Inspired by the
flat scepters of nobles in antiquity; etched with
timeless wisdom.

Edited: February 10, 2018

Posted: March 6, 2018


Ancient nobles and court officials often can be seen holding a slim long flat strip (bamboo, wood, or ivory) etched with inscriptions when they have an audience with the emperor.



Or this on the old Japanese banknote:


What is this object? This flat long ruler-like board is called 笏 (pronounced in Mandarin and shaku in Japanese). The hù has also been translated as scepter tablet or flat scepter. It is essentially a long strip of bamboo or wood with writing on it that functions like an “ancient teleprompter” for court officials when they have an audience with the emperor. They were also used to record mandates and instructions from the emperor.


Thousands of years later, this flat scepter became a ritualistic and ceremonial object that is still used by some today.


Inspired by the history of the flat scepter as a reminder of very important messages for important persons and from important people, we design our bookmarks to be thicker than usual to resemble this ancient board. Importantly, we etch words worth remembering onto this bookmark.


This meaningful bookmark has a crafted square edge that will become more rounded over time as your use brings out the unique characteristics of the wood.


New bookmarks:


We’ve created three new limited edition wooden bookmarks:



“We’re here in California” Bookmark: We initially made this bookmark as a gift for our clients. It’s a cutout shape of California marked with our HQ location. Essentially, this is two bookmarks in one! From as far back as the third grade, I have loved maps. This makes a superb gift for “maps” people. Let me know if you’d like to have something like this made featuring your own state and town.



“Victorious Warriors” Bookmark: Engraved with Sun Tzu’s quote from the Art of War, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win,” this treasure is a reminder that we need to prepare well and plan to win. We use it metaphorically to remind potential clients that they absolutely need to figure out the best Chinese version of their brand name and trademark it BEFORE they go to China, or several bad things WILL happen. A similar phrase has been attributed to John Wooden, who said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”



“True Meaning of Love” Bookmark: From “love suffers long and is kind” to “love never fails” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, this attractive bookmark is etched in the traditional Chinese translation of the verse on the front (with the traditional character for love with the heart kept in) and the KJV verse etched in English on the back. I use it as a daily self-reflection of my interactions with others to help me assess if I have been patient, kind, think the best of others, see beyond someone’s current situation, and consider their potential and what they can become, and so on.


In our previous, but now sold out, “Year of the Dog 2018” bookmark, we used italics in English and semi-cursive script, Xíng, in Chinese to represent the movement of coming blessings and good luck.


For the “Victorious Warriors” bookmark, we use a clerical script, Lì, to represent the same style of calligraphy written on bamboo strips in the earliest found copy of Art of War.


We use the regular script, Kai, for the “Love” bookmark, as we hope love will be more common and widespread than anything else.







Twenty years of providing meaningful Chinese characters for 3,000+ small businesses in North America and 45 countries worldwide. Created and Crafted in California, U.S.A.

Copyright © 2001-2022 Good Characters, Inc. All rights reserved. Good Characters — That's who we are; that's what we do. Privacy Policy