The Kanji 束速整頼瀬疎勅必密秘蜜泌-(5)


On this post we are going to explore two shapes that originated from a bundle of stuff. The first shape is 束, which was “a bundle of firewood tied around,” and the six Jojo kanji that contain are 束速整頼瀬疎勅. The second shape is 必, which was”something bound so tightly that it would not  allow any move” — the shape 必in the five kanji 必密秘蜜泌. Let us begin with 束.

  1. The kanji 束 “a bundle; to bind; a brief time”

History of Kanji 束For the kanji 束in (a) in oracle bone style, in brown, (b) and (c) in bronze ware style, in green, and (d) in seal style, in red, it was “a bundle of firewood tied around.” It meant “a bundle” or “things that were bound together.” In Japanese it also applies on time and means “a brief time.” The kanji 束 means “a bundle; to bind; a brief time.”  [The composition of the kanji 束: 一, 口、丨 and two strokes like 八]

The kun-yomi 束 /ta’ba/ means “bundle,” and is in 花束 (“bouquet of flowers” /hana’taba/) and 束ねる (“to bundle” /tabane’ru/). The on-yomi /soku/ is in 束縛する (“to restrain” /sokubaku-suru/), 結束する (“to band together; become united” /kessoku-suru/), and /-zoku/ is in 装束 (“costume; attire” /shoozoku/).

  1. The kanji 速 “fast; swift”

History of Kanji 速For the kanji 速 the bronze ware style writing had “stuff tied with a rope in the middle and at both ends” (after the last four posts we are now familiar with this shape as 東, aren’t we?) used phonetically for sokuto mean “quick; to rush.” The bottom had “a crossroad” and “a footprint,” which became 辵 in seal style, and further to 辶, a bushu shinnyoo “to go forward” in kanji. In seal style the tied stuff with strings around it was 束. Together they meant “fast.” The history of the kanji 速 having 東 and 束 suggests that it was likely that they were variations of things tied around. The kanji 速 means “fast; swift.” [The composition of the kanji 速: 束 and 辶]

The kun-yomi 速い /haya’i/ means “fast.” The on-yomi /soku/ is in 速度 (“speed” /so’kudo/), 秒速 (“speed per second” /byoosoku/), 迅速に (“swiftly” /jinsoku-ni/), 速達(“express mail” /sokutatsu/) and 快速電車 (“limited express train” /kaisoku-de’nsha/).

  1. The kanji 整 “to put in good order”

History of Kanji 整For the kanji 整 the left side of the bronze ware style writing had 束 “a bundle” and 正 “correct; just.” The right side had “a hand with a tool,” signifying “to cause something.” Together they signified “sorting things in bundles in good order.” In the seal style writing a hand holding a tool (攴) was shortened and became 敕 in the kanji. The kanji 整 means “to put in good order.”  [The composition of the kanji 整: 束, 攵 and 正]

The kun-yomi 整える /totonoe’ru/ means “to put in good order.” The on-yomi /see/ is in 整理する (“to put in good order” /se’eri-suru/), 調整 (“adjustment” /choosee/), 整然とした (“orderly” /seezentoshita/) and 交通整理 (“traffic control” /kootsuu-se’eri/).

  1. The kanji 頼 “dependable; to rely; request”

History of Kanji 頼For the kanji 頼 the seal style writing comprised 束“a bundle” and 刀“a knife” and 貝 “a cowry; money” used phonetically for /rai; ra/ to mean “profit.” Together “a part of a bundle of valuable things was carved out with a knife” gave the meaning “extra profit.” Having extra fortune make one that others might “rely on.” The kyuji 賴, in blue, reflected the seal style writing. In the shinji 頼 the simplification of the right side resulted in an unrelated component 頁. The kanji 頼 means “dependable; to rely; request.”   [The composition of the kanji 頼: 束and 頁]

The kun-yomi 頼む /tano’mu/ means “to request,” and /-dano/ is in 神頼み (/kamida’nomi/ “to turn to God for help”) and 頼りになる (“dependable” /ta’yori-ni-naru/). The on-yomi /rai/ is in 依頼する (“to request” /irai-suru/) and 信頼 (“trust” /shinrai/).

  1. The kanji 瀬 “rapids; one’s narrow ground”

History of Kanji 瀬For the kanji 瀬 the seal style writing comprised “water” and 賴 used phonetically for rai. It was considered to be the sound of rapids in a river. Together they meant “rapids.” Rapids were in the shallows where banks made the water flow narrow. It also meant “one’s predicament; one’s narrow ground.” As in the case of 頼, the simplification of the right side brought in 頁. The kanji 瀬 means “rapids; one’s narrow ground.” [The composition of the kanji 瀬: 氵,束and頁]

The kun-yomi /se/ is in 立つ瀬がない (“to be in a bind; in a tight corner” /ta’tsuse-ga-nai/), 瀬戸際 (“critical moment” /setogiwa/) and 瀬戸物 (“crockery; dishware” from pottery made in Seto /setomono/).

  1. The kanji 疎 “coarse; not close”

History of Kanji 疎For the kanji 疎 the seal style writing (䟽) comprised “a leg” and “a fine-toothed comb,” as in 梳 “to comb; to untangle by separating hair.” In 疏, 2 in kyuji, the left side 疋 “leg” was used phonetically for sho. Together they meant “to go through between gaps” and meant “coarse; not close.” Not being close also gave the meaning “distant; to alienate“In kanji the right side was replaced by 束 “a bundle.” The kanji 疎 means “coarse; not close; distant; to alienate.”[The composition of the kanji 疎: a variation of 正 and 束]

The kun-yomi 疎い /uto’i/ means “unacquainted with; distant.” The on-yomi /so/ is in 疎外感 (“feeling of being estranged” /sogai’kan/) and 意思の疎通 (“communication of one’s t’oughts; mutual understanding” /i’shi-no-sotsuu/).

  1. The kanji 勅 “imperial edict”

History of Kanji 勅For the kanji 勅 the seal style writing had “a bundle” (束) and “a plough” (力) or “a hand.” Together they originally meant “to bundle things in good order.” The kyuji 敕 came to be used to mean “imperial edict.” Its informal kanji 勅 became the shinji. The kanji 勅 means “imperial edict.” [The composition of the kanji 勅: 束 and 力]

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /choku/ is in 勅語 (“an imperial eidict; a speech from the Throne” /cho’kugo/).

  1. The kanji 辣 “cruel; blistering; caustic”

There is no ancient writing and the kanji 辣 was created much later. It comprised 辛 “pungent; hard; tough” and 束used phonetically for /ratsu/. (束 was an abbreviated form of the kanji 剌 /ratsu/ “to sting.”) 辛 and 束 together gave the meaning “spicy; cruel. The kanji 辣 means “cruel; blistering; caustic.”[The composition of the kanji 辣: 辛 and 束]

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /ra/ is in悪辣な(“villainous” ‘akuratsu-na/) and 辛辣な(“biting” /shinratsu-na/).

The next shape 必appear in the five Joyo kanji- 必密秘蜜泌.

  1. The kanji 必 “without fail; inevitable; (with negative) not necessarily”

FHistory of Kanji 必or the kanji 必 in (a) and (b) in bronze ware style and (c) in seal style it was “a tool for straightening an arrow by tightening flush.” Something being tightly bound did not allow any move. From that it meant “without fail.” Having no other option also meant “inevitable,” and with a negative it means “not necessarily; not entirely.” The kanji 必 means “without fail; inevitable; (with negative) not necessarily.”

The kun-yomi 必ず /kanara-zu/ means “without fail.” The on-yomi /hitsu/ is in 必要な(“necessary” /hitsuyoo-na/), 必然的な (“inevitable” /hitsuzenteki-na/) and 必死になって(“run for one’s life; desperately” /hisshi-ni-na’tte/).

  1. The kanji 密 “secret; dense; close”

History of Kanji 密For the kanji 密 in (a) and (b) the top was “a tightly wrapped halberd inside a house or shrine,” and the bottom was a “fire.” A fire had a cleansing power in religious rite. From a rite that was conducted hidden inside meant “secret.” In (c) in seal style the bottom became a mountain, most likely miscopied from the original “a fire.” The kanji 密 means “secret; dense.”  [The composition of the kanji 密: 宀, 必 and 山]

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /mitsu/ is in 秘密 (“secret” /himitsu/), 機密書類(“confidential documents” /kimitsu-sho’rui/) and 精密機器 (“precision instrument” /seemitsu-ki’kai/), 密会 (“secrete meeting; clandestine meeting” /mikkai/) and 密着する (“stick fast to; adhere closely” /micchaku-suru/).

  1. The kanji 秘 “secret; to hide”

History of Kanji 秘For the kanji 秘the seal style and the kyuji 祕comprised 示“an altar table with offering” and 必used phonetically for hito mean “secret.” Together they signified “a religious rite secretly performed” or “secret.” In the shinji 秘, 示was replaced by 禾, a bushu nogihen“rice plant” for a reason that was unclear. The kanji 秘means “secret; to hide.” [The composition of the kanji 秘:禾and 必]

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /hi/ is in 秘密(“secret” /himitsu/) and 極秘(“strictly confidential; top secrecy” /gokuhi/).

  1. The kanji蜜 “honey; nector”

History of Kanji 蜜In seal style of the kanji 蜜 the top of (a) had “a tripod inside a house” and “two worms” signifying “bees.” Bees produced “honey,” which was kept in a pot. In (b) 貝was replaced by 必for /mitsu/. The kanji 蜜 means “honey; nector.” [The composition of the kanji 蜜: 宀, 必 and 虫]

The kun-yomi 蜜 /mitsu/ means “honey” and is in 蜂蜜 (“bee honey” /hachimitsu/) and 花の蜜 (“flower nector” /hana-no-mi’tsu/).

  1. The kanji 泌 “to seep; ooze; run”

History of Kanji 泌The seal style writing of the kanji 泌comprised “water” and 必used phonetically for hitsu. In the origin of 必things such as an arrow was bound tightly, leainvg little space in between. Together they meant “water running through a narrow path.” The sound was onomatopic. In Japan the kanji 泌is used to mean “to seep; ooze; run.” [The composition of the kanji 泌: 氵and 必]

The kun-yomi is 沁みる /shimiru/ “to seep; ooze.” The on-yomi /pi/ is in 分泌(“secretion; discharge” /bunpi/).

We shall have one more post on the shapes that originated from a tied object. I find it very surprising to find so many shapes in this group.  Thank you very much for your reading.  –Noriko [May 12, 2018]

The Kanji 迎逆連軍運過速束込入 –しんにょう(2)


We are continuing to look at kanji that contain a bushu shinnyoo. In this post we are going to look at the kanji 迎逆連軍運過速束込入.

  1. The kanji 迎 “to welcome”

History of Kanji 迎For the kanji 迎, the left side in ten style, in red, was a composite of two elements, a crossroad (the three hooked lines from the left half of a crossroad) and a footprint. Together they meant “to move along (beyond a crossroad)” and became a bushu shinnyoo in kanji. The center was a person standing, facing right. By having the component that meant “to move along” right behind him we can imagine that he had travelled. On the right side was another person bowing to his visitor in a humble posture. Altogether they meant “to welcome.”

The kun-yomi 迎える /mukaeru/ means “to receive (person)” and is in 迎えに行く (“to go to pick up someone” /mukae’niiku/). The on-yomi /ge’e/ is in 歓迎 (“welcome” /kangee/) and 送迎バス (“pickup bus” /soogeeba’su/).

  1. The kanji 逆 “to reverse; wrong way; backward”

History of Kanji 逆For the kanji 逆, in oracle bone style, in brown, the left side was a person upside down, and the right side was a crossroad. In bronze ware style, in green, the upside down person and crossroad switched their positions and a footprint was added at the bottom. There are a couple of different views on this. One is that “an upside down person” signified “reverse,” and with “to move along” a person went backward. From that it meant “to reverse; wrong way; backward.” Another is by Shirakawa, who said that an upside down person with a crossroad signified a person coming toward another person who was standing on his foot. Together they originally meant “to receive someone.” Then the writing was borrowed to mean “reverse.” Although I find this view, of an upside down person signifying a movement toward you, intriguing, I would like to think about this more in relation to other kanji that originated an upside down image.

The on-yomi 逆さ /sakasa/ means “upside down; backward.” The on-yomi /gyaku/ is 逆に (“conversely; vice verse” /gyakuni/), 反逆 (”revolt” /hangyaku/).

  1. The kanji 連 “to link; accompany; continuous”

History of Kanji 連For the kanji 連 the bronze ware style sample had a crossroad on the left. The right side had two vehicles connected, and a footprint at the bottom. Together they signified a convoy of vehicles. In ten style the footprint moved to the left and aligned with the crossroad. On the right side there was only one vehicle. From many vehicles moving forward in a connected way it meant “to link; to accompany; continuous.”

The kun-yomi 連れる /tsureru/ means “to bring (someone) with,” and is 連れてくる (“to bring someone” /tsureteku’ru/), 二人連れ (“a party of two” /hutarizure/ ふたりづれ) and 親子連れ (“a parent and a child” /oyakozure/ おやこづれ).  The on-yomi /re’n/ is in 連絡する (“to contact; inform” /renraku-suru/), 一連の (“a series of” /ichiren-no/).

  1. The kanji 運 “to carry; transport; luck” and 軍 “military; troops”

History of Kanji 軍The kanji 軍 — Before the kanji 運, let us look at its component 軍 first because 軍 came before 運. On the right we have two bronze ware style writings. Both had 車 “vehicle.” The question is, what the top of or around the vehicle was about. The left bronze ware style sample was explained as a military flag that marked where the military vehicles were. This shape was similar to a flag for a clan in the kanji such as 族, 旅 and 旗, so it has an appeal to me. Another explanation is that the encircling line (勹 in ten style) simply meant “to wrap around,” and the kanji meant soldiers encircling military vehicles. Either way the kanji 軍 meant “military.” In kanji, the short line at the top was lost, possibly to differentiate it from a ukanmuri () “house.” The shape above 車 is called a /waka’nmuri/, from a katakana ワ and /kanmuri/ “crown.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /gu’n/ means “army; troops,” and is in 軍人 (“military personnel” /gunjin/), 陸軍 (“army; land forces” /riku’gun/), 軍隊 (“military forces; troops” /gu’ntai/).

History of Kanji 運For the kanji 運, a bushu shinnyoo “to move forward” and 軍 “military” that was used phonetically signified to “transport military equipment.” It meant “to transport.” Because a luck comes around, it also meant “luck.”

The kun-yomi /hakobu/ means “to carry; transport.” The on-yomi /u’n/ is in 運動 (“movement; exercise” /undo/), 運賃 (“fair” /u’nchin/), 運のいい (“fortunate; lucky” /u’n-no-ii/).

  1. The kanji 過 “to pass through; excessive; mistake”

History of Kanji 過For the kanji 過 in the bronze ware style, in addition to a crossroad and a footprint we see an unusual shape at the top right. It was explained in references as “joint of bones of a deceased person.” Together with “to move along” they meant “to pass through.” Something that goes through could easily end up being excessive, which also may result in a mistake. From that it also meant “excessive; making a mistake.” The kanji 過 means “to pass through; excessive; mistake.”

The kun-yomi /sugi’ru/ means “to pass through” and is in 食べ過ぎる (“to overeat” /tabesugiru.) Another kun-yomi 過ち /ayama’chi/ means “mistake; fault; sin.” The on-yomi /ka/ is in 過去 (“past” /ka’ko/), 過激派 (“radicals; extremist group” /kagekiha/), 超過料金 (“excessive charges” /chookaryo’okin/).

  1. The kanji 速 “fast” and 束 “bundle”

History of Kanji 速For the kanji 速 in bronze ware style, the top was stuff tied with a rope and the bottom was a crossroad which was used phonetically to mean “speedy.” The bottom had a crossroad and footprint, the makings of a shinnyoo. In ten style the tied stuff with strings became 束. Together they meant “fast.”

The kun-yomi /haya’i/ means “fast.” The on-yomi /so’ku/ is in 速度 (“speed” /so’kudo/), 早速 (“at once; right away” /sassoku/), 速達 (“special delivery” /sokutatsu/) and 快速電車 (“rapid train” /kaisokude’nsha/).

History of Kanji 束The kanji 束-– The upper right component of 速 by itself is the kanji 束. For 速, all of the ancient writing styles was a bundle of stuff tied together. It meant “to bundle.” The kun-yomi /ta’ba/ means “a bundle,” and is in 束ねる (“to bundle up” /tabane’ru/) and 花束 (“flower bouquet” /hana’taba/).

7. The kanji 込 “to come into; become crowded” and 入 “to enter”

The kanji 込 is kokuji, a kanji that was created in Japan; therefore no ancient writing existed. All kokuji are semantic composites. The kanji 込 was created by combining 入 “to enter or to put in” and a bushu しんにょう “to move forward.” It meant “to put something in.” When you put too many things in, it becomes crowded. So it also means “to be crowded.”

The kun-yomi /ko/ is in 込む (“to become crowded” /ko’mu/), 込める (“to put in; charge; concentrate” /kome’ru/), 閉じ込める (“to lock in; confine” /tojikome’ru/), 入り込む (“to come into; gain an entrance to” /hairiko’mu/) and 申し込み (“application” /mooshikomi/). Being a kokuji, it does not have an on-yomi.

History of Kanji 入The kanji 入   In all ancient styles, it was the shape of an entrance to a house. It meant “to enter.” In kanji you write the shorter stroke towards the left first.

We will continue more kanji with a shinnyoo in the next post. [December 13, 2015]