Hand-copied Japanese Kanji Precursors

Hand-copied Kanji Precursors Screen Shot (2)

Hand-copied Kanji Precursors – Screen Shot (2)

This is sort of re-posting of my December 10, 2013, posting, which got deleted due to my clumsy handling of a new iPad this weekend.  By way of apology to our readers who have already read my earlier post, I am posting this with a different screen shot.  It covers from the kanji 次 (ジ) through 受 (ジュ) in the 50-on syllabary order.  I hope you will find some interesting shapes that get you thinking about how close the relationship between the shape and meaning of a kanji was in ancient times, and to some extent still is now too. [February 16, 2016]

This is what I wrote two months ago. . .

A couple of days ago I finally finished hand-copying in pen the various styles of kanji precursors (漢字の古代文字) for 1100 kanji and made them into over 2000 individual jpeg files. This photo is a screen shot of some of the files on my Mac desktop.

The dictionary that I used for this particular work was Tenrei Jiten (Dictionary of Official-seal Style and Rei Style Chinese Characters) compiled by Kiyomi Akai in 1985 (「篆隸字典」赤井清美.)  This book contains 1400 pages of ancient writing that Akai organized photos of various artifacts according to the order of kanji radical. It includes official seal style (篆文 /ten-bun/, from Setsumon Kaiji), oracle bone style (甲骨文 /kookotsubun/) and bronze ware style (金文 /kinbun/).

I recreated the images in pen, and they are now ready for me to use in the kanji teaching web site that I am planning to start next year, that is, in 2014. [December 10, 2013]

2 thoughts on “Hand-copied Japanese Kanji Precursors

  1. Hello 先生, thanks for improving the organization of the blog. Now, is more easy to search through it. I am writing because I saw the kanji 唇 and was startled by the component 辰.

    I reviewed the following books: 広辞苑, 字通, 漢字源, 新漢語林 and “Chinese Writing” by Qiu Xigui, but, neither of them satisfy my curiosity.

    Although some webpages (chineseetymology.org / hanziyuan.com) provide different explanations, i am still confused. I will like to know your view about that “mysterious” kanji.

    Thanks in advance….

    PS: I uploaded the entry for 辰 in various dictionaries:

  2. In the previous comment, I forget to provide another reference, namely, the entry for 辰 in the Hanyu Da Cidian.


    The Hanyu Da Cidian has a diachronic coverage of the chinese language, and sometimes, is useful when researching about the original meaning of 漢字. The dictionary provides citations from ~VI Century BFC until the XX century CE.


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