The Kanji 酒配酎酵酷酌酬醜酔醒酢酸- Food (4) 酉


In this post we are going to look at the kanji 酒配酎酵酷酌酬醜酔醒酢酸 that contains 酉 “a rice wine cask.”

History of Kanji 酉The common component 酉 here is not a Joyo kanji. In all of the ancient writings shown on the right – (a) in oracle bone style, in brown, (b) and (c) in bronze ware style, in green, and (d) seal style, in red, – was “a rice wine cask” or “a cask to keep fermented liquid in.” So all the kanji that we are going to look at pertain to “fermentation” at one stage of the history.

The writing 酉 is used in the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, but, as with the rest of the 12 zodiac signs, the kanji was chosen arbitrarily and had no relation to its meaning. By itself it is pronounced /tori/, and is in 酉年 (“the year of chicken” /toridoshi/). Just a reminder — The kanji for “west” 西 has one stroke fewer, and is not related to this kanji.

  1. The kanji 酒 “alcohol beverage; rice wine; sake

History of Kanji 酒2In oracle bone style (a), “a rice wine cask” was on the left and “water; liquid” on the right. In bronze ware style (b), (c) and (d) “a rice wine cask” was standing alone but the small dots in (c) were pointing out its contents rather than the cask as a container. Together they meant “rice wine.” In (e) in seal style “water; liquid” was separately added to a wine cask, possibly signifying that it was the liquid from which sake lees had been removed. The kanji 酒 means “rice wine; fermented drink; alcohol beverage.”   <The composition of the kanji 酒: 氵and 酉>

The kun-yomi /sake/ means “Japanese rice wine; sake; alcohol beverage,” and is in 酒粕 (“sake lees” /sakekasu/), which is used for cooking as well. /-Zake/ is in 寝酒 (“nightcap” /nezake/), 甘酒 (“sweet sake lee drink” /amaza’ke/) and 居酒屋 (“pub; bar; tavern” /izakaya/).  /Saka-/ is in 酒屋 (“liquor store; alcohol beverage shop” /sakaya/), 酒盛り (”drinking party; drinking bout” /sakamori/). The on-yomi /shu/ is in 日本酒 (“Japanese rice wine” /nihonshu/) and 葡萄酒 (“(grape) wine” /budo’oshu/).

  1. The kanji 配 “to distribute; hand out; arrange”

History of Kanji 配(a) in oracle bone style, (b) and (c) in bronze ware style and (d) in seal style all comprised “a wine cask” on the left and “a squatting person looking at the cask.” He was waiting for rice wine to be handed out to him. It means “to hand out; deal.” In (d) in seal style and kanji 配, the person took the shape 己 “a squatting person; a person.” The kanji 配 means “to distribute; to hand out; to arrange.”  <The composition of the kanji 配: 酉 and 己>

The kun-yomi 配る /kuba’ru/ means “to deliver; deal.” The on-yomi /hai/ is in 配達 (“delivery of goods/food” /haitatsu/), 配分する (“to allocate; distribute” /haibun-suru/), 手配する (“to arrange; provide for” /te’hai-suru/), 配当金 (“divined” /haitookin/). /-Pai/ is in 心配 (“worry” /shinpai/). /-Bai/ is in 軍配 (“an umpire’s fan” in a sumo match /gunbai/).

  1. The kanji 酎 “distilled liquor; flavorful three-time filtered liquor”

History of Kanji 酎The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” and 寸 “a hand,” which was used phonetically for /chuu/. Together they meant “flavorful wine that was filtered three times.” The kanji 酎 means “flavorful rice wine.”  <The composition of the kanji 酎: 酉 and 寸>

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /chuu/ is in 焼酎 (“white liquor; Japanese distilled liquor made of potato” /shoochu’u/).

  1. The kanji 酵 “yeast; fermentation”

There is no ancient writing. The kanji 酵 had 酉 “a rice wine cask” on the left. The right side 孝 “filial duty” (with 耂, a bushu “old person”) was used phonetically for /koo/, perhaps suggesting a long time to ferment. Together they meant “yeast” that made fermented wine or “fermentation.” The kanji 酵 means “fermentation; yeast.”  <The composition of the kanji 酵: 酉 and 孝 >

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /koo/ is in 発酵する (“to ferment” /hakkoo-suru/), 酵母 (“yeast” /ko’obo/) and 酵素 (“enzyme” /ko’oso/).

  1. The kanji 酷 “cruel”

History of Kanji 酷The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” and 告, which was used phonetically for /koku/. Together they meant “intense taste of alcohol.” From that the kanji 酷 means “intense; cruel; harsh.” The phrase  酷のある /koku-no-a’ru/ “full-bodied; robust” is usually written in katakana コク nowadays.   <The composition of the kanji 酷: 酉 and 告>

The kun-yomi 酷い /mugo’i/ means “cruel.” The on-yomi /koku/ is in 残酷な (“cruel; extremely harsh” /zankoku-na/), 酷暑 (“severe heat of summer” /ko’kusho/) and 酷使する (“to drive someone work hard; strain oneself” /ko’kushi-suru/).

  1. The kanji 酌 “to serve wine; scoop out sake”

History of Kanji 酌The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” and 勺 “a ladle scooping up,” which was used phonetically for /shaku/. Together they meant “a ladle scooping up wine.” The kanji 酌 means “to serve wine; scoop out sake.”  <The composition of the kanji 酌: 酉 and 勺>

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /shaku/ is in お酌する (“to fill someone else’s sake cup” /oshaku-suru/), 晩酌 (“evening dinner-time drink” /banshaku/), 媒酌人 (“matchmaker” at a wedding /baishakunin/) and 酌量 (“consideration” /shakuryoo/).

  1. The kanji 酬 “reply; reward; fee”

History of Kanji 酬In seal style (a) and (b) had 酉 “a rice wine cask” on the left. The right side of (a), 寿 (the kyuji 壽) “long life; auspicious,” was used phonetically for /shuu/. Together they originally meant “to offer a drink of wine to a guest.” Later it meant “to reply; reward.” In (b) 壽 was replaced by the phonetically same 州 /shuu/. The kanji 酬 is also used for “fee.”  <The composition of the kanji 酬: 酉 and 州>

The kun-yomi 酬いる /mukui’ru; mukuiru/ means “to reward.” The on-yomi /shuu/ is in 応酬する (“to make a sharp retort; reply” /ooshuu-suru/) and 報酬 (“reward; fee” /hooshuu/).

  1. The kanji 醜 “ugly”

History of Kanji 醜The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” which was used phonetically for /shuu/. The right side was 鬼 “spirit of a deceased; ghost,” which had a frightfully ugly face and ム “a floating spirit.” Together they meant “ugly; mean-spirited; shameful.” <The composition of the kanji 醜: 酉 and 鬼>

The kun-yomi /miniku’i/ means “ugly; shameful.”  The on-yomi /shuu/ is in 醜聞 (“scandal; malicious gossip” /shuubun/) and 醜悪な (“unsightly” /shuuaku-na/).

  1. The kanji 酔 “to become drunk; be intoxicated”

History of Kanji 酔The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” and 卒 “to end,” which was used phonetically for /sui/. Together they meant “to drink rice wine to finish off” – thus “to be drunk.” The kyuji 醉, in blue, reflected seal style, but in shinji 酔 the right side 卒 was replaced by 卆. The kanji 酔 means “to become drunk; get inebriated on sake; be intoxicated.”  <The composition of the kanji 酔: 酉 and 卆>

The kun-yomi 酔う /yo’u/ means “to become drunk; become intoxicated,” and is in 船酔い (“seasickness” /hunayoi/), and 酔っ払い (“a drunken man; drunk” /yopparai/). The on-yomi /sui/ is in 心酔する (“to adore; be fascinated by” /shinsui-suru/),  酔狂な (“eccentric; whimsical” /su’ikyoo-na/), 麻酔 (“anesthesia” /masui/) and 陶酔する (“to be intoxicated; be fascinated” /toosui-suru/).

  1. The kanji 醒 “to awaken; have clear awareness”

History of Kanji 醒The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a rice wine cask,” and 星, which was used phonetically for /see/. Together they meant “to sober up from being drunk,” that is “to awaken; have clear awareness.” The kanji 醒 means “to awaken; have clear awareness.” <The composition of the kanji 醒: 酉and 星>

The kun-yomi 醒める /same’ru/ means “to become awake.” The on-yomi /see/ is in 覚醒剤 (“psychostimulant; stimulant drug” /kakuse’ezai/). It is a strange use of this kanji.

  1. The kanji 酢 “vinegar”

History of Kanji 酢The two bronze ware style writings had “a cask of fermented liquid” (酉), and 乍, which was used phonetically for /saku/ to mean “something past,” which is related to the kanji 昨. Rice wine that went bad is vinegar. The kanji 酢 means “vinegar.”  <The composition of the kanji 醒: 酉 and 星>

The kun-yomi 酢 /su/ means “vinegar,” 酢豚 (“sweet and sour pork” /su’buta/) and is in 酢の物 (“a vinegared dish” /suno’mono/). The on-yomi /saku/ is in 酢酸 (“acetic acid” /sakusan/).

  1. The kanji 酸 “sour; acid”

History of Kanji 酸The seal style writing comprised 酉 “a wine cask,” and 夋, which was used phonetically for /san/ to mean “sour.” When wine goes bad it becomes sour. The kanji means “acidic; sour.” <The composition of the kanji 酸: 酉 and 夋>

The kun-yomi 酸っぱい /suppa/i/ means “sour” and is in 甘酸っぱい (/amazuppa’i/ “sweet and sour”). The on-yomi /san/ is in 酸素 (“oxygen” /sa’nso/), 酸性 (“acidity” /sansee/), 塩酸 (“hydrochloric acid” /ensan/), 酸化する(“to oxidize” /sanka-suru/), 炭酸飲料水 (“carbonated drink” /tansan-inryo’osui/) and 乳酸菌 (“lactic acid bacteria” /nyuusankin/).

Among the kanji we did not look at in this post include 醤油 (“soy sauce” /shooyu’/), which is a seasoning liquid that was made of soy beans with yeast (酵母), and the kyuji 醫 for 医, which had 酉 at the bottom as sake to cleanse an arrow wound. We have also looked at 醸 “fermentation” in an earlier post.

When we look at any of the kanji 酒配酎酵酷酌酬醜酔醒酢酸 in isolation, it may appear to have a complex shape. Once we understand the meaning of the common component 酉, however, it reduces our task to just focusing on the other component, which is likely a component we have studied already in other kanji. So, it becomes a matter of comparing simpler shapes and adding “fermentation” to it. That is the advantage of learning kanji by common components, or bushu in a larger sense. — Sorry for my pitch. I know that our regular readers need no such reminder. The old habit of a classroom teacher stating the obvious is hard to lose.  Thank you very much for your reading.  -Noriko [September 9, 2017]

The Kanji 茂芋苗葉世莫慕幕募墓漠膜模-くさかんむり(2)


In this post we are continuing with kanji that contain a bushu kusakanmuri “plant; grass”—the kanji 茂・芋・苗・葉世 and 莫慕幕募墓漠膜模.

  1. The kanji 茂 “to grow densely; thicket”

History of Kanji 茂For the kanji 茂, in ten style, in red, the bottom 戊 originally came from “halberd,” but it was only used phonetically here to mean “to cover.” Together with “plants” at the top, they meant plants growing densely. The kanji 茂 meant “to grow thick; become dense.”

The kun-yomi 茂る /shige‘ru/ means “to grow thick,” and is in 木の茂み (“thicket” /shigemi/). The on-yomi /mo/ is in 繁茂 (“thick growth” /ha’nmo/).

  1. The kanji 芋 “potato”

History of Kanji 芋In ten style of the kanji 芋 had 于at the bottom. We have looked at the shape 于in the kanji 宇in connection with a bushu ukanmuri in the earlier post (The Kanji 家宇宙宮官管館–うかんむり on June 13, 2015). 于 was described as “large bent shape.” In the writing 芋, a large round shape plant meant “potato.”

The kun-yomi /imo’/ means “potato,” and is in 里芋 (“taro root” /satoimo/), 長芋 (“Chinese yam” /nagaimo/). Other types of potatoes such as ジャガイモand サツマイモ (“sweet potato” /satsumaimo/.) are usually written in hiragana or katakana.

3 The kanji 苗 “seedling”

History of Kanji 苗For the kanji 苗 in ten style it had “plants” at the top and “rice paddies” at the bottom. Together they meant “seedling.”

The kun-yomi /na’e/ means “seedling,” and is in 苗木 (“seedling; nursery tree” /naegi/). Another kun-yomi /nawa/ is in 苗代 (“bed for rice plant seedling” /nawashiro/). The on-yomi /myo’o/ is in 苗字 (“one’s family name” /myo’oji/).

  1. The next kanji 葉 “leaf”

History of Kanji 葉For the kanji 葉 in oracle bone style, in brown, it was a tree with new growth or leaves at the tip of tree limbs. In bronze ware style the growing top was emphasized, keeping it separate from the tree. In ten style “plants; grass” were added at the top, and the middle was similar to the kanji 世, in which a tree was branching out. Together they meant “leaf.” A leaf is flat. So, it is also used for “something flat.” The word 言葉 /kotoba’/ comes from a Yamato-kotoba koto-no-ha “a leaf of the language.”

The kun-yomi /ha/ is in 木の葉 /ko’noha; ki’noha/), and is in 葉っぱ (“leaf” in casual style /happa/) and 葉書 (“postcard” /hagaki/). /-Ba/ is in 落ち葉 (“fallen leaf” /o’chiba/). The on-yomi /yoo/ is in 葉緑素 (“chlorophyll” /yooryo’kuso/). The expression 枝葉末節 /shi’yoo massetsu/ means ”trifling details.”

While we recognize the shape 世 in the kanji 葉, let us look at the kanji 世.

  1. The kanji 世 “generation; world”

History of Kanji 世In bronze ware style, the shape of three branches with bulges signified new growth or new generation. Generations of people live together in the world. The kanji 世means “generation; world.”

The kun-yomi /yo/ means “world,” and is in この世 (“this world; the present life” /konoyo/), あの世 (“the next world; the world of the dead” /anoyo’/), 世の中 (“life; the times; the world” /yono’naka/). The on-yomi /se/ is in 世界 (“world” /se’kai/), 世代 (“generation’ /se’dai/). /-See/ is in 一世紀 (“one century; first century” /isse’eki/), 三世 (“third generation” /sa’nsee/).

The next eight kanji contain the common component 莫. Six months ago when we were exploring kanji with 日“sun,” we discussed the component 莫 in the kanji 暮 “dusk; sundown.” [The kanji 暮晩免星晶早旬 – 日 (2) in the February 28, 2016 post] Because there are a number of kanji that contain 莫, we are going to revisit 莫 first.

  1. The kanji 莫 “nothing; vast; vague”

History of Kanji 莫History of Kanji 暮(frame)The ancient writing shown on the left for the kanji 莫 were the same as the kanji 暮 shown on the right in a box. In all of the ancient writings, (a) and (b) in oracle bone style, (b) in bronze ware style and (c) in ten style, the sun, in the center, was about to go down behind tall grass. It originally meant “dusk; sundown.” Then as the writing came to be used to mean “nothing,” they needed a new writing that expressed “dusk; sundown.” So by adding another “sun” the kanji 暮 was created. The kanji 莫 meant “nothing,” and when used as a component, 莫 was used phonetically for /bo; mo; baku; maku/ to mean “invisible; vague.”

The kanji 莫 is not a Joyo kanji. The only frequently used word that contains 莫 in Japanese is 莫大な (“huge; immense; enormous” /bakudai-na/) as in 莫大な負債 (“immense amount of debt” /bakudai-na husai/). There is no kun-yomi.

  1. The kanji 慕 “to yearn for; adore”

History of Kanji 慕For the kanji 慕 a couple of bronze ware style writings, (a) and (b), are shown here. It had a “heart” below “the sun disappearing behind tall grasses,” signifying “not visible.” What was in one’s mind could not be seen either. Together they originally signified “seeking for something in an unclear vast area,” thus “to consult; seek ideas.” Later the meaning changed to mean “to yearn for; adore.” In kanji, (d), the chambers of the heart took the shape of four short strokes, with the second one longer. This shape is called a bushu shitagokoro. (The bushu shitagokoro is in limited use, and another Joyo kanji that contains a bushu shitagokoro is the kanji 添 “to play along; accompany.”)

The kun-yomi 慕う /shita’u/ means “to yearn for; make an idol of someone.” The on-yomi /bo/ is in 慕情 (affection; longing” /bojoo/), 恋慕 (“tender emotion; love” /re’nbo/), both of which are not particularly for everyday use.

  1. The kanji 幕 “drapery; curtain”

History of Kanji 幕For the kanji 幕, in ten style the bottom was “drapery; cloth.” The top was used phonetically as well as to mean “to hide; cover.” Together it meant a military tent. A military headquarters in a battlefield had drapery around it, and the word 幕府 /ba’kuhu/ “shogunate government; bakufu government” comes from it.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /maku’/ is in 幕 (“hanging screen (on a stage); act (in a play)” /maku’/’) and is in 幕開け (“beginning” /makuake/). 幕の内弁当 /maku-no-uchi- be’ntoo/ is a box lunch packed with many different small pieces of food. It originated from a lunch box that people ate between acts of a play. Another on-yomi /ba’ku/ is in 幕末 (“final years of the Tokugawa bakufu” /bakumatsu/) and 幕僚 (“military staff” /bakuryoo/).

  1. The kanji 募 “to recruit; raising fund”

History of Kanji 募For the kanji 募, in ten style, the bottom was “plough” signifying “man power.” The top was used phonetically to signify “unspecified wide area.” Together they meant “to search widely; to recruit people; to raise money.”

The kun-yomi /tsuno’ru/ means “to raise money; recruit personnel.” The on-yomi /bo/ is in 募集 (“recruit; taking an application” /boshuu/), 応募する (“to apply (for a job” /oobo-suru/) 公募する (“to invite contribution or application from the public” /kobo-suru/) and 募金 (“fund-raising” /bokin/).

  1. The kanji 墓 “tomb;grave”

History of Kanji 墓For the kanji 墓, in ten style the bottom was土 “soil; ground.” Burying the deceased underneath the ground made them invisible or hidden. From that it meant a “tomb.”

The kun-yomi /haka’/ means “tomb; grave,” and is in 墓参り (“paying a visit to a tomb” /hakama’iri/). The on-yomi /bo/ is in 墓地 (“cemetery” /bo’chi/) and 墓碑 (“tombstone” /bohi/).

In the above four kanji (慕幕募墓) the accompanying component was placed under 莫. In the next three kanji (漠膜模), the accompanying component was placed on the left side.

  1. The kanji 漠 “vast; vague; desert”

History of Kanji 漠For the kanji 漠 in ten style the left side was a bushu sanzui “water.” Drifting sand moves like running water. Together with 莫 “vast,” they meant “vast area of drifting sand; desert.” Another view is that the meaning 莫 “nothing” and “water” together meant “a place that had no water,” which was “desert.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /ba’ku/ is in 砂漠 (“desert” /sabaku/) and 漠然と (“vaguely; obscurely; hazy” /bakuzen-to/).

12 The kanji 膜 “membrane”

History of Kanji 膜For the kun-yomi 膜 the ten style had a bushu nikuzuki “flesh” on the left side. The right side 莫 had the meaning “to cover; drapery.” Together they meant “membrane.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /maku/ is in 鼓膜 (“eardrum” /komaku/), 粘膜 (“membrane” /ne’nmaku/) and 網膜 (“retina” /mo’omaku/).

  1. The kanji 模 “model; prescribed form; to copy”

History of Kanji 模For the kanji 模, the ten style had a tree on the left side. The right side was used phonetically for /mo/. A mold was made with pieces of wood. From that it meant “model; to model.” The kanji “model; prescribed form; to copy.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /mo/ is in 模型 (“model; dummy” /mokee/), 模様 (“pattern; design” /moyoo/), 模造品 (“imitation” /mozoohin/) and 規模 (“scale; magnitude” /ki’bo/).

Other kanji that contain a bushu kusakanmuri that we have discussed earlier include: 藏・葬・英・花・華・蒸・薫.  A search function on the Previous Post page can help you to find the post. [August 20, 2016]