The Chinese characters of Empress Wu, or the Zetian characters (Chinese: 則天文字; pinyin: Zétiān wénzì), are Chinese characters introduced by Empress Wu Zetian, the only empress regnant in the history of China, in order to demonstrate her power. The characters were not created by the Empress herself, but were suggested by an official named Zong Qinke, the son of one of her cousins, in December, 689 AD. The number of characters varies between 12, 17, 19, or 30. Her subjects were forced to use them during her reign, but they fell into disuse immediately after her death, so they help to determine dates of printed materials.

A few of the surviving characters are preserved in the written histories of Wu Zetian, and a few have found themselves incorporated into modern-day computer standards, classified as either variant or dialect-specific characters.

The form of the characters varies depending on where they are printed. For instance, Empress Wu's own name zhào was replaced with one of two new characters created through her: or ;[1] looking in the Kangxi Dictionary, one finds the description of the former, having two ("eye") characters, being the proper character, rather than míng ("bright").

Oops something went wrong: