The Kanji 重腫種童動働衝鐘憧瞳- tied wrapped stuff with a shaft through (2)


In the last post we explored kanji that came from the shape that described something wrapped in cloth that was tied around at both ends and in the middle and had a shaft going through in the middle. By itself it became the kanji 東. In this post we are going to look at two other shapes that contain the same origin but with additional components. In the kanji 重腫種 “dirt” and “a person” were added, while in the kanji 童動働衝鐘憧瞳 “a tattooing needle over an eye” signifying “slave” was added.

Let us begin with the three kanji 重腫 and 種: To 東, 土“dirt; soil” and “a person” were added.

  1. The kanji 重 “heavy; large; to treasure; to lay over”

History of Kanji 重For the kanji 重 (a) in bronze ware style, in green, comprised “a person” at the top, “stuff wrapped in cloth tied around at both ends and in the middle with a shaft going through,” as in 東, and “soil” (土) signifying “weight” at the bottom. Together “a person standing on top of a heavy load stamping it down on the ground” meant “heavy.” Putting something over from the top also meant “to lay over; pile; repeat.” Something heavy should not be taken lightly and meant “important; previous.” The kanji 重 means “heavy; large; to treasure; to lay over.”  [Composition of the kanji 重: ノ, 一 and 里 with the vertical line reaching ノ]

The kun-yomi 重い /omoi/ means “heavy; grave,” and is in 重荷 (“heavy load; responsibility” /omoni/) and 身重 (“pregnant” /miomo/). The second kun-yomi 重ねる /kasaneru/ means “to repeat; lay over.” The third kun-yomi /e/ is in 八重桜 (“double-pedaled cherry bloosom” /yaeza’kura/), 二重 (“twofold” /huta’e/). The on-yomi /juu/ is in 重量 (“weight” /juuryo’o/), 重要な (“important” /juuyoo-na/) and 厳重に (“sternly; closely” /genjuu-ni/). Another on-yomi /choo/ is in 重宝する (“to find something useful; handy” /cho’ohoo-suru/), 貴重な (“precious; important” /kichoo-na/) and 慎重に(“cautiously” /shinchoo-ni/).

  1. The kanji 腫 “swelling; boil; tumor”

History of Kanji 腫The seal style writing of the kanji 腫 comprised 月, a bushu nikuzuki “part of the body” and 重 used phonetically for /shu/ to mean something inside. The curved shape of tied stuff was applied to one’s body and meant “swelling; boil; tumor.” The kanji 腫 means “swelling; boil; tumor.” [Composition of the kanji  腫: 月 and 重]

The kun-yomi 腫れる /hareru/ means “to swell.” The on-yomi /shu/ is in 腫瘍 (“tumor” /shuyoo/).

  1. The kanji 種 “seed; kind; sort”

History of Kanji 種For the kanji 種 in seal style (a) comprised 禾 “rice plant with crop” and 重 “heavy” used phonetically for /shu/. Grains that were full and heavy made good seeds and were kept for the next sowing. Seeds also differentiated plants.  (The right side of (b) is the shape we look at in the next group.) The kanji 種 means “seed; kind; sort.” [Composition of the kanji 種: 禾 and 重]

The kun-yomi 種 /ta‘ne/ means “seed.” /-Dane/ is in 一粒種 (“the only child of someone” /hitotsubuda’ne/). The on-yomi /shu/ is in 種類 (“kind; sort” /shurui/), 人種 (“race; ethnic group” /jinshu/) and 品種 (“kind” /hinshu/).

The next shape was in the kanji 童動働衝鐘憧瞳– to 東, “a tattooing needle” and “an eye” were added.

 4.The kanji 童 “young child”

History of Kanji 童The bronze ware style writing of the kanji 童 was very long because it contained four separate components on top of another. The top had “a tattooing needle” (辛) and “an eye” (目), together signifying “a prisoner or slave who got tattooed above the eyes.” The bottom had “rolled stuff tied with a pole through” (東) and “dirt” (土), together making up 重 “heavy.” Altogether they signified “a prisoner or a slave who was made to do manual labor such as moving heavy dirt.” The meaning of punishment was dropped. Someone who was ignorant like a prisoner or slave meant “child.” The seal style writing dropped “an eye.” In kanji a needle became 立 and the bottom coalesced into 里 (no relation to the kanji 里). The kanji 童 means “young child.”  [Composition of the kanji 童: 立 and 里]

The kun-yomi 童 /wa’rabe/  is in 童歌 or わらべ歌 (“children’s nursery song” /warabe’uta/). The on-yomi /doo/ is in 童謡 (“children’s song” /dooyoo/) and 童心に帰る(“to retrieve one’s childlike innocence” /dooshin-ni ka’eru/).

  1. The kanji 動 “to move”

History of Kanji 動For the kanji 動 in bronze ware style (a) was the same as 童 “prisoner; slave” who moved heavy stuff. (b) had “a crossroad” on the left, 童 on the right and “a footprint” at the bottom. Together they meant “to move or push forward something heavy.” (c) in Old style a crossroad and a footprint became 辵, the precursor of a bushu shinnyoo, and 重. However, in (d) in seal style instead of 辵 力“a plough” was used to include strenuous work such as field work. The kanji 動 means “to move.” [Composition of the kanji 動: 重 and 力]

The kun-yomi 動く/ugo’ku/ and its transitive counterpart 動かす /ugoka’su/ mean “to move.” The on-yomi /doo/ is in 移動する (“to move; shift” /idoo-suru), 手動 (“manual operation” /shudoo/), 原動力 (“driving force” /gendo’oryoku/), 行動 (“behavior; act” /koodoo/), 動物 (“animal” /doobutsu/) and 一挙一動 (“every move; the slightest move” /i’kkyo ichidoo/).

  1. The kanji 働 “to work; operate”

The kanji 働 was created in Japan, thus no ancient writing existed. The kanji 働 comprises イ, a bushu ninben “an act that one does,” and 動, whose original meaning was “manual heavy work” used phonetically for /doo/. Together they meant “one working hard like doing field work or moving heavy stuff.” The kanji 働 means “to work; operate.” [Composition of the kanji 働: イ, 重 and 力]

The kun-yomi 働く /hataraku/ meant “to work.” /-Batara-ki/ is in 只働き (“working for nothing.” The on-yomi /doo/ is in 労働者 (“laborer” /roodo’osha/), 稼働する(“to operate; work” /kadoo-suru/) and 実働時間 (“actual working hours” /jitsudooji’kan/).

  1. The kanji 衝 “to collide; crash”

History of Kanji 衝For the kanji 衝 the two seal style writings both had 行 “crossroad” signifying “to move forward.” Inside (a) was 童 used phonetically for /shoo/ to mean “to strike” while (b) had 重 used phonetically for /shoo/. The original meaning of a pole going through gave the meaning “to push something through.” Together “striking or to push something forward” meant “to collide; road.” The kanji 衝 means “to collide; crash.” [Composition of the kanji 衝: 彳, 重 and the right side of 行]

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /shoo/ is in 衝突 (“collision; clash; falling-out” /shoototsu/), 衝動的な (“impulsive” /shoodoo-teki-na/) and 衝撃 (“impact; shock” /shoogeki/).
8. The kanji 鐘 “a large bell”

History of Kanji 鐘For the kanji 鐘 (a), (b) and (c) comprised 金 “metal” and 童 used phonetically for shoo. It was a large bell for a festival and religious rite to strike with a stick. The kanji 鐘 means “a large bell.” [Composition of the kanji 鐘: 鐘 and 童]

The kun-yomi 鐘 /kane/ means “a bell.” The on-yomi /shoo/ is in 警鐘 (“alarm bell” /keeshoo/).

  1. The kanji 憧 “unsettled; to yearn after; admire”

History of Kanji 憧The seal style writing of the kanji 憧 comprised “a heart,” which became 忄, a bushu risshinben “heart” placed on the left side, and 童 used phonetically for /doo/. Together they meant “an unsettled heart.” It also means “to yearn after; admire.” The kanji 憧 means “unsettled; to yearn after; admire.”[Composition of the kanji 憧: 忄and 童]

The kun-yomi 憧れ /akogare/ means “yearning.” The on-yomi /doo/ is in 憧憬 (“yearning” /dookee/).

  1. The kanji 瞳 “pupil; eye”

There is no ancient writing of the kanji 瞳. The kanji comprised 目 “eye” and 童 used phonetically for /too/. Together they meant “pupil of an eye.” The kanji 瞳 means “pupil; eye.” [Composition of the kanji 瞳: 目 and 童]

The kun-yomi 瞳 /hitomi/ means “pupil; eye.” The on-yomi /doo/ is in 瞳孔 (“pupil” /dookoo/).

Our “something wrapped in cloth that was tied around on both ends and in the middle and had a shaft going through in the middle” (I need to rephrase this wordy descrition at one point) does not end with the twenty kanji we have explored. It extends to another small group of kanji and that will be our topic next week.  Thank you very much for your reading. – Noriko [April 21, 2018]

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]