Qiān Zì Wén (The Thousand Character, also known as the Thousand Character Text, is a Chinese poem used as a primer for teaching Chinese characters to children from the sixth century onward. It contains exactly one thousand characters, each used only once, arranged into 250 lines of four characters apiece and grouped into four line rhyming stanzas to make it easy to memorize.


The following 6 versions were written by : 

Right 1 右一 : 于右任 Yu Youren (1879 – 1964)

Right 2 右二 : 智永 Zhi Yong (? – ?)

Right 3 右三: 智永 Zhi Yong (? – ?)

Right 4 右四: 懷素 Huái Sù (737–799)

Right 5 右五: (傳) 孫過庭 Sun Guoting (646–691)

Right 6, left 3 右六 (左三): 孫過庭 (集書譜字, 擬書譜字) Sun Guoting (646–691)

Right 7, left 2 右七 (左二): 董復 Dǒng fù (1443 – ?)

Right 8, left 1 右八 (左一): 趙孟頫 Zhao Mengfu  (1254–1322)


Yu Youren (于右任)(1879-1964) was a Chinese educator, scholar, calligrapher and politician. A native of Sanyuan, Shaanxi (陝西涇陽), he was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of China (開國元勛). Formerly known as Bo Xun (誘人) and later You ren (右任), he was also called Shao Xin (髾心) and Ran Wung (髯翁) as he had a long fluttering beard. Youren is famous for his cursive calligraphy.

Zhi Yong (智永) (?-?) whose surname is Wang (王) and first name Faji (法極) was the seventh-generation grandson of Wang Xizhi (王羲之) . He was a monk of Yongxin Temple (永欣寺) in Shanyin (山陰)(now Shaoxing, Zhejiang 浙江紹興). Zhi Zong was extremely diligent and talented, he wrote more than 800 copies of Qian Zi Wen and distributed them to temples in eastern Zhejiang.

Huaisu (懷素)( 737–799), courtesy name Zangzhen (藏真), was a Buddhist monk and calligrapher of the Tang Dynasty. He was famous for his cursive calligraphy. Fewer than 10 pieces of his works have survived. One of his representative works is Huai Su Autography (懷素自序).

Sun Guoting (孫過庭) (646~691), courtesy name Qian Li (虔禮) was a calligrapher of the early Tang Dynasty. He was remembered for his cursive calligraphy and his Shu Pu (書譜). The work was the first important theoretical work on Chinese calligraphy, and has remained important ever since, though only its preface survived.

Dong Fu (董復)(1443 – ?) courtesy names De Chu (德初) Yi An (頤庵) was a native of (浙江上虞). He was a political figure and a scholar in the Ming Dynasty. He spent his last twenty years in teaching and writing.

Zhao Mengfu (趙孟頫)(1254–1322) was a scholar, a great calligrapher and painter during the Yuan Dynasty. He was a descendant of the Song Dynasty’s imperial family. His calligraphy and painting have a great influence ever since.























to be continued ….

Qian Zi Wen (One Thousand Characters) in Cursive Script 草書千字文 Part 2