tǔ earth; soil

Similar looking characters : shì (bachelor)


Represents something growing up through the soil
Number of strokes: 3


Index 32 used in: used in: chéng (city) ; dì (earth) ; guī (jade tablet) ; guī (jade tablet) ; hēi (black) ; jiāng (border) ; kuài (piece) ; lǐ (inside) ; líng (mound) ; qù (go) ; shèng (holy) ; sì (Buddhist temple) ; zài (exist) ; zhì (to arrive) ; zhōu (surname Zhou) ; zǒu (walk) ; zuò (sit) ; zuò (seat)

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Different tone

tù (rabbit)

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stroke order for 土
Stroke order for character 土, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license


tǔ earth

Eight legged essay

If you think yourself unlucky when sitting examinations consider the lot of the Chinese student in ancient times. China has a history of examinations going back two thousand years which gradually became more and more tough. Candidates were locked in overnight and had to try to memorize exactly Chinese classics that are the length of the Bible. In Ming dynasty times the eight legged essay was the toughest challenge. The candidate's answer had to be in eight parts structured by strict rules. Students needed to study to the age of 30 before taking them and could then retry year after year.
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