Nushu

Nushu is a form of writing that was devised by women and only used by women, in a small area of the Chinese province of Hunan. Little is known about its origins, but there is evidence it dates at least to the middle 1800s and was used well into the 20th century. It only attracted scholarly research in the 1980s, but had been studied by amateurs several decades before. Nushu is a simplified form of the famous Chinese characters. Nushu has about a thousand characters, and is syllabic. It could not be read by men, and was a way for women to be able to write in a time and place where literacy among women was not considered appropriate. Most of the literature in Nushu seems to be written for women by other women, often presented to a newlywed woman. It is the only known system of writing used only by women. It has attracted a great deal of attention in the media, but not much is known about it for certain.

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