Eight Principles of Yong
The Eight Principles of Yong (Chinese: 永字八法; pinyin: Yǒngzì Bā Fǎ; Japanese: 永字八法/えいじはっぽう, eiji happō; Korean: 영자팔법, Yeongjapalbeop; Vietnamese: Vĩnh Tự Bát Pháp/Tám Phương Pháp viết Chữ Vĩnh) explain how to write eight common strokes in regular script which are found all in the one character, 永 (pinyin: yǒng, "forever", "permanence"). It was traditionally believed that the frequent practice of these principles as a beginning calligrapher could ensure beauty in one's writing.
- The Praise to the Eight Principles of "Yong" (永字八法頌) by Liu Zongyuan (柳宗元) of the Tang Dynasty.
- Explanations to the Eight Principles of "Yong" (永字八法解) by Li Puguang (李溥光) of the Yuan Dynasty. Lǐ provided two-character metaphorical names.
Table of naming usages
|CJK stroke name||Lǐ's name||Additional description|
|1||Cè, (側/侧) "Sideway"||Diǎn, (點/点) "Dot"||Guài Shí, (怪石) "Strange stone"||Tiny dash, speck.|
|2||Lè, (勒) "Bridle"||Héng, (橫) "Horizontal"||Yù Àn, (玉案) "Jade table"||Rightward stroke.|
|3||Nǔ, (弩), "Crossbow";
Nǔ, (努) "Strive"
|Shù, (竪 "Erect";
Tiěchǔ, (鐵杵/铁杵) "Iron staff"
|Tiězhù, (鐵柱/铁柱) "Iron pillar"||Downward stroke.|
|4||Tí, (趯) "Jump"||Gōu, (鉤) "Hook"||Xièzhuǎ, (蟹爪) "Pincer of a crab"||Appended to other strokes, suddenly going down or going left only.|
|5||Cè, (策) "Horsewhip"||Tí, (提) "Raise";
Tiāo, (挑) "Lifting off"
|Hǔyá, (虎牙) "Tiger's tooth"||Flick up and rightwards.|
|6||Lüè, (掠) "Passing lightly"||Wān, (彎/弯) "Bend, curve"||Xījiǎo, (犀角) "Horn of rhinoceros"||A tapering thinning curve, usually concave left (convex outward right) and with fast speed as if skimming.|
|7||Zhuó, (啄) "Pecking"||Piě, (撇) "Throw away, slant";
Duǎn Piě (短撇) "Short slant"
|Niǎo Zhuó, (鳥啄)/(鸟啄) "Bird pecking"||Falling leftwards (with slight curve).|
|8||Zhé, (磔) "Dismemberment"||Nà, (捺) "Pressing forcefully";
Pō, (波) "Wave"
|Jīndāo, (金刀) "Golden dao (knife)"||Falling rightwards (fattening at the bottom), where the end point is "as sharp as a knife" (hence the name "Dismemberment").|