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Elizabeth F. Bennett

[K’ang Yu-wei; zi Nanhai]

(b Nanhai, Guangdong Province, 19 March 1858; d Qingdao, Shandong Province, 31 March 1927). Chinese reformer, scholar and calligrapher. He is best known as the instigator of the Hundred Days Reform, which lasted from 16 June to 21 September 1898, when the Guangxu emperor (reg 1875–1908) accepted Kang’s proposals for far-reaching change. Kang convinced the emperor of the importance of incorporating Western methods into Chinese culture so as to strengthen China against foreign aggression. The profoundly conservative dowager empress Cixi (1835–1908) staged a coup which brought the movement to an end. Kang fled the country and did not return until 1913, after the fall of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).

Kang’s formal education in calligraphy and epigraphy began under the tutelage of the eminent scholar, Zhu Ciqi (1807–81). Kang later chose a few models and copied them avidly: the Shimen ming, calligraphy carved into a cliff face in Shanxi Province in ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[Lo Chen-yü; zi Xuetang; hao Chensuntang]

(b Huaian, Jiangsu Province, Aug 3, 1866; d Lüshun, Liaoning Province, June 19, 1940).

Chinese writer, collector and calligrapher. He is particularly well known for his studies of oracle bone script (jiagu wen), the earliest Chinese writing, so called because it was found on animal bones and shells used for divination (see China, People’s Republic of §IV 2., (i), (a)). Luo’s friend Wang Yirong (1845–1900) and Liu E (1857–1909) were the first to collect the bones, which they discovered and rescued from pharmacists, who ground them up for medical prescriptions. The importance of oracle bones for early Chinese history was more widely recognized in 1899 after large quantities of them were unearthed at the Yinxu site in Anyang, Henan Province. Sun Yirang (1848–1908), Wang Guowei (1867–1927) and Luo investigated the texts on the oracle bones, and Luo dated them to the latter part of the Shang period (c. 1600–c. 1050...