Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Chinese centenarian's book on oracle bone inscriptions published

Xinhua/Cai Yang


Chengdu, 15 November (2021) - "Oracle Bone Inscriptions Notes" by renowned Chinese writer and calligrapher Ma Shitu, 107, was published Saturday.

The book in three volumes shows the charm of oracle bones from different perspectives. Ma vividly depicts interesting teaching scenes of a number of Chinese linguistic masters including Luo Changpei, Tang Lan and Wen Yiduo, when he studied the inscriptions at the former wartime university of the National Southwest Associated University (NSAU) more than 80 years ago.

Oracle bone inscriptions discovered at Yin Ruins are considered the origin of Chinese characters and represent the oldest fully-developed system of characters. It is of epoch-making significance in Chinese civilization and even human civilization.

Ma started writing the book at the age of 104. The work has been published by Sichuan People's Publishing House.

"Ancient linguistics is very academic, but I intend to write the book for ordinary readers in an effort to popularize oracle bone inscriptions," said the centenarian.

The book is recommended by a number of prestigious writers including Tie Ning, chairwoman of the Chinese Writers Association, Li Jingze, vice chairman of the association, and Alai, Chinese novelist of Tibetan descent and chairman of the Sichuan Writers Association.