Degree of freedom of Chinese characters

This is a quite well-known haiku by Basho (松尾芭蕉), one of the most popular haiku poets in early Edo period in Japan.


Apparently, my most important friend as to my career as a calligrapher likes it, because he quoted it in his recent message to me.


However, my biggest interest and what I wanted to show the readers here is the structure of the Chinese character for “autumn”.


The letter has two parts, in other words it can be vertically divided into two parts.  And we usually write it just the opposite way from how I did here.  However, what did here is never a mistake.


In short, when it comes to writing some Chinese characters, it doesn’t matter which way you put the two parts, that is, it isn’t very strictly defined which part should be right and which one should be put left side.


To sum up, concerning how Chinese characters should be written, there is much wider latitude than people would usually expect.


On this road/

No one will follow me/

In the autumn evening/


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