100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Chinese Writer Helps Design New Republic’s Emblem

Zhou Zhangshou (Lu Xun) was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China in 1881. He attended Jiangnan Naval Academy in 1898 where he had contact with Western thought reading Huxley’s “Evolution and Ethics” and Mill’s “On Liberty.” Zhou attended Sendai Medical Academy in 1904 the first foreign student at the college. He left medical school and concentrated on writing, publishing a series of essays on the history of science, Chinese and comparative literature, Chinese society, reform and religion, as well as translating the literature of various countries into Chinese. He returned to China to become a high school teacher. With the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 he joined the Republican administration in the Ministry of Education in Peking. He has started writing his own stories.

On August 28, 1912 Zhou as first chief of the Northern Government, Ministry of Education, Social Education Bureau along with colleagues designed a emblem that represented the Republic of China upon request of the new government. Relying on China’s rich history, Zhou used the 12 Imperial Symbols once associated with China and the emperor. There is a dragon and pheasant (sometimes mistaken for a phoenix), an axe head, rice (small circles on the axe), the sun (above the axe), the moon (the dragon’s horn), fire (on dragon’s body), the fu (the figure under the axe), stars (the three dots above the pheasant’s crest), the mountain (bottom of axe), the grail (in claws of dragon and pheasant), and seaweed (in pheasant’s beak).

Emblem of 12 Symbols on 1914 coin of the Republic of China

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