Category:Han characters by formation type

Traditional “6 principles” of character formation: 六書 (liùshū, six writings); simplified: 六书; Japanese: rikusho.

Of these, 4 pertain to character formation, while the remaining 2 (假借 (jiǎjiè, borrowing; making use of) and 轉注 (zhuǎn zhù, reciprocal meaning)) refer to semantic change (change in meaning) – respectively, to the use of an existing character to write words with similar pronunciation, or to cognates (divergent words with a common root) sharing similar descendant characters.

Currently only the 4 formation types exist as categories.


  • Shuowen Jiezi (說文解字/说文解字) is a standard reference (early 2nd century CE), and is valuable, but inaccurate at points


This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.