Stroke (CJK character)

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, a Chinese character with a high variety of different strokes and which is often used to show some of the strokes. It means "forever" or "permanence".

CJK strokes (simplified Chinese: 笔画; traditional Chinese: 筆畫; pinyin: Bǐhuà) are the calligraphic strokes needed to write the Chinese characters in regular script used in East Asian calligraphy. CJK strokes are the classified set of line patterns that may be arranged and combined to form Chinese characters (also known as Hanzi) in use in China, Japan, and Korea.


The study and classification of CJK strokes is used for:

  1. understanding Chinese character calligraphy – the correct method of writing, shape formation and stroke order required for character legibility;
  2. understanding stroke changes according to the style that is in use;
  3. defining stroke naming and counting conventions;
  4. identifying fundamental components of Han radicals; and
  5. their use in computing.


When writing Han radicals, a single stroke includes all the motions necessary to produce a given part of a character before lifting the writing instrument from the writing surface; thus, a single stroke may have abrupt changes in direction within the line. For example:

  • Cjk k str v.svg (Vertical / shù) is classified as a basic stroke because it is a single stroke that forms a line moving in one direction.
  • Cjk k str vhv.svg (Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical / shù zhé zhé) is classified as a compound stroke because it is a single stroke that forms a line that includes one or more abrupt changes in direction. This example is a sequence of three basic strokes written without lifting the writing instrument such as the ink brush from the writing surface.


All strokes have direction. They are unidirectional and start from one entry point. As such, they are usually not written in the reverse direction by native users. Here are some examples:


CJK strokes are an attempt to identify and classify all single-stroke components that can be used to write Han radicals. There are some thirty distinct types of strokes recognized in Chinese characters, some of which are compound strokes made from basic strokes. The compound strokes comprise more than one movement of the writing instrument, and many of these have no agreed-upon name.

Basic strokes[edit]

A basic stroke is a single calligraphic mark moving in one direction across a writing surface. The following table lists a selection of basic strokes divided into two stroke groups: simple and combining. "Simple strokes" (such as Horizontal / Héng and Dot / Diǎn) can be written alone. "Combining strokes" (such as Zig / Zhé and J hook / Gōu) never occur alone, but must be paired with at least one other stroke forming a compound stroke. Thus, they are not in themselves individual strokes.

Table of basic strokes
English Name Name in PRC
(pinyin and simp.)
Name in ROC
(pinyin and trad.)
Name in Japan CJK
Meaning of
Chinese name
(Japanese name,
if different)
Simple strokes
Dot Diǎn, Diǎn, Ten, D black.png "Dot" Tiny dash, speck.
Horizontal Héng, Héng, Yoko, H black.png "Horizontal" Rightward stroke.
Vertical Shù, Shù, Tate, S black.png "Vertical" Downward stroke.
Upward horizontal , Tiāo, Hane, T black.png "Rise"
Flick up and rightwards.
Press , , (Migi) Harai, (右)払 N black.png "Press down"
("(Right) Sweep")
Falling rightwards (fattening at the bottom).
Throw Piě, Piě, (Hidari) Harai, (左)払 P black.png "Throw away"
("(Left) Sweep")
Falling leftwards (with slight curve).
Combining strokes
Zag Zhé, Zhé, Ore, Cjk turn.png "Break" Indicates change in stroke direction, usually 90° turn, going down or going right only.
J hook Gōu, Gōu, 鈎(鉤) Kagi, G black.png "Hook" Appended to other strokes, suddenly sharp turning before crash stopping.
Clockwise curve Wān, Wān, (Hidari) Sori, (左)反 W black.png "Bend"
("(Left) Curve")
Tapering curved line, usually concave left (convex outward right).
Anticlockwise curve Xié, , (Migi) Sori, (右)反 X black.png "Slant"
("(Right) Curve")
Curved line, usually concave right (convex outward left).

Note, the basic stroke Diǎn "Dot" is rarely a real dot. Instead it usually takes the shape of a very small line pointing in one of several directions, and may be long enough to be confused with other strokes.

Compound strokes[edit]

Another classification showing 37 strokes: 8 basic strokes, and 29 complex strokes.[1]

A compound stroke (also called a complex stroke) is produced when two or more basic strokes are combined in a single stroke written without lifting the writing instrument from the writing surface. The character (pinyin: yǒng) "eternity" described in more detail below demonstrates one of these compound strokes. The centre line is a compound stroke that combines three stroke shapes in a single stroke.

Basics for making compound strokes[2]

In most cases, concatenating basic strokes together form a compound stroke. For example, Vertical / Shù combined with J hook / Gōu produce Cjk k str vj.svg (Vertical – J hook / Shù Gōu). A stroke naming convention sums the names of the basic strokes, in the writing order.

An exception to this applies when a stroke makes a turn of 90° (and only of 90°) in the Simplified Chinese names. Horizontal Cjk k str h.svg (Héng) and Vertical Cjk k str v.svg (Shù) strokes are identified only once when they appear as the first stroke of a compound; any single stroke with successive 90° turns down or to the right are indicated by a Zag 折 (pinyin: Zhé) "Break". For example, an initial Shù followed by an abrupt turn right produces Cjk k str vh.svg (Shù Zhé). In the same way, an initial Shù followed by an abrupt turn right followed by a second turn down produces Cjk k str vhv.svg (Shù Zhé Zhé). However, their inherited names are "Vertical – Horizontal" and "Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical". We need not to use "Zag" in the inherited names.

Nearly all complex strokes can be named using this simple scheme.


Organization systems used to describe and differentiate strokes may include the use of roman letters, Chinese characters, numbers, or a combination of these devices. Two methods of organizing CJK strokes are by:

  1. Classification schemes that describe strokes by a naming convention or by conformity to a taxonomy; and
  2. Categorization schemes that differentiate strokes by numeric or topical grouping.

In classification schemes, stroke forms are described, assigned a representative character or letterform, and may be arranged in a hierarchy. In categorization schemes, stroke forms are differentiated, sorted and grouped into like categories; categories may be topical, or assigned by a numeric or alpha-numeric nominal number according to a designed numbering scheme.


Organizing strokes into a hierarchy aids a user's understanding by bringing order to an obtuse system of writing that has organically evolved over the period of centuries. In addition, the process of recognizing and describing stroke patterns promotes consistency of stroke formation and usage. When organized by naming convention, classification allows a user to find a stroke quickly in a large stroke collection, makes it easier to detect duplication, and conveys meaning when comparing relationships between strokes. When organized by numbering scheme, categorization aids a user in understanding stroke differences, and makes it easier to make predictions, inferences and decisions about a stroke.


Strokes are described and differentiated using the criteria of visual qualities of a stroke. Because this can require subjective interpretation, CJK strokes cannot be placed into a single definitive classification scheme because stroke types lack a universal consensus on the description and number of basic and compound forms. CJK strokes cannot be placed into a single definitive categorization scheme due to visual ambiguity between strokes, and therefore cannot be segregated into mutually exclusive groups. Other factors inhibiting organization based on visual criteria are the variation of writing styles, and the changes of appearance that a stroke undergoes within various characters.

Roman letter naming convention of Unicode standard[edit]

A naming convention is a classification scheme where a controlled vocabulary is used systematically to describe the characteristics of an item. The naming convention for a CJK stroke is derived from the path mark left by the writing instrument. In this instance roman letters are concatenated to form a stroke name as a sequence of one or more roman letters indicating the component strokes used to create the CJK stroke. The first letter of the Han radical’s pinyin pronunciation represents each basic stroke. In a basic stroke example, H represents the stroke Cjk k str h.svg named 横 (pinyin: Héng); in a compound example, HZT represents 横折提 (pinyin: Héng Zhé Tí).

While no consensus exists, there are up to 12 distinct basic strokes that are identified by a unique Han radical.

Letters commonly used in CJK stroke naming conventions (12 items)[3]
Letter B D G H N P Q S T W X Z
Stroke direction Cjk bian.png Cjk dian.png Cjk gou.png Cjk heng.png Cjk na.png Cjk pie.png Cjk quan.png Cjk shu.png Cjk ti.png Cjk wan.png Cjk xie.png 90° turn right or down
Simp./Trad. / /() / / /
Pinyin Biǎn Diǎn Gōu Héng Piě Quān Shù Wān Xié Zhé
Meaning "Flat" "Dot" "Hook" "Horizontal" "Right-falling" "Left-falling" "Circle" "Vertical" "Rising" "Curved" "Slant" "Bent"

There are many CJK compound strokes, however there is no consensus for sequence letter naming of compound strokes using the basic strokes. The following table demonstrates the CJK stroke naming convention:

Selected named CJK basic and compound strokes (41 items)
Stroke Name in PRC Abbr[3][4] Full Name Dictionary meaning and Note Example characters Encoding
Cjk m str h.svgCjk m str sh.svg H Héng , "cardinal number one", "alone" (Radical 1 一). 二 三 丁 丞 丈 世 不 上 十 卅 七 U+31D0 (㇐)
Cjk m str u.svg T   冰 淋 病 孑 治 冶 冽 暴 氾 录 地 虫 U+31C0 (㇀)
Cjk m str hj.svgCjk m str uj.svg 横钩 HG Héng Gōu wān, ya, zhé (折) turning stroke / to break (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 疋 了 危 予 矛 子 字 令 疏 写 冖 U+31D6 (㇖)
Cjk m str ht.svgCjk m str hsv.svg 横撇 HP Héng Piě   又 水 夕 径 炙 双 叒 今 U+31C7 (㇇)
Cjk m str hv.svg 横折 HZ Héng Zhé   口 囗 己 田 品 吕 申 甲 圆 巪 U+31D5 (㇕)
Cjk m str hvj.svgCjk m str utj.svg 横折钩 HZG Héng Zhé Gōu (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 羽 习 包 勻 葡 用 青 甫 勺 月 也 乜 U+31C6 (㇆)
Cjk m str hvu.svg 横折提 HZT Héng Zhé Tí   讠 计 鳩 U+31CA (㇊)
Cjk m str hvh.svg 横折折 HZZ Héng Zhé Zhé   U+31C5 (㇅)
Cjk m str ha.svg 横折弯 HZW Héng Zhé Wān   殳 投 朵 U+31CD (㇍)
Cjk m str haj.svgCjk m str hpj.svg 横折弯钩[3]
Héng Zhé Wān Gōu[3]
(Héng Xié Gōu[4])
Unofficial name "HWG" is used by Hugo Lopez.[1] 飞 风 瘋 凬 虱 迅 气 九 几 U+31C8 (㇈)
Cjk m str htaj.svg 横斜弯钩[3]
Héng Xié Wān Gōu[3]
(Héng Zhé Wān Gōu[4])
yǐ, niè, "the second of the ten heavenly stems", "second"; zhé (折) turning stroke / to break (Radical 5 乙). 氹 乞 乤 艺 U+31E0 (㇠)
Cjk m str hvhv.svg 横折折折 HZZZ Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé   U+31CE (㇎)
Cjk m str htht.svg 横折折撇 HZZP Héng Zhé Zhé Piě   建 及 U+31CB (㇋)
Cjk m str htcj.svg 横撇弯钩 HPWG Héng Piě Wān Gōu   队 邮 U+31CC (㇌)
Cjk m str hthtj.svg 横折折折钩 HZZZG Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé Gōu 𠄎 nǎi, archaic form of "then", "really, indeed", "namely", "you, your". 乃 孕 仍 U+31E1 (㇡)
Cjk m str v.svgCjk m str sv.svg S Shù , gǔn, "vertical line" (Radical 2 丨). 丩 中 串 讧 乍 上 五 丑 U+31D1 (㇑)
Cjk m str vj.svg 竖钩 SG Shù Gōu jué, "a vertical line with a hook" (Radical 6 亅). 爭 事 求 水 U+31DA (㇚)
Cjk m str vu.svg 竖提 ST Shù Tí   以 比 切 卯 食 良 艮 很 狠 鄉 民 U+31D9 (㇙)
Cjk m str vh.svgCjk m str th.svg 竖折 SZ Shù Zhé   断 陋 继 山 互 彙 牙 乐 东 U+31D7 (㇗)
Cjk m str va.svg 竖弯 SW Shù Wān   區 亡 妄 四 U+31C4 (㇄)
Cjk m str vc.svg 竖弯左 SWZ Shù Wān Zuǒ   肅 嘯 蕭 簫 U+31D8 (㇘)
Cjk m str vaj.svg 竖弯钩 SWG Shù Wān Gōu yǐn, "hidden", "mysterious", "small", usually read as / yǐn (Radical: Variant form of 乙 ). 乱 己 已 巳 U+31DF (㇟)
Cjk m str vhv.svgCjk m str tht.svg 竖折折 SZZ Shù Zhé Zhé   亞 鼎 卐 吳 专 U+31DE (㇞)
Cjk m str vhtj.svgCjk m str thtj.svg 竖折弯钩[3]
Shù Zhé Wān Gōu[3]
(Shù Zhé Zhé Gōu[4])
  亏 强 弓 丏 丐 与 马 鸟 丂 号 U+31C9 (㇉)
Cjk m str t.svg P Piě 丿 usually read as 撇 piě, "line", "slash" (Radical 4 丿). 乂 爻 禾 毛 乏 乖 釆 衣 八 行 U+31D2 (㇒)
Cjk m str wt.svg 竖撇 SP Shù Piě   乃 月 用 齊 几 人 班 大 U+31D3 (㇓)
Cjk m str tj.svg 撇钩 PG Piě Gōu   U+31E2 (㇢)
Cjk m str tu.svg 撇折 PZ Piě Zhé   弘 玄 公 厶 翁 U+31DC (㇜)
Cjk m str td.svgCjk m str wtd.svg 撇点 PD Piě Diǎn 𡿨 quǎn, a little drain between fields, usually read as quǎn (Radical 47 巛). 女 巛 巡 獵 災 甾 U+31DB (㇛)
Cjk m str d.svgCjk m str ld.svg D Diǎn zhǔ, "dot", usually read as 點 / 点 diǎn (Radical 3 丶). 丸 叉 义 永 冰 凡 丹 主 求 火 刃 U+31D4 (㇔)
Cjk m str p.svg N ㇏ usually read as 捺 nà. 大 人 天 入 走 边 廷 尺 U+31CF (㇏)
Cjk m str up.svgCjk m str hp.svg 提捺 TN Tí Nà (1) , "stretch". (2) , "to move" (archaic). 尐 之 道 八 入 廻 U+31DD (㇝)
Cjk m str pj.svg 斜钩 XG Xié Gōu   戈 弋 戰 我 U+31C2 (㇂)
Cjk m str fpj.svg 扁斜钩 BXG Biǎn Xié Gōu   心 必 沁 惢 蕊 U+31C3 (㇃)
Cjk m str cj.svg 弯钩 WG Wān Gōu   狐 狱 豹 家 啄 嶽 貓 家 逐 U+31C1 (㇁)
Cjk m str o.svgCjk m str fo.svg Q Quān líng, "zero"; also read as quān, "circle". Rare. 〇 㔔 㪳 㫈 U+31E3 (㇣)

Besides, some strokes have been unified or abandoned in Unicode:

CJK basic and compound strokes which have been unified or abandoned
Stroke Name in PRC Abbr Full Name Note Example characters
Cjk m str htc.svg 横撇弯 HPW[1] Héng Piě Wān It only appears in Regular script, can be merged into stroke HPHP in Song typeface. 辶 过 边
Cjk m str vht.svgCjk m str tht.svg 竖折撇 SZP[4] Shù Zhé Piě This stroke has been merged into stroke SZZ in Unicode.[5] 专 𧦮 𤓷 𤦡
Cjk m str thtj.svg 竖折折弯钩 SZZWG[1] Shù Zhé Zhé Wān Gōu This stroke has been merged into stroke SZZG in Unicode.[5] 弓 丐
Cjk m str c.svg W[1] Wān It never occurs alone, only appears inside compound strokes. 辶 豕 𢀓
Cjk m str -aj.svg 弯钩 WG[1] Wān Gōu It never occurs alone, only appears inside compound strokes.
Cjk m str hp-prc.svg 点捺 DN[4] Diǎn Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke TN or N in Unicode.[5] 內 全 廴
Cjk m str fp.svg 平捺 PN[4] Píng Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke N in Unicode.[5] 是 走 廴
Cjk m str ufp.svg 提平捺 TPN[4] Tí Píng Nà This stroke has been merged into stroke N in Unicode.[5] 辶 之 辷

Note that some names in the list do not follow the rules of controlled vocabulary. For example, stroke P (Piě) is not found in the compound stroke PN. The name "PN" comes from 平捺 (pinyin: Píng Nà), not 撇捺 (pinyin: Piě Nà). The meaning of 平 (pinyin: Píng) is "flat", and it should be called "BN" 扁捺 (pinyin: Biǎn Nà) if the rules are to be followed closely. The letter "Z" in stroke SWZ means 左 (pinyin: Zuǒ), not 折 (pinyin: Zhé). The meaning of 左 is "left", and it is not defined in the naming convention. Moreover, some 折 (pinyin: Zhé) strokes are far more than or far less than 90°, such as stroke HZZZG, stroke HZZP and stroke PZ.

Some strokes are not included in the Unicode standard, such as Cjk m str du.svg, Cjk m str ft.svg, Cjk m str wd.svg, Cjk m str rsv.svg, Cjk m str thtaj.svg, Cjk m str vcj.svg, etc.

In Simplified Chinese, stroke TN Cjk m str hp.svg is usually written as Cjk m str hp-prc.svg (It was called "stroke DN", but Unicode has rejected it[5]).

Abbreviated naming conventions[edit]

On the other hand, naming conventions that use abbreviated forms of the CJK strokes also exist. After the names of CJK strokes are translated into English, first letters of the English names are used in the naming system. The controlled vocabulary can be divided into two groups.

The first group is the abbreviated forms of the basic strokes.

Abbreviation form of the basic strokes (10 items)
Abbr form H V T P D U C A J O
Shape of stroke Basic h.png Basic v.png Basic t.png Basic p.png Basic d.png Basic u.png Basic c.png Basic a.png Basic j.png Basic o.png
English name Horizontal Vertical Throw Press Dot Upward
J hook Oval
Chinese name

The second group is the abbreviated forms of deformations.

Abbreviation form of the deformations (10 items)
Abbr form F W S L R E N I M Z
Deformation Deformed f.png Deformed w.png Deformed s.png Deformed l.png Deformed r.png Deformed e.png Deformed n.png Deformed i.png Deformed m.png Deformed z.png
English name Flat Wilted Slanted Left Right Extended Narrowed Inverted Mirrored Zag
Chinese name

“Zig” can be omitted in the naming system. The following table demonstrates the CJK stroke naming convention:

Inherited names of CJK basic and compound strokes (63 items)
Stroke Chinese
Full name Name in
Ming Kai
Cjk m str h.svg Cjk k str h.svg H Horizontal H 三 言 隹 花
Cjk m str sh.svg Cjk k str sh.svg 斜橫 SH Slanted Horizontal (H) 七 弋 宅 戈
Cjk m str u.svg Cjk k str u.svg U Upward horizontal T 刁 求 虫 地
Cjk m str du.svg Cjk k str du.svg 點挑 DU Dot – Upward horizontal (T) 冰 冷 汗 汁
Cjk m str v.svg Cjk k str v.svg V Vertical S 十 圭 川 仆
Cjk m str sv.svg Cjk k str sv.svg 斜豎 SV Slanted Vertical (S) 丑 五 亙 貫
Cjk m str rsv.svg Cjk k str rsv.svg 右斜豎 RSV Right Slanted Vertical (S) 𠙴
Cjk m str t.svg Cjk k str t.svg T Throw P 竹 大 乂 勿
Cjk m str ft.svg Cjk k str ft.svg 扁撇 FT Flat Throw (P) 千 乏 禾 斤
Cjk m str wt.svg Cjk k str wt.svg 直撇 WT Wilted Throw SP 九 厄 月 几
Cjk m str d.svg Cjk k str d.svg D Dot D 主 卜 夕 凡
Cjk m str ed.svg Cjk k str ed.svg 長點 ED Extended Dot (D) 囪 囟 这 凶
Cjk m str ld.svg Cjk k str ld.svg 左點 LD Left Dot (D) 心 忙 恭 烹
Cjk m str wd.svg Cjk k str wd.svg 直點 WD Wilted Dot (D)
Cjk m str p.svg Cjk k str p.svg P Press N 人 木 尺 冬
Cjk m str up.svg Cjk k str up.svg 挑捺 UP Upward horizontal – Press TN
Cjk m str hp.svg Cjk k str hp.svg 橫捺 HP Horizontal – Press (TN) 入 八 內
Cjk m str fp.svg Cjk k str fp.svg 扁捺 FP Flat Press (N) 走 足 廴
Cjk m str ufp.svg Cjk k str ufp.svg 挑扁捺 UFP Upward horizontal – Flat Press (TN)
Cjk m str c.svg Cjk k str c.svg C Clockwise curve W
Cjk m str a.svg Cjk k str a.svg A Anticlockwise curve X
Cjk m str o.svg Cjk k str o.svg O Oval Q 〇 㔔 㪳 㫈
Cjk m str hj.svg Cjk k str hj.svg 橫鈎 HJ Horizontal – J hook HG 冧 欠 冝 蛋
Cjk m str uj.svg Cjk k str uj.svg 挑鈎 UJ Upward horizontal – J hook (HG)
Cjk m str ht.svg Cjk k str ht.svg 橫撇 HT Horizontal – Throw HP 夕 水 登
Cjk m str hsv.svg Cjk k str hsv.svg 橫斜 HSV Horizontal – Slanted Vertical (HP) 彔 互 恆
Cjk m str hv.svg Cjk k str hv.svg 橫豎 HV Horizontal – Vertical HZ 口 己 臼 典
Cjk m str hvj.svg Cjk k str hvj.svg 橫豎鈎 HVJ Horizontal – Vertical – J hook HZG 而 永 印
Cjk m str htj.svg Cjk k str htj.svg 橫撇鈎 HTJ Horizontal – Throw – J hook (HZG) 勺 方 力 母
Cjk m str utj.svg Cjk k str utj.svg 挑撇鈎 UTJ Upward horizontal – Throw – J hook (HZG)
Cjk m str hvh.svg Cjk k str hvh.svg 橫豎橫 HVH Horizontal – Vertical – Horizontal HZZ 凹 兕 卍 雋
Cjk m str hvu.svg Cjk k str hvu.svg 橫豎挑 HVU Horizontal – Vertical – Upward horizontal HZT 说 计
Cjk m str ha.svg Cjk k str ha.svg 橫曲 HA Horizontal – Anticlockwise curve HZW 沿
Cjk m str haj.svg Cjk k str haj.svg 橫曲鈎 HAJ Horizontal – Anticlockwise curve – J hook HZWG 九 几 凡 亢
Cjk m str hpj.svg Cjk k str hpj.svg 橫捺鈎 HPJ Horizontal – Press – J hook (HZWG) 風 迅 飛 凰
Cjk m str htaj.svg Cjk k str htaj.svg 橫撇曲鈎 HTAJ Horizontal – Throw – Anticlockwise curve – J hook HXWG 乙 氹 乞 乭
Cjk m str htc.svg Cjk k str htc.svg 橫撇彎 HTC Horizontal – Throw – Clockwise curve ---
Cjk m str htht.svg Cjk k str htht.svg 橫撇橫撇 HTHT Horizontal – Throw – Horizontal – Throw HZZP 延 建
Cjk m str htcj.svg Cjk k str htcj.svg 橫撇彎鈎 HTCJ Horizontal – Throw – Clockwise curve – J hook HPWG 陳 陌 那 耶
Cjk m str hvhv.svg Cjk k str hvhv.svg 橫豎橫豎 HVHV Horizontal – Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical HZZZ 凸 𡸭 𠱂 𢫋
Cjk m str hthtj.svg Cjk k str hthtj.svg 橫撇橫撇鈎 HTHTJ Horizontal – Throw – Horizontal – Throw – J hook HZZZG 乃 孕 仍 盈
Cjk m str vu.svg Cjk k str vu.svg 豎挑 VU Vertical – Upward horizontal ST 卬 氏 衣 比
Cjk m str vh.svg Cjk k str vh.svg 豎橫 VH Vertical – Horizontal SZ 山 世 匡
Cjk m str va.svg Cjk k str va.svg 豎曲 VA Vertical – Anticlockwise curve SW
Cjk m str vaj.svg Cjk k str vaj.svg 豎曲鈎 VAJ Vertical – Anticlockwise curve – J hook SWG 孔 已 亂 也
Cjk m str vhv.svg Cjk k str vhv.svg 豎橫豎 VHV Vertical – Horizontal – Vertical SZZ 鼎 亞 吳 卐
Cjk m str vht.svg Cjk k str vht.svg 豎橫撇 VHT Vertical – Horizontal – Throw (SZZ) 奊 捑 𠱐 𧦮
Cjk m str vhtj.svg Cjk k str vhtj.svg 豎橫撇鈎 VHTJ Vertical – Horizontal – Throw – J hook SZWG 弓 弟 丐 弱
Cjk m str vj.svg Cjk k str vj.svg 豎鈎 VJ Vertical – J hook SG 小 水 到 寸
Cjk m str vc.svg Cjk k str vc.svg 豎彎 VC Vertical – Clockwise curve SWZ 肅 嘯 蕭 瀟
Cjk m str vcj.svg Cjk k str vcj.svg 豎彎鈎 VCJ Vertical – Clockwise curve – J hook --- 𨙨 𨛜 𨞠 𨞰
Cjk m str tu.svg Cjk k str tu.svg 撇挑 TU Throw – Upward horizontal PZ 去 公 玄 鄉
Cjk m str th.svg Cjk k str th.svg 撇橫 TH Throw – Horizontal (SZ) 互 母 牙 车
Cjk m str td.svg Cjk k str td.svg 撇點 TD Throw – Dot PD 巡 兪 巢 粼
Cjk m str wtd.svg Cjk k str wtd.svg 直撇點 WTD Wilted Throw – Dot (PD) 女 如 姦 㜢
Cjk m str tht.svg Cjk k str tht.svg 撇橫撇 THT Throw – Horizontal – Throw (SZZ) 夨 𠨮 专 砖
Cjk m str thtj.svg Cjk k str thtj.svg 撇橫撇鈎 THTJ Throw – Horizontal – Throw – J hook (SZWG) 污 號
Cjk m str tj.svg Cjk k str tj.svg 撇鈎 TJ Throw – J hook PG
Cjk m str cj.svg Cjk k str cj.svg 彎鈎 CJ Clockwise curve – J hook WG 狗 豸 豕 象
Cjk m str fpj.svg Cjk k str fpj.svg 扁捺鈎 FPJ Flat Press – J hook BXG 心 必 沁 厯
Cjk m str pj.svg Cjk k str pj.svg 捺鈎 PJ Press – J hook XG 弋 戈 我 銭
Cjk m str thtaj.svg Cjk k str thtaj.svg 撇橫撇曲鈎 THTAJ Throw – Horizontal – Throw – Anticlockwise curve – J hook --- 𠃉 𦲳 𦴱
Cjk m str tod.svg Cjk k str tod.svg 撇圈點 TOD Throw – Oval – Dot --- 𡧑 𡆢

Numbering scheme[edit]

A numbering scheme is a categorisation method where similar strokes are grouped into categories labeled by nominal numbers. Category numbering may be an index of numbers of types, with sub-types indicated by a decimal point followed by another number or a letter.[4]

The following table is a common numbering scheme that uses similar names as the Roman letter naming convention, but the stroke forms are grouped into major category types (1 to 5), which further break down into 25 sub-types in category 5.

Example of a CJK stroke numbering scheme (33 items)[6]
Type No. Stroke Name
(simplified Chinese and pinyin)
Horizontal (一)
1 1 Cjk m str h.svgCjk m str sh.svg Héng
1.1 Cjk m str u.svg
Vertical (丨)
2 2 Cjk m str v.svgCjk m str sv.svg Shù
2.1 Cjk m str vj.svg 竖钩 Shù Gōu
Slash (丿)
3 3 Cjk m str t.svgCjk m str wt.svg Piě
Dot (丶)
4 4 Cjk m str d.svgCjk m str ld.svg Diǎn
4.1 Cjk m str p.svgCjk m str fp.svg
4.2 Cjk m str up.svgCjk m str hp.svg 提捺 Tí Nà
Type No. Stroke Name
(simplified Chinese and pinyin)
Turning stroke (折 Zhé = right angle turn) or (弯 Wān = curve turn)
5 5.1 Cjk m str hv.svgCjk m str hsv.svg 横折 Héng Zhé
5.2 Cjk m str ht.svg 横撇 Héng Piě
5.3 Cjk m str hj.svg 横钩 Héng Gōu
5.4 Cjk m str vh.svgCjk m str svh.svg 竖折 Shù Zhé
5.5 Cjk m str va.svg 竖弯 Shù Wān
5.6 Cjk m str vu.svg 竖提 Shù Tí
5.7 Cjk m str tu.svgCjk m str th.svg 撇折 Piě Zhé
5.8 Cjk m str td.svgCjk m str wtd.svg 撇点 Piě Diǎn
5.9 Cjk m str tj.svg 撇钩 Piě Gōu
5.10 Cjk m str cj.svg 弯钩 Wān Gōu
5.11 Cjk m str pj.svg 斜钩 Xié Gōu
5.12 Cjk m str hvh.svg 横折折 Héng Zhé Zhé
5.13 Cjk m str ha.svg 横折弯 Héng Zhé Wān
5.14 Cjk m str hvu.svg 横折提 Héng Zhé Tí
5.15 Cjk m str hvj.svgCjk m str utj.svg 横折钩 Héng Zhé Gōu
5.16 Cjk m str hpj.svg 横斜钩 Héng Xié Gōu
5.17 Cjk m str vhv.svg 竖折折 Shù Zhé Zhé
5.18 Cjk m str vht.svgCjk m str tht.svg 竖折撇 Shù Zhé Piě
5.19 Cjk m str vaj.svg 竖弯钩 Shù Wān Gōu
5.20 Cjk m str hvhv.svg 横折折折 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé
5.21 Cjk m str htht.svg 横折折撇 Héng Zhé Zhé Piě
5.22 Cjk m str haj.svgCjk m str htaj.svg 横折弯钩 Héng Zhé Wān Gōu
5.23 Cjk m str htcj.svg 横撇弯钩 Héng Piě Wān Gōu
5.24 Cjk m str vhtj.svgCjk m str thtj.svg 竖折折钩 Shù Zhé Zhé Gōu
5.25 Cjk m str hthtj.svg 横折折折钩 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé Gōu

Some strokes are not included in the numbering scheme, such as stroke Cjk m str fpj.svg, Cjk m str o.svg, Cjk m str du.svg, Cjk m str ft.svg, Cjk m str wd.svg, Cjk m str rsv.svg, Cjk m str thtaj.svg, Cjk m str vcj.svg, etc.

Besides, there are ways of grouping strokes that are different from the Unicode standard. For example, stroke Cjk m str haj.svg is merged into stroke Cjk m str hpj.svg in Unicode system, while it is merged into Cjk m str htaj.svg in this numbering scheme.

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order refers to the order in which the strokes of a Chinese character are written. A stroke is a movement of a writing instrument on a writing surface. Certain stroke orders guidelines are recommended to ensure speed, accuracy, and legibility in composition, as most Chinese characters have many strokes. As such, teachers enforce exactly one stroke order for each character, marking every deviation as a mistake, so everyone writes these characters the same way.[citation needed] The stroke order follows a few simple rules, though, which aids in memorizing these. To write CJK characters, one must know how to write CJK strokes, and thus, needs to identify the basic strokes that make up a character.

Stroke-Based Sorting[edit]

Chinese characters can be sorted into different orders by their strokes. The important stroke-based sorting methods include:

Stroke-count sorting[edit]

This method arranges characters according to their numbers of strokes ascendingly. A character with less strokes is put before those of more strokes. For example, the different characters in "汉字笔画, 漢字筆劃" (Chinese character strokes) are sorted into "汉(5)字(6)画(8)笔(10)[筆(12)畫(12)]漢(14)", where stroke counts are put in brackets. Please note that both 筆 and 畫 are of 12 strokes and their order is not determined by stroke-count sorting.

Stroke-order sorting[edit]

The characters are firstly arranged by their first strokes according to an order of stroke groups (such as “heng (横), shu (竖), pie (撇), dian(点), zhe (折)”, or “dian(点), heng (横), shu (竖), pie (撇), zhe (折)”), then the characters with first strokes belonging to the same group, if any, are sorted by their second strokes in a similar way, and so on. This method is usually employed to support stroke-count sorting to deal with characters of the same stroke number. For instance, 筆(12) starts with stroke ㇓of the pie (撇) group, and 畫(12) starts with ㇕ of the zhe (折) group, and pie is before zhe in groups order, so 筆 goes before 畫.

Stroke-count-stroke-order sorting[edit]

This is a combination of the previous two methods. Characters are arranged by stroke-count, followed by stroke-order. For example, the different characters in "汉字笔画, 漢字筆劃" (Chinese character strokes) are sorted into "汉(5)字(6)画(8)笔(10)筆(12)畫(12)漢(14)", where each character is put at a unique position.

In China, stroke-based sorting normally refers to stroke-count-stroke-order sorting. The Chinese national standard stroke-based sorting is in fact a stroke-count-stroke-order method [7]

YES sorting[edit]

YES is a simplified stroke-based sorting method free of stroke counting and grouping, without comprise in accuracy. And it has been successfully applied to the indexing of all the characters in Xinhua Zidian (新华字典) and Xiandai Hanyu Cidian (现代汉语词典). In this joint index you can look up the Pinyin and Unicode of a Chinese character, in addition to its page numbers in the two popular dictionaries.[8]

Eight Principles of Yong[edit]

The Eight Principles of Yong explain how to write eight common strokes in regular script which are found all in one character, (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.

Eight principle strokes extracted from , "eternity" (five basic strokes: D, T, W, P, N and one compound stroke HZG). Enlarge this image to see the red arrows, showing the way of writing of each.
Eight basic strokes[2]
D black.png - the Diǎn 點 / 点, is a dot, filled from the top, to the bottom, traditionally made by "couching" the brush on the page.
H black.png - the Héng 横, is horizontal, filled from left to right, the same way the Latin letters A, B, C, D are written.
S black.png - the Shù 豎 / 竖, is vertical-falling. The brush begins by a dot on top, then falls downward.
G black.png - the Gōu 鈎(鉤) / 钩, ending another stroke, is a sharp change of direction either down (after a Heng) or left (after a Shù).
T black.png - the 提 / Tiāo 提, is a flick up and rightwards.
W black.png - the Wān 彎 / 弯, follows a concave path on the left or on the right.
P black.png - the Piě 撇, is a falling leftwards (with a slight curve).
N black.png - the 捺, is falling rightwards (with an emphasis at the end of the stroke).
(+ XG-black.png - the Xié 斜 is sometimes added to the 永's strokes. It's a concave Shù falling right, always ended by a Gōu).
D-black.png H-black.png S-black.png G-black.png T-black.png W-black.png P-black.png N-black.png (XG-black.png)

Use in computing[edit]

The stroke count method is based on the order of strokes to input characters on Chinese mobile phones.

As part of Chinese character encoding, there have been several proposals to encode the CJK strokes, most of time with a total around 35~40 entries. Most notable is the current Unicode block “CJK Strokes” (U+31C0..U+31EF), with 36 types of strokes:

CJK Strokes[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lopez, Hugo (2007). "CJK 37 Strokes (fr:Traits chinois)".
  2. ^ a b The extended CJK(V) set of strokes has 29 strokes. These most common 29 used strokes can be reduced to combinations of 8 basic strokes, for a total of 37 strokes. The subset of 8 is found in the character "eternity" 永, hence the name of this set. But other sets of CJK(V) strokes can be found.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Proposed additions to the CJK Strokes block of the UCS (PDF), Ideographic Rapporteur Group, April 3, 2006; Documentation of CJK Strokes (Version 11.0) (PDF), The Unicode Standard / the Unicode Consortium, June 1, 2018
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Bishop, Tom; Cook, Richard (May 23, 2004), Character Description Language (CDL): The Set of Basic CJK Unified Stroke Types (PDF), Wenlin Institute, p. 8, S2CID 14099922, archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2018
  5. ^ a b c d e f IRGN 1174: Summary Report of Strokes Ad Hoc Group, Strokes Ad Hoc Group, December 1, 2005; Documentation of CJK Strokes (Version 11.0) (PDF), The Unicode Standard / the Unicode Consortium, June 1, 2018
  6. ^ "《GB13000.1字符集汉字折笔规范》" (PDF) (in Chinese). 中华人民共和国教育部 国家语言文字工作委员会. December 19, 2001.
  7. ^ "《GB13000.1字符集汉字字序(笔画序)规范》" (PDF) (in Chinese). 中华人民共和国教育部 国家语言文字工作委员会. October 1, 1999.
  8. ^ Zhang, Xiaoheng et. al (张小衡, 李笑通) (2013). 一二三笔顺检字手册 (Handbook of the YES Sorting Method) (in Chinese). Beijing: 语文出版社 (The Language Press). ISBN 978-7-80241-670-3.

External links[edit]