The Kanji 垂睡郵・不否杯倍培陪剖部—垂 and 不 


In this last post on kanji that originated from a plant we are going to explore two groups: 垂睡郵 from “leaves drooping down to the ground” (垂) and 不否杯倍培陪剖部 from “calyx of a flower” (不).

  1. The kanji 埀 “to hang down; dangle; vertical”

history-of-kanji-%e5%9e%82For the kanji 垂 in ten style, in red, the top was leaves or branches hanging down low, which by itself signified “to droop.” The bottom was 土 “ground,” adding the sense that hanging leaves touched the ground. Together they meant “to hang down; dangle; droop.” Something that was hanging down also meant “vertical; at a right angle.” (In kyujitai, in blue, the top was similar to the non-joyo kanji 乖 /ka’i/, as in 乖離 “estrangement; separation.”I suspect that it came from a different origin and just happened to use the shape.)

The kun-yomi /tare’ru/ means “to hang down; droop,” and is in 垂れ幕 “hanging banner; curtain” and 雨垂れ (“rain dripping from eaves”/amadare/). The on-yomi /su’i/ is in 垂直 (“vertical; at right angle” /suichoku/), 懸垂 (“suspension; ‘pull-up’ in the horizontal bar” /kensui/) and 胃下垂 (“gasrtic ptosis” /ika’sui/).

  1. The kanji 郵 “post; postal service”

history-of-kanji-%e9%83%b5In ten style of the kanji 郵, 垂 on the left meant “frontier; outlying district” from something that stretched away from the center. The right side had an “area” and a “person,” signifying “village,” which is our familia bushu oozato. A village along the roads leading to an outlying area had a post station where messengers pass through. From that it meant “post; postal service.” (This kanji was in The Kanji 都者郡君群部郵郷–おおざと on November 8, 2015)

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /yu’u/ is in 郵便 (“postal service; post; mail” /yuubin/) and 郵送する (“to send by postal service” /yuusoo-suru/).

  1. The kanji 睡 ”to sleep”

history-of-kanji-%e7%9d%a1In ten style of the kanji 睡, 目 “eye” was added to 垂 “to droop,” which was also used phonetically for /su’i/. Eyelids drooping meant “to sleep.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /su’i/ is in 睡眠 (“sleep” /suimin/), 熟睡する (“to sleep soundly; fall into a deep sleep” /jukusui-suru/) and 睡魔におそわれる (“to get overcome by drowsiness” /su’ima-ni osowareru/).

The next group of kanji comes from a calyx of a flower. A calyx in Japanese is 花の萼 /ga’ku; gaku’/. It became the kanji 不.

  1. The kanji 不 “negation; not”

history-of-kanji-%e4%b8%8dIn oracle bone style, in brown, bronze ware style, in green, and ten style, it was a pictograph of a calyx of a flower – the top was an enclosed fruit or seed and the bottom was a leaf-like support, usually green. The shape was borrowed to mean “negation; not ~.” 不 is used as prefix to signify “negation; not.”

The kun-yomi is /zu/ but is rarely used. Words that have the on-yomi /hu; bu/ are numerous. They often have an counterpart to which 不 gives the meaning “not.” 不安定な (“unstable” /hur’antee-na/) and 安定 (“stable” /antee/), 不利な (“disadvantageous” /hu’ri-na/) and 有利な (“advantageous” /yu’uri-na/), 不便な (“inconvenient” /hu’ben-na/) and 便利な (“be’nri-na” /convenient?), and 不可能 (“impossible” /huka’noo-na/) and 可能な (“possible; able” /kanoo-na/).

  1. The kanji 否 “to deny”

history-of-kanji-%e5%90%a6In ten style of the kanji 否, what we see in ten style of 不 had 口 “mouth” or “speaking.” Together they meant “to deny.”

The kun-yomi 否む /ina’mu/ means “to deny,” used in writing. The on-yomi /hi/ is in 否定 (“negation” /hitee/), 否決する (“to vote down” /hiketsu-suru/) and /-pi/ is in 安否を問う (“to inquire about the safety of someone” /a’npi-o to’u/).

  1. The kanji 杯 “wine cup; cupful”

history-of-kanji-%e6%9d%afFor the kanji 杯 in ten style 木 “tree/wood” was added to 不 “calyx.” Together they signified a calyx-shape wine cup made of wood. From that it meant “wine cup; cupful of.” It is also used as a counter for “cupful.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /ha/ is in 祝杯 (“celebratory drink” /shukuhai/), and /-pai/ is in 乾杯 (“bottom-up; cheers” /kanpai/). As a counter, the consonant has the usual variations of /ha; pu; ba/ that a beginning student goes through memorizing–一杯 /i’ppai/, 二杯 /ni’hai/, 三杯 /sa’nbai/, 四杯 /yo’nhai/ 五杯 /gohai/ and so on.

In the next five kanji, 倍培陪剖部, the ten style shape that we saw in 否 were seen in their ten style, but they became a different shape, 咅, in kanji.

  1. The kanji 倍 “to become doubled; double”

history-of-kanji-%e5%80%8dFor the kanji 倍 in ten style, a bushu ninben “person” was added to the left. The right side meant a ripe fruit or seed that was about to split. 咅 was used phonetically for /bu/ tmeaning “to divide.” Together they signified two people splitting something. From that it meant “to become doubled; double.” For sample words please see the earlier post. For word samples, please refer to the earlier post.

  1. The kanji 培 “culture; to cultivate”

history-of-kanji-%e5%9f%b9The kanji 培 had a bushu tsuchihen “soil; dirt’ ground.” A mature calyx swelled and signified something “swelling; bulging.” Together they meant a hilly land or raised ground. When you grow a plant you add soil around it. The kanji 培 means “to cultivate.”

The kun-yomi /tsuchika’u/ means “ to cultivate; nurture. The on-yomi /ba’i/ is 栽培する “to grow” and 培養 “culture.”

  1. The kanji 陪 “to accompany”

history-of-kanji-%e9%99%aaThe kanji 陪 had a bushu kozatohen “pile of dirt.” The right side 咅 was used phonetically.It means “to attend; accompany” in an official capacity. The connection with “officially” is explained in Shirakawa as coming from a kozatohen as a ladder for the god.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /bai/ is in 陪審員 (“juror” /baishi’n-in/), 陪食する (“to have a meal accompanying someone superior” /baishoku-suru/) –not a useful word for us–,  and 陪席 (“sitting with a superior” /baiseki/). For us “sitting in a company of someone” would be 同席する /dooseki-suru/.

  1. The kanji 剖 “to divide; cut”

history-of-kanji-%e5%89%96The kanji 剖 had a bushu rittoo “knife” on the right side. On the left the top part of a matured calyx would split. Together they meant “to divide; cut.” There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /bo’o/ is in 解剖する (“to dissect” /kaiboo-suru/).

  1. The kanji 部 “part”

history-of-kanji-%e9%83%a8If you only look at the kanji 部 and 陪, they look as if the components were just swiched. However, as we already know from the earlier posts, the bushu kosatohen and oozato had entirely different origins. This pair would be a good reminder for us about different origins. For the kanji 部 in ten style the right side was “village.” The left side 咅, meaning “splitting into two,” and the right side “village” meant “a part of a village or other entirety.” The kanji 部 meant “to divide a village into parts.” From that it meant “part; portion” of a whole or “department; section” of a larger organization. For word samples please refer to the earlier post. (The Kanji 都者郡君群部郵郷–おおざとon November 8, 2015)

We have looked at eight kanji 不否杯倍培陪剖部 that originated from 不. Kanji shapes developed differently even though their ten style writings had the same shape. Even though the original image of calyx was primarily used phonetically we could also see a part of a plant hidden in the origin of the meaning of 不. I hope some readers find this connection interesting. My next posting will be in two weeks. Thank you very much for your interest. –Noriko [October 9, 2016]

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