Literary style in feudal China varied from dynasty to dynasty. Cifu, or fu, (sentimental or descriptive composition, often rhymed) was the most representative literary form of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). The four figures shown on this set of stamps are prominent cifu writers of the Han. Jia Yi (200-168 B.C.) was a thinker and writer of the Western Han Dynasty, famous for his cifu works “The Faults of Qin” and “On the Owl.” Sima Xiangru (about 179-118 B.C.), style name Changqing, was a celebrated author of the Western Han, whose “Ode to Zixu” and “Ode to Shanglin Garden” are considered the greatest representatives of the Han literature. Yang Xiong (53 B.C.-18 A.D.), style name Ziyun, was particularly good at imitation, and his famous works include “Ode to Sweet Spring” and “Ode to Hunting.” Ban Gu (32-92 A.D.), style name Mengjian, a great historian and writer of the Eastern Han, compiled the Book of Han, China’s first written document of dynastic histories, and his “Ode to the Two Capitals” is hailed as the best among the ancient literary works devoted to the capitals.
China National Philatelic Corporation will issue a FDC and a commemorative cancellation respectively.