and draft script (草書, そうしょ, sōsho). The legend says, that gyōsho was developed from reisho by a calligrapher and scholar of the late Han dynasty (後漢, 29 B.C. – 219 C.E.) 劉德昇 (Liú Déshēng, c. 146-189 C.E.), and was perfected during the Jin dynasty (晉朝, 265 – 420 C.E.) by the great father and son of the Wang family: 王羲之 (Wáng Xīzhī, 303 – 361 C.E.) and 王獻之 (Wáng Xiànzhī, 344 – 386 C.E.), often referred to as “the Two Wang’s”. Of course, in reality none of the styles was a creation of one person. Nonetheless, each of them has its own grandmaster. In case of gyōsho it was indisputably Wáng Xīzhī. The most remarkable masterpiece in semi-cursive style ever created is Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion (蘭亭集序, Chinese: Lántíngjí Xù) by Wáng Xīzhī, written in 353 C.E. Please click here to read more about semi-cursive script.

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Page last modified on October 27, 2011, at 06:55 PM