The Kanji 代貸袋


This short post is in respose to a reader’s request to discuss the kanji 代.

  1. The kanji 代 “to change; instead; time; generation; substitute”

There is no writing earlier than seal style in any of the three kanji that contain 弋. What it originated from is not clear, but it was used phonetically for /tai/ or /dai/ to mean “to change.” For the kanji 代, the seal style writing comprisedイ“an act that one does” and 弋 phonetically for tai or dai to mean “change,” together changing people meant “generations; to change.” The kanji 代 also meant “the duration of time; one’s lifetime; a substitute.” The kanji 代 means “to change; instead; time; generation; substitute.”

The kun-yomi /yo/ is in 君が代 “Kimigayo; Japanese national anthem” /kimigayo/. Another kun-yomi /shiro/ is in 飲み代 “drinking money” /nomishiro/. The on-yomi /dai/ is in 初代 “the first generation; the founder” /sho’dai/, 一世一代 “once in a lifetime” /i’sse ichi’dai/ and 代理 “representation; a proxy; surrogate” /dairi/, 近代化 “modernization” /kindaika/ and 世代 “generation” /se’dai/. Another on-yomi /tai/ is in 交代”change; replacement; substitute” /kootai/.  [Composition of the kanji 代:  イ and 弋]

  1. The kanji 貸 “to lend”

For the kanji 貸 the seal style writing comprised イ“an act that a person does” on the left and 弋 on the top right, forming 代 “to change” phonetically for tai. The bottom center was 貝“a cowrie; something valuable.” Together something valuable changing hands meant “to lend something to another person (and get it back).” The kanji 貸 means “to lend.”

The kun-yomi /ka/ is in 貸す”to lend” /kasu/, 貸し出し “lending; circulation; rental” /kashidashi/, 貸家 “rented house” /shakuya/, 貸し間 “room for rent; room to let” /kashima/ and 金貸し”moneylending business” /kanekashi/. The on-yomi /tai/ is in 貸与”lending; loan” /ta’iyo/ and 賃貸 “lease; letting; renting out” /chintai/.  [Composition of the kanji 貸: 代 and 貝]

  1. The kanji 袋 “bag”

The top of the seal style writing was 代used phonetically for tai. The bottom was  巾“cloth.” Together they signified “cloth bag.” In kanji 巾was replaced by 衣“clothes.” The kanji 袋means “bag.”

The kun-yomi /hukuro/ is in 袋 “bag; sack; pouch” /hukuro/ and 袋小路 “cul-de-sac; blind alley” /hukuroko’oji/,  /-Bukuro/ is in 胃袋 “the stomach” /ibu’kuro/, 手袋 “gloves” /tebu’kuro/ and 天袋 “a built-in storage cupboard above oshiire” /tenbu’kuro/. 袋 also makes up the word 足袋”Japanese split-toe socks” /ta’bi/. [Composition of the kanji 袋: 代 and 衣]

Note: The shape 弋 is not to be confused with the kanji 伐 “to cut down; attack” (discussed in the post The Kanji 戈戒械成城誠伐閥我-戈“halberd” (1) on December 16, 2017) or the kanji 式”ceremony” (discussed in The Kanji 式試拭任妊作昨酢詐搾巨拒距規- Tool (1) on December 9, 2017).  Thank you very much for your reading. – Noriko  [October 21, 2018]