隸書 (Jp.: reisho; Ch.: lishu)
Clerical script was the starting point for stylized calligraphy: curved lines were straightened, radicals (graphic components that indicate the meaning of the character) were simplified and merged, the number of strokes were reduced. The script developed in China around 300 BCE and became increasingly important during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) as the territory expanded and an increasing number of imperial edicts needed to be copied and distributed across the country. This job fell to the official clerics, and was made possible with the advent of paper and silk as substrates, rather than stone or bamboo strips.