Today there are over 50,000 Chinese characters. But where did this script form originate from? According to legend, the Chinese characters were invented by Cangjie (仓颉，around 4667-4596 BCE), an official of the Yellow Emperor, Huangdi. Cang Jie was responsible for keeping inventory of the livestock and grains. At his time, there was no written language to write things down, so he used shells and knots on different colored ropes to represent the quantities of different things. But it was a complicated system and difficult to remember How could this problem be solved?
Enlightened by hunters’ use of animal prints during hunting, Canjie began to create different symbols to represent different items. Later, he compiled a list of characters and organized them systematically, then he presented it to Emperor Huangdi. It soon became evident that it was easy and efficient to recognize items by means of these characters. Thus, this new writing system was put into use and became very popular.
Since then, more and more Chinese characters have been invented and modified throughout history. Cangjie is honored and respected by Chinese people until today due to his great contribution to the Chinese culture and civilization.