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The Radical-rule and Arrangement System of Characters of Wu Jing Wen Zi: a Rebuttal of Yu Jiaxi’s View

Kyeongwon Lee 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Radical-rule and Arrangement System of Characters of WuJing Wen Zi: a Rebuttal of Yu Jiaxi’s ViewLee, KyeongwonCompiled in 776 by Zhang Shen, Wu Jing Wen Zi was regarded as the epitomeof model book for standardized regular script in Tang Dynasty. Following earlyworks like Shuo Wen Jie Zi, Zhang Shen adopted radical-rule for the compilationof this work. 3,250 characters were selected from the Five Classics and 160 radicalswere established. Yu Jiaxi (1884-1955) harshly criticized the radical system ofWu Jing Wen Zi for being inconsistant and confusing. With careful review andanalysis of examples from Wu Jing Wen Zi, this paper discusses the pupose ofthe compilation of this work, its unique radical-rule system, principles of arrangementof characters with the same or similar radicals, and the differentiation of variantcharacters. It further discusses the value of Wu Jing Wen Zi by its innovativeradical-rule and effective differentiation of variant characters. It concludes witha rebuttal of Yu Jiaxi’s argument and restate the necessity of reevaluation ofthis work even to this day.

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