Semi-cursive script

Semi-cursive script (Chinese: 行書; pinyin: xíngshū) is a semi-cursive style of writing Chinese characters. Because it is not as abbreviated as cursive script, most people who can read regular script can read semi-cursive. It is useful when one wants to write quickly and is also a form of calligraphy.

Semi-cursive script
Lanting P3rd.jpg
Script type
Time period
Han Dynasty to present
LanguagesOld Chinese, Middle Chinese, Modern Chinese
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Regular script
Simplified Chinese
Chu Nom
Khitan script
Jurchen script
Tangut script
4E00–9FFF, 3400–4DBF, 20000–2A6DF, 2A700–2B734, 2F00–2FDF, F900–FAFF
 This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Semi-cursive script
Semi-Cur Eg.svg
Chinese characters of "Semi-cursive Script" in regular script (left) and semi-cursive script (right).
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese行書
Simplified Chinese行书
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet1. hành thư
2. chữ hành
Hán-Nôm1. 行書
2. 𡨸行
Korean name
Japanese name

Also referred to in English both as running script[1] and by its Hanyu Pinyin name, xíngshū, it is derived from clerical script, and was for a long time after its development in the 1st centuries AD the standard style of handwriting.

Some of the best examples of semi-cursive can be found in the works of Wang Xizhi (321–379) of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.


  1. ^ Gao, James Z. (2009), Historical Dictionary of Modern China (1800–1949), Scarecrow Press, p. 41.

External linksEdit