The Kanji 私種程稲稿称香和歴暦-のぎへん (2)


In this post we continue exploring kanji that contain a nogihen 禾 “rice plant” with a drooping head because of a full crop — 私種程稲稿称香. After that we are going to look at kanji with a different view of the origin of nogihen, “military gate sign,”–和歴暦.

  1. The kanji 私 “I; private; personal”

History of Kanji 私For the kanji 私 in ten style, in red, the left side was a “rice plant.” The right side was a hoe or plow of a peasant who worked on a private field owned by a landowner. From a private land peasant, it meant “private” and was extended to mean “I.” Another view of the right side is that a person was bending his arm to claim crops that belonged to him. In kanji the right side is in the katakana ムshape.

The kun-yomi 私 /watakushi/ means “I.” The on-yomi /shi/ is in 私的な (“private” /shiteki-na/), 私物 (“private property; personal belongings” /shibutsu/), 公私の別 (“distinction between public and private” /ko’oshi-no betu/), 私立 (“private; non-govermental” /shi’ritsu/), 私用 (“personal errand” /shiyoo/) and 私服 (“plain clothes; not in uniform” /shihuku/).

  1. The kanji 種 “seed; kind”

History of Kanji 種For the kanji 種 in ten style the right side meant “heavy.” (Please refer to the earlier post on 重 “heavy.” [The Kanji 東動働重童-力 “power” (3) on January 5, 2015] The grains that were full and heavy made good seeds and were kept for the next seeding time. Seeds are also of different kinds. The kanji 種 meant “seed; kind.”

The kun-yomi 種 /ta’ne/ means “seed,” and /-dane/ is in 火種 (“kindling; the cause of fire” /hida’ne/) in the phrase 火種となる (“to cause a dispute” /hida’ne-to naru/) . The on-yomi /shu/ is in 種子 (“seed” /shu’shi/), 種類 (“kind” /shurui/), 人種 (“race” /jinshu/), 各種 (“various kind of” /ka’kushu/), 品種 (“sort; kind; variety; breed” /hinshu/) and 種々様々 (“all sorts of; all manner of” /shu’ju sama’zama/).

  1. The kanji 程 “degree; extent”

History of Kanji 程For the kanji 程 in ten style the right side had a person with a short line at the shin, and was used phonetically to mean “to present; submit.” Together with the left side “rice plant,” they meant the neatly piled rice plants that were measured. Measuring gave the meaning “extent; degree.” In kanji the right side became 呈 (“to present; submit” /te’e/) with the bottom changing to 王 from the shape 壬 that was kept in other kanji such as 廷庭.

The kun-yomi 程 /hodo/ means “degree,” and is in 程よい (“good; temperate” /hodoyo’i/), 程々にする (“do things in moderation” /hodohodo-ni-suru/). It may also be used in the verbal phrase 〜すればする程 “the more you do, the more it becomes” and the adjectival phrase 〜ければ〜い程, even though it is often written in hiragana. The on-yomi /te’e/ is in 程度 (“degree; extent” /te’edo/) and 日程 (“schedule; schedule of the day” /nittee/) and 旅程 (“itinerary; distance” /ryotee/).

  1. The kanji 稲 “rice plant”

History of Kanji 稲For the kanji 稲 in bronze ware style, in green, the right side of (a) had “a hand reaching from above” and “a mortar” at the bottom. It was also used phonetically to mean “a scooping.” With the left side a rice plant with crop, together they meant a hand handling rice in a mortar. In (b) the rice plant and a hand were placed at the top, and the bottom had “water” on the left, and rice grains and a mortar on the right side. Rice is grown in paddies immersed in water at earlier stage, unlike other grains. From a hand handling rice in a mortar the kanji 稲 meant “rice plant.”

The kun-yomi 稲 /i’ne/ means “rice plant,” and /ina-/ is in 稲穂 (“ear of rice plant” /inaho/) and 稲荷 (“the god of harvests” /i’nari/). The on-yomi /to’o/ is in 水稲 (“rice grown in rice paddies” /suitoo/).

  1. The kanji 稿 “manuscript”

History of Kanji 稿For the kanji 稿 in ten style the top was a tower, and was used phonetically to mean “dry.” Inside the tower was rice plants. Together they originally signified dry rice plants or “straw.” In shinjitai the two components 禾 “rice plants” and 高 were placed side by side. Straws scattered were similar to scattered scribbles or notes for manuscripts. From that it meant “manuscripts.” The original meaning of “straw” is written as 藁 (a bushu kusakanmuri, 高 and 木) pronounced as /wa’ra/, which is not included among Joyo kanji.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /ko’o/ is in 原稿 (“manuscripts” /genkoo/), 原稿用紙 (“writing section paper for manuscripts” /genkooyo’oshi/) and 投稿する (“to submit an article” /tookoo-suru/).

  1. The kanji 称 “to praise; title; name”

History of Kanji 称For the kanji 称 the oracle bone style writings, in brown, had a hand from above at the top holding a pair of scales. From “lifting two things to weigh” it meant “to raise someone up with praise.” In ten style, the left side had a rice plant and the right side was a hand and a well-balanced structure, signifying lifting a weigh scale. The kyujitai, in blue, reflected the ten style writing. In shinjitai, the right side was replaced by 尓.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /sho’o/ is in 名称 (“name” /meeshoo/), 称号 (“title” /shoogoo/), 自称 (“self-proclaimed; self-described” /jishoo/) and 愛称 (“nickname” /aishoo/).

  1. The kanji 香 “fragrance”

History of Kanji 香For the kanji 香, the oracle bone style writings were millet in a bowl. That became the top of the ten style writing. History of Kanji 黍It is not easy to see the transition, but if we look at the history of the kanji 黍 /ki’bi/ “millet” shown on the right, we can see that the ten style of 黍 became the top of the ten style of 香. Millet has a fragrance. (I do not know how millet smells.) With 曰, it meant one tasting in one’s mouth millet that is fragrant. So in 香, 禾 at the top was not from “rice plant” but “rice-like plant.” The kanji 香 meant “pleasant smell; fragrance.”

The kun-yomi 香り /kaori/ means “fragrance.” The on-yomi /ko’o/ is in 香水 (“perfume” /koosui/), 香料 (“fragrance” /kooryo’o/) and  香辛料 (“spice” /kooshi’nryoo/).

The prevalent view of the origin of the bushu 禾 is “rice plants” as we have seen. There is another view on the origin when 禾 appeared in some kanji. The next three kanji, 和歴暦, are explained in Shirakawa to have originated as “military gate.” We have touched upon this when we looked at the bronze ware style writings of the kanji 休 in the earlier post just a while ago. This is what I wrote:

“(Shirakawa) said that the right side was not 木 but 禾. 禾 was explained as a sign placed on the gate of a military installation where a cease-fire ceremony was held (related to the kanji 和 “peace; harmony”). From this the writing 休 meant to conduct a peace-keeping negotiation at this gate.”[The Kanji 木休本体末抹朱株—”tree” (1) on July 10, 2016]

So, let us look at these kanji in two different views of 禾.

  1. The kanji 和 “peaceful; harmony; Japanese”

History of Kanji 和For the kanji 和 in bronze ware style the left side had a wooden sign on a gate of a military installation. The right side was a box to contain documents. Together they signified a military truce agreement for peace, and from that it meant “peace; harmony.” That is View A. The more prevalent view, View B, is that it was used phonetically: 禾 was a drooping head of a millet plant, was used phonetically to mean “rounded” (Kanjigen) and signified “not having a conflict”; or, the writing consisted of a mouth and 禾 /ka/, which signified phonetically “to add,” as in 加 /ka/. Together they meant people talk harmoniously (Kadokawa). 和 also meant “Japanese.”

The kun-yomi 和らぐ /yawara’gu/ means “to become mild; soften,” as in 痛みが和らぐ (“pain is eased” /itami’-ga yawara’gu/). Another kun-yomi 和やかな /nago’yaka-na/ means “congenial; friendly.” The on-yomi /wa/ is in 平和 (“peace” /heewa/), 和服 (“Japanese-style clothes” /wahuku/), 和気あいあいと (“congenially; friendly atmosphere” /wa’ki aiai-to/), 和紙 (“Japanese rice paper” /wa’shi/), 和風 (“Japanese style” /wahuu/) and 大和 (“old name of Japan” /ya’mato/).

The next two kanji 歴 and 暦 share a common component at the top. Different views on the origin of 禾 naturally result in having different views on what this shape meant; View A “field military headquarters” and view B “dry rice plants placed neatly in a row under the eave.”

  1. The kanji 歴 “history; path”

History of Kanji 歴For the kanji 歴 in oracle bone style (a) had two piecs of wood or rice plants and a footprint. In bronze ware style, (b) and (c), cliff or roof was added. (c) did not have a footprint. In ten style 禾 was 木, but in kyujitai kanji it became 禾, and further changed back to 木 in shinjitai kanji. View A: the top signified military signs under a cliff and the footprint signified an army touring a number of places one by one. Because army moved from one place to another, it meant “path; history.” View B: Many seasons of rice harvests counted one by one. The kanji 歴 meant “history; path.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /reki/ is in 歴史 (“history” /rekishi/), 略歴 (“brief history” /ryakureki/), 履歴書 (”resume;curriculum votar” /rirekisho/), 経歴 (“work experiences” /keereki/) and 学歴 (“educational background” /gakureki/) and 歴訪する (“to tour; successive visits” /rekihoo-suru/).

  1. The kanji 暦 “calendar; almanac”

History of Kanji 暦View A: a military field headquarters and a box of documents. It originally meant a recognition ceremony for distinguished war service at the gate. Later on the bottom was mistakenly interpreted as the sun, and it was used as a calendar. View B: Rice plants laid in a row and the sun together signified “the sun taking its path.” From that it meant “calendar.”

The kun-yomi 暦 /koyomi’/ means “calendar.” The on-yomi /re’ki/ is in 太陽暦 (“solar calendar” /taiyo’oreki/), 西暦 (“Christian era; A.D.” /seereki/) and 還暦 (“the sixtieth anniversary of one’s birth” /kanreki/).

In the next post, we are moving to another component from a plant. Thank  you very much for your reading. [September 4, 2916]

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