More about other rules of writing Chinese calligraphy in semi-cursive script (行書), here.
The reduction of strokes is one of the main purposes of semi-cursive and cursive (草書) scripts. It allows for more fluent and emotional writing. This rule of writing corresponds with the technique used in both Chinese and Japanese calligraphy art, known as unbroken line (連綿).
In the diagram (top left), you can see kanji 雨 (rain), which has 8 strokes in standard script. The pictured semi-cursive form was written with two brush strokes only. It is to be said that virtually nearly any rule of writing calligraphy stays in close relation to other rules. For instance, you will notice that the 4 dots of of the Chinese character 雨 were merged into a single curved line, which would be the rule #3 of semi-cursive and cursive scripts.
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