The Kanji 費払仏沸者着諸緒著暑煮 -(6)


We have been exploring kanji that originated from a shape that something was tied up or a bundle of things. This is the sixth and last post in this group. The shapes we are going to look at on this post are: 弗 “to disperse” from a bunch of bent twigs that were bundled together by a rope but would not stay together – the kanji 費払仏沸; and 者 phonetically used for /sha/ from “a bundle of wooden sticks gathered in a stove being burned” –  the kanji 者着諸緒著暑煮.

History of Kanji 弗For the shape 弗 the history shown on the right in three different styles of ancient writing all had two bent lines and a rope around them. They signified that bent or crooked sticks were roped together in order to straighten, but the force of curling back was stronger and they would not stay straight and came apart. It meant “disperse” and it is used phonetically for /hutsu/ in kanji.

  1. The kanji 費 “to spend (money or time); cost; waste”

History of Kanji 費Forthe kanji 費 the bronze ware style writing, in green, comprised 弗 “to disperse” used phonetically for /hi/, 刂 “a knife” and 貝 “cowrie; money,” together signifying “to spend money.” In seal style, in red, the knife was dropped. It is also used for time, such as “spending time; wasting time.” Together they meant “cost; to spend money; require (time).” [Relating to this kanji, the top 弗 looks similar to the dollar sign $. So by itself it is customarily used to mean “dollar” in Japanese. [The composition of the kanji 費: 弗 and 貝]

The kun-yomi 費やす /tsuiya’su/ means “to spend (money; time),” as in 時間を費やす(“to spend time” /jikan-o tsuiya’su/). The on-yomi /hi/ is in費用 (“expenses” /hiyoo/), 私費 (“private expense” /shi’hi/), 浪費 (“waste” /roohi/). /-Pi/ is in 実費 (“actual expense; costs” /jippi/).

  1. The kanji払“to pay money; pay attention; brush off”

History of Kanji 払For the kanji 払t he seal style writing  had “a hand; an act that one does using a hand” and 弗 “to come apart” used phonetically for /hutsu/. Together “a hand pushing something away” meant “to brush off.” It also meant “to pay money or attention.” The right side of the kyuji 拂, in blue, was simplified with ム, a segment often used for simplification in other kanji as well. The kanji 払 means “to pay money; pay attention; brush off.”  [The composition of the kanji 払: 扌and ム]

The kun-yomi 払う /hara’u/ is used in お金を払う (“to pay money” /okane-o har’u/), 埃を払う (“brush off dust” /hokori-o hara’u/) and 注意を払う( “to pay attention” /chu’ui-o hara’u/), 支払い (“payment”/shiharai/) and 月払い (“monthly payment” /tsukiba’rai/). The on-yomi /hutsu/ is in 払拭する (“to wipe off” /husshoku-suru/)/.

  1. The kanji 仏 “Buddha; Buddhism; France”

History of Kanji 仏For the kanji 仏 the left side of the seal style writing was “a person; an act one does” and the right side (弗) was used phonetically for hutsu. When the Buddhism came to China from India, the Sanskrit word Buddha was written phonetically as 佛陀 Budda. The right side of the kyuji 佛 was replaced byム. Phonetically it is also used for 仏蘭西 “France” for having the first syllable /hu/. The kanji 仏 means “Buddha; Buddhism; France.” [The composition of the kanji 仏: イ and ム]

The kun-yomi 仏 /hotoke/ and 仏様 /hotoke-sa’ma/ mean “buddha.” The on-yomi /hutsu/ is 旧仏領 (old French colony” /kyu’u hutsuryoo/.) /-Butsu/ is in 大仏 (“big Buddha statue” /daibutsu/).

  1. The kanji 沸“to boil water; gush”

History of Kanji 沸The seal style writing of the kanji 沸 comprised “water” and 弗 used phonetically for hutsuto mean “to boil.” (/Hutsu/ was the onomatopoeia of water boiling.) Together they meant water gushing out in a spring. Boiling water looks similar to a spring. It was used to mean “to boil.” The kanji 沸 means “to boil water; bubble up.” [The composition of the kanji 沸: 氵and 弗]

The kun-yomi /waku/  and its transitive counterpart /wakasu/ means “to boil.” The on-yomi /hutsu/ is in 沸騰する (“to boil” /huttoo-suru/), 沸点 (“boiling point” /hutten/), 煮沸消毒 (“boiling sterilization” /shahutsu-sho’odoku/).

For the kanji 者 the history is shown in 5 the kanji 者 as used by itself. As a component it appears in the kanji 諸煮暑緒著着.

  1. The kanji 者“person”

History of Kanji 者For the kanji 者 in (a), (b) and (c) twigs in a container or stove were being burned with sparkles of fire. From early times it was borrowed to mean “this; person.” The kyuji 者 (d) kept a dot in the middle as the remnant of sparkles of fire, but it was deleted in shinji. The kanji 者means “person.”  (In modern use “this” as a demonstrative word is not used.” [The composition of the kanji 者: 耂 and 曰]

The kun-yomi 者 /mono’/ means “person,” and is in 悪者 (“bad guy; villain” /warumono/), 回し者 (“spy” /mawashimono/). The on-yomi /sha/ is in 医者 (“medical doctor” /isha/), 記者 (“reporter; journalist” /ki’sha/), 希望者 (“applicant” /kibo’osha/), 加入者 (“new member” /kanyu’usha/).

  1. The kanji 着”to attach; to put clothes on; wear; arrive (at a place)”

History of Kanji 着There is no ancient writing for the kanji 着. (a) was an inscription on a stone stele and (b) was the Correct style writing 著.  The kanji 着 was a variant of 著. In Japanese the two kanji have different use: 著 means “to author; stand out” whereas 着means “to attach; to put clothes on; wear; arrive (at a place).” [The composition of the kanji 着: 羊 without the vertical line going through, ノand 目]

The kun-yomi 着る /kiru/ means “to wear,” and is in 着物 (“kimono; traditional Japanese attire” /kimono/). Another kun-yomi着く /tsu’ku/ means “to arrive.” The on-yomi /chaku/ is in一着 (“one piece of clothes” /icchaku/), 着服 (“embezzlement” /chakuhuku-suru/), 到着時間 (“arrival time” /toochaku-ji’kan/), 着手する (“to start up” /cha’kushu-suru/) and 接着剤 (“glue; adhesive” /secchakuzai/).

  1. The kanji 諸“various; many; all”

History of Kanji 諸For the kanji 諸the bronze ware style writing was the same as 者. It was used phonetically for /sho/ to mean “many.” In 2 言 “word; language” was added. Together they meant “many words,” and also meant “many; various; all” in general. The kanji 諸 means “various; many; all.” [The composition of the kanji 諸: 言 and 者]

The kun-yomi /moro/ is in 諸々の (“various; many all” /moromoro-no/). The on-yomi /sho/ is in 諸事情 (“various reasons” /shoji’joo/), 諸君 (“Gentlemen!” /sho’kun/), 学生諸君 (“All our students” /gakusee-sho’kun/) and 読者諸氏 (“All readers” /dokushasho’shi/).

  1. The kanji 緒 “beginning; rope; string; together”

History of Kanji 緒For the kanji 緒 the seal style writing comprised 糸 “a skein of threads” and 者 used phonetically for /sho/ to mean “beginning,” as in 初. Together they signified “the beginning of a long continuous thing, such as a string or rope.” A rope put things together and signified “together.” The kyuji 緖, 2, lost the dot in the middle in shinji. The kanji 緒 means “beginning; rope; string.” [The composition of the kanji 緒: 糸 and 者]

The kun-yomi 緒 /o/ means “string,” as in 兜の緒 (“strings on kabuto armor” /kabuto-no-o’/) and 鼻緒 (“a strap on geta or zoori footwear” /hanao/). The on-yomi /sho/ is in 一緒 (“together” /issho/), 内緒 (“secrecy; privacy” /naisho/, 由緒 (“history; origin” /yu’isho/). Another on-yomi /cho/ is in 情緒 (“emotion; atmosphere” /jo’ocho/).

  1. The kanji 著“to write a book; conspicuous; to stand out”

History of Kanji 着For the kanji 著 the seal style writing comprised 竹“bamboo” and 者 used phonetically for /sho; cho/. Bamboo stalks were versatile, and among them was the material for making a writing brush. It meant “to write a book.” In kyuji 著, 2, however, the bamboo top was replaced by 艹, a bushu kusakanmuri “plants.” It was also used to mean “to make meaning clear; to standout; conspicuous.” The kanji 著 means “to write a book; conspicuous; to stand out.” [The composition of the kanji 著: 艹 and 者]

The kun-yomi 著す /arawa’su/ means “to write a book.” Another kun-yomi 著しい /ichijirushi’i/ means “to stand out.” The on-yomi /cho/ is in 著者 (“author” /cho’sha/), 名著 (“famous book” /me’echo/) and 顕著な (“remarkable” /ke’ncho-na/).

  1. The kanji 暑“(to feel) hot in atmospheric temperature”

History of Kanji 暑For the kanji 暑 in seal style “the sun” (日) was added to 者 “a bundle of wood sticks gathered in a stove to burn”used phonetically for /sho/. “The sun” and “burning fire” together made the kyuji 暑, 2, that meant “hot in atmospheric temperature.” The kanji 暑 means “(to feel) hot in atmospheric temperature.”  [The composition of the kanji 暑: 日and 者]

The kun-yomi /atsu‘i/ means “hot,” and is in 蒸し暑い (“hot and humid” /mushiatsu’i/). The on-yomi /sho/ is in 暑気当たり (“heatstroke” /shokia’tari/), 暑中見舞い (“summer greeting card” /shochuumi’mai/) and 残暑 (“lingering summer heat” /za’nsho/).

  1. The kanji 煮“to cook over a fire; simmer; boil”

History of Kanji 者The history of the kanji 煮 intertwined with another kanji 庶. In (a) and (b) it had “a kitchen stove with a pot,” and was /sha/ phonetically. It would become the kanji 庶. It meant “to cook over a fire.” On the other hand the seal style writing (c) comprised “a stove with burning sticks” containing 者 at the top and “a storage tripod pot” at the bottom. Another seal style (d) would become 遮. The kyuji 煮 (e) comprised 者, with a dot, and 灬, a bushu rekka/renga “fire.” The kanji 煮 means “to cook over a fire; simmer; boil.” [The composition of the kanji 煮: 者 and 灬]

The kun-yomi 煮 /niru/ means “to boil; simmer; seethe,” and is in 煮物 (“simmered food; cooked food” /nimono/), 生煮え (“undercooked; raw” /namanie/), 味噌煮(“simmered in misopaste” /misoni/). The on-yomi /sha/ is in 煮沸する (“to boil” /shahutsu-suru/).

We end our exploration on a group of tied objects here. I believe I have a few more posts to write before we end our exploration. Thank you very much for your reading.  -Noriko [May 19, 2018]

The Kanji 邑都者郡君群部郵郷–おおざと


Bushuおおざと&こざとへんBushu Oozato and Kozatohen: The two three-stroke bushu oozato and kozatohen look very much alike or even identical in kanji. The only difference is the position – An oozato appears on the right side whereas a kozatohen appears on the left side (thus, /-hen/). The two bushu, however, came from very different origins, as shown in the samples of the oldest style, oracle bone style (甲骨文), in brown on the left.

A bushu oozato means “village,” and kozatohen means “stack of dirt; a hill; stairs; ladder.” When you look at a traditional kanji dictionary, you find kanji with oozato in a seven-stroke bushu group, with 邑 attached. On the other hand kanji with kozatohen are found among eight-stroke bushu kanji, with 阜 attached. It is in only more recently published kanji dictionaries that both oozato and kozatohen are found among three-stroke bushu. In this post we are going to look at some kanji that have a bushu oozato (邑), and in the next two posts we are going to look at those with a bushu kozatohen (阜偏).

  1. The kanji 邑 “village” and the bushu oozato

History of Kanji 邑 (and Bushu Oozato)The kanji 邑 (/yu’u/ in on-yomi; /mura’/ in kun-yomi) and a bushu oozato share the same origin. The history of the kanji 邑 was well-documented, as shown on the left. In oracle bone style (a), in brown, the square at the top signified an area or a wall surrounding a town, and the bottom was a person who was kneeling, just a person. Together an area where people were meant “village.” In the three bronze ware style samples (b), (c) and (d), in green, we can see how a simplification took place. (d) showed a close connection to the current shape of an oozato. Then in ten style (e), in red, it went back to the shape in which the two original components, an area and a kneeling person, became more recognizable. The bottom shape in (e) in ten style became 巴 in kanji (f). We have seen that a kneeling person undergoing the same development ended up in the shape 卩, a bush hushizukuri, in the earlier post [The Kanji 令命印即節迎仰昂抑- Posture (6) ふしづくり on April 18, 2015]. The kanji 邑 (f) is not a Joyo kanji. When used as a bushu the simplification took place even in bronze ware style time, as we see in (d), and it ended up the current three-stroke shape. The ground work done, now we are ready to look at some kanji that have a bushu oozato.

  1. The kanji 都 “capital; all”

History of Kanji 都For the kanji 都, we have two samples in bronze ware style here, (a) and (b). The explanation of the left side of these two shapes may be a little peculiar until you see the same shape 者 repeatedly in other kanji. The top was many twigs or wooden writing tablets gathered, and the bottom was a stove to burn them. I imagine that the scattered dots in (b) must be sparks of a fire. Gathering many twigs and things signified “many,” and was used phonetically. The right side was an area and a person, which signified a “village.” The right side of (b) had the same shape as (d) in the kanji 邑 in 1. From “an area where many people live,” it meant “capital” and also “all.”

The kun-yomi 都 /miyako/ means “capital.” The on-yomi /to/ is in 都会 (“city; big town” /tokai/), 都心 (“urban core; heart of city” /toshin/). 都 /to/ is also the  metropolitan jurisdiction, as in 東京都 (“Tokyo metropolis” /tookyo’oto/). There is another on-yomi /tsu/, which is a go-on, and is in 都合がいい (“convenient” /tsugoo-ga i’i/), 都合が悪い (“to have a schedule conflict” /tsugoo-ga waru’i/), and その都度 (“every time; whenever” /sonotsu’do/.)

History of Kanji 者 (frame)The Kanji 者– The left side of the kanji 都 also appears in a number of kanji, including 者・緒・諸・署・暑・著. The history of 者 is shown on the right. In bronze ware style, the top was sticks or things such as writing tablets gathered, and the bottom was a stove to burn them. The meaning as “person” for 者 was borrowed. In fact in most kanji, this shape was merely used phonetically and had little correspondence to the original meaning. I do wonder if the extra dot in the kyujitai 者, in blue, was a remnant of a spark. All of the kyujitai for 者 as a component had a dot in the middle.

  1. The kanji 郡 “county”

For the kanji 郡, we only have a ten style sample. The left side is the kanji 君. Because the kanji 君 has fuller samples, let us look at 君 first.

History of Kanji 君 (frame)The kanji 君 “lord; you”— In oracle bone style, (a), the top was a hand holding a stick to command, and the bottom was a mouth, signifying “speaking.” Together they originally signified a “tribal chief.” In bronze ware style, in (b) a hand and a stick appeared to coalesce and are hard to make out, but in (c) a hand and a stick were recognizable. In ten style (d), the commanding stick became longer. Someone whose words command people to follow means “lord; sovereign.” It is also used as suffix in addressing someone who is equal or junior to you by a male speaker.

History of Kanji 郡Now back to the kanji 郡. In ten style, the left side 君 was a “chief” or “lord.” The right side had an area with a person or people, which signified a village. Together they signified “an area where a local lord 君 governs.” From that it means a smaller jurisdiction or “county.” In Japan, 郡 /gu’n/ is a consolidation of 町 (“town” /machi’/) and 村 (“village” /mura’/) under the supervision of 県 (“prefecture” /ke’n) and does not have a legal power. There are one 都 /to/ (which is the Tokyo motropolis), forty three 県 /ke’n/, two 府 /hu/ (Osaka and Kyoto 大阪府 京都府) and one 道 /do’o/ (Hokkaido 北海道). In school, children are taught to recite 1都1道2府43県 /i’tto ichi’doo ni’hu yo’njuu sa’nken/ in the order of the size of the jurisdiction 都道府県 /todoohu’ken/.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi 郡 /gu’n/ means “county,” and is also in 郡部 (“rural district” /gu’nbu.)

History of Kanji 群 (frame)The kanji 群 — Since we have just seen the kanji 郡 with 君, we add another kanji that contains 君– 群. The top of two bronze ware style samples on the right were the same as (b) for 君, and was used phonetically. It originally was a hand holding a stick and a mouth underneath. The bottom was “sheep.” Sheep stay in a flock, and it signified “to flock.” The kanji 群 meant “group; throng; herd; flock.”

  1. The kanji 部 “part; section”

History of Kanji 部For the kanji 部, the left side was used phonetically to mean “to divide.” The right side had an area and a person, that is, a village. Together they signified “to divide a village into parts.” From that it meant “part; portion” of a whole or “department; section” of a larger organization.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /he/ is in 部屋 (“room” /heya’/) and it was a go-on. Another on-yomi /bu/, in kan-on,  is in 全部 (“all” /ze’nbu/), 部分 (“part; portion” /bu’bun/), 本部 (“headquarters” /ho’nbu/), 学部 (“academic department” /gakubu/). We cannot forget the important word for us, 部首 /bu’shu/. In the first most comprehensive compilation of kanji, Setsumon Kaiji (説文解字), completed in 100 A. D., all kanji were grouped into sections that shared the same component. The section was 部 “section” and its heading was 首 “head”- thus the word 部首 /bu’shu/ in Japanese, bushou in Chinese. It means “section header” of a kanji dictionary. Because a shared  component is something that does not change like a root in some European languages it has been traditionally translated as “radical,” which means “root.” Personally I prefer to stick to the word bushu because it is what it means, “a section header in a kanji dictionary.”

  1. The kanji 郵 “postal service”

History of Kanji 郵For the kanji 郵, the left side 垂 had the meaning “frontier; peripheral area.” The right side was an area and a person, signifying “village.” Together they signified “postings along the road to the frontier that a messenger passed.” It meant “post; postal service.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /yu’u/ is in 郵便 (“postal service” /yu’ubin/), 郵送する (“to send by mail” /yuusoosuru/), 郵便局 (“post office” /yuubi’nkyoku/), 郵便番号 (“postal code” /yuubinba’ngoo/), which works like a zip code in the U. S., and 郵便受け (“mail box” /yuubi’n-uke/).

  1. The kanji 郷 “hometown”

History of Kanji 郷For the kanji 郷, in oracle bone style (a) it had two people sitting, facing each other with food in a bowl in the middle. It signified a “feast.” In bronze ware style (b) and (c) the components were the same. In ten style, however, above each of the two people, an area was added making it to 邑 “village” in mirror images. In the center was the shape we see in the kanji 食 “food in a bowl” (食 has a cover over the food).  So, in ten style “feast” seemed to have expanded to the whole village! Having a feast for people was an important event for a village. It meant “hometown.” I like the story behind those ancient writings from (a) through (d) much better than just a sort of confusing shape of the kanji 郷.

The on-yomi /kyo’o/ is in 故郷 (“one’s hometown” /ko’kyoo/), 郷土 (“homeland” /kyo’do/), 郷里 (“hometown” /kyo’ori/). Another on-yomi /go’o/ is in 郷士 (“squire” /go’oshi/) and 水郷 (“riverside district” /suigoo/). The word ふるさと (“hometown” /huru’sato/) is sometimes written as 故郷.

StrokeOrderおおざとThe stroke order of oozato and kozatohen is unusual, or “counter intuitive” as my former students used to complain in their kanji quizzes. The vertical line is the last stroke, as shown on the left.  In the next two posts, we are going to look at kanji with a kozatohen. [November 8, 2015]