The Kanji 桟箋浅残銭践・載戴裁栽繊-戈halberd (4)

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This is the fourth post on the kanji that contain 戈 “halberd.” history-of-kanji-%e6%88%94The first six kanji in this post, 桟箋浅残銭践, shared the same origin 戔. The seal style writing, in red, shown on the right side had two halberds, one on top of the other. It had two different meanings: one was to hurt a person with weapon; and the other came from the fact that a sharp blade was thin and halberds were placed in a pile – so they signified “thin things that were layered; thin strips.”

  1. The kanji桟 “crosspiece; frame; ledge”

history-of-kanji-%e6%a1%9fFor the kanji 棧, the writing in dark blue was in the style that was said to have been used by the newly unified Qin (秦) dynasty to put a curse on their former enemy Chu (楚). Because it is from the same time that the small seal style 小篆 (now commonly known as just the seal style) was created, it looked very similar to the seal style writing, in red. Both had 木 “wood” on the left and 戔 “two halberds placed in layers.” Together they meant thin pieces of wood or bamboo, such as crosspieces, frames or narrow strips. The kyujitai, in blue, reflected seal style. In shinjitai the two halberds coalesced into one shape with three horizontal strokes.

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi 桟 /sa’n/ means “crosspiece” and 桟橋 (“pier; landing stage” /sanbashi/), a narrow strip where boats dock.

  1. The kanji 箋 “thin strips of note paper”

history-of-kanji-%e7%ae%8bFor the kanji 箋, the top 竹 was a bushu takekanmuri “bamboo,” and the bottom 戔 signified thin strips. A bamboo tablet was used to write on, which was tied as a book. Together they meant narrow thin pieces of writing. While other Joyo kanji that contained 戔 in seal style or kyujitai became simplified, the kanji 便 retained the old shape. The kanji 箋 meant “thin strips of note paper.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /se’n/ is in 便箋 (“letter paper” /binsen/) and 附箋 or 付箋 (“tag paper” /husen/).

  1. The kanji 浅 “shallow; thoughtless”

history-of-kanji-%e6%b5%85For the kanji 浅, the left side of the seal style writing was a bushu sanzui “water,” and the right side戔 “thin objects piled.” Together the area where there is little water meant “shallow.” It also meant “light” in color, as well as lack of understanding or knowledge. The kanji 浅 meant “shallow; thoughtless.”

The kun-yomi /asai/ means “shallow,” and is in 浅はかな (“thoughtless” /asa’haka-na/), 浅ましい (“vile; unworthy; pathetic” /asamashi’i/) and 日が浅い (“it has not been long since the time” /hi-ga-asai/). The on-yomi /se’n/ is in 浅薄な (“superficial; shallow” /senpaku-na/).

  1. The kanji 残 “to remain; cruel”

history-of-kanji-%e6%ae%8bFor the kanji 残, the left side of the seal style writing was the bones of a dead person, which became 歹, a bushu shikabane “dead body.” With the right side 戔 “thin objects” and bones together, they meant remains that were cut up small. The scene in which an animal eating the corpse of another animal and leaving bones behind is “gruesome; cruel.” The kanji 残 meant “remains; cruel; gruesome.”

The kun-yomi 残る /noko’ru/ means “to remain,” and its transitive verb 残す /noko’su/ means “to leave.” 残り (“remnant; leftover” /nokori/) and 名残惜しい (“reluctant to part” /nagorioshi’i/). The on-yomi /za’n/ is in 残念 (“regrettable” /zanne’n/), 残業 (“overtime work” /zangyoo/), 残忍な (“gruesome; cruel” /zannin-na/) and 無残な (“ruthless; pitiful” /mu’zan-na/).

  1. The kanji 銭 “small change; coin”

history-of-kanji-%e9%8a%adFor the kanji 銭, having 金 “metal” added to戔 “layers of thin strips,” the kanji 銭 meant farming tools that have thin blades, such as a plough and spade. In ancient China there was plough shaped money. From that the kanji 銭 meant “money; coins.”

The kun-yomi 銭 /ze’ni/ meant “money” and is in 小銭 “small change; coin.” The on-yomi /sen/ is in 金銭 “money” and 銭湯 (“public bath,” where you pay money to go in /se’ntoo/.)

  1. The kanji 践 “to tread upon; act”

history-of-kanji-%e8%b7%b5For the kanji 践, the left side足 was foot. With 戔 “to lay over; superimpose” added, placing a step over another signified “to tread upon” and “to follow an old way.” The kanji 践 meant “to tread upon; experience; act.”

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /se’n/ is in 実践する “to execute; carry out” and 実践的な “practical” /jissenteki-na/).

The next four kanji 載戴栽裁 share a shape on the top right that is not in kanji. I do not have access to a font for (e) below, so in this post I am going to call it just the writing sai.

history-of-top-right-of-%e5%93%89The writing sai – The top left in oracle bone style (a) and (b) in brown, was a 才, which was a pictograph of a weir that blocked water flow. It came to indicate timbers or materials in general. From that the generally accepted view is that the writing sai meant “to block; stop.”

There is a different explanation of the writing sai by Shirakawa, which was directly connected to his view of the origin of 才. The history of 才 is shown on the right. He took (a) through (d) as two logs in crosswise that had a prayer box in the middle and that 才 marked a consecrated area. With 戈, the writing sai was a consecrating ceremony using a halberd before starting a war. From that the writing sai as component meant “to begin.” So, one view focuses on the meaning “to stop” and the other on the meaning “to begin.” Both agree that the writing sai was used phonetically for /sa’i/.

Now let us look at five kanji 載戴裁栽繊 with the writing sai.

  1. The kanji 載 “to load; record”

history-of-kanji-%e8%bc%89For the kanji 載, we have three bronze ware style writings here. (a) had才 on the top left, and 戈 on the right for /sai/ to mean “to block.” To this 車 “vehicle” was added at the bottom left. Together, they meant to fasten a load on a vehicle so that it would not fall. The kanji 載 meant “to load.” (b) was the same as 才, and (b) had 車 added underneath. In seal style, (d), the top left had two strokes above the 戈, whereas in kanji it became one stroke. Shirakawa suggested that the kanji 戴 was probably a ritual to sanctify military vehicles before a battle began. The kanji 載 meant “to load; put up.” It was also used to mean to enter or place article or documents in a book or publication.

The kun-yomi 載せる /noseru/ means “to load; put up,” as in 棚に載せる (“to place on a shelf” /tana-ni noseru/), and “to carry,” as in 広告を載せる (“to place an ad” /kookoku-o noseru/). The on-yomi /sa’i/ is in 満載 (“full load” /mansai/), 掲載 (“publication; printing” /keesai/) and 転載 (“reprinting; republication” /tensai/).

  1. The kanji 戴 “to hold something above one’s head; receive”

history-of-kanji-%e6%88%b4The kanji 戴 is comprised of the writing sai and the kanji 異. For this, Kanjigen took the writing sai to be the old form of the kanji 在signifying “to cut and stop” and 異 for a phonetic feature for /tai/. Together they meant “to hold something on the head.” On the other hand Shirakawa took the writing sai to be the phonetic component that changed from /sai/ to /tai/. 異 was carrying an extraordinary head of a dead person’s spirit above one’s own head. Together 戴 signified to protect something sacred with a halberd. The kanji 戴 meant “to hold something above one’s head” and is also used to mean “to receive; eat” in humble style.

The kun-yomi /itadaku/ means “to hold up above one’s head; receive; eat (in humble style).” The expression one uses before eating a meal いただきます /itadakima’su/ is usually written in hiragana. The on-yomi /ta’i/ is in 頂戴する (“to receive” in humble style /choodai-suru/) and 戴冠式 (“coronation” /taika’nshiki/).

  1. The kanji 裁 “to cut (cloth); rule; make a final decision”

history-of-kanji-%e8%a3%81The kanji 裁 is comprised of the writing sai “to cut” or “to begin,” which was used phonetically for /sa’i/, and the kanji 衣 “clothes; fabric.” Together they meant to cut fabric for the first time. A judge makes a ruling after careful deliberation, just as cutting new fabric. From that it also meant “to make a careful decision.” The kanji 裁 meant “to cut cloth; make a final decision.”

The kun-yomi /saba’ku/ means “to make a ruling in court; judge.” The on-yomi /sa’i/ is in 裁判 (“trial; judgment” /sa’iban/), 裁縫 (“sewing” /saihoo/), 独裁 (“dictatorship” /dokusai/), 体裁のいい (“presentable” /teesainoi’i/) and 経済制裁 (“economic sanction” /keezaise’esai/).

  1. The kanji 栽 “to grow (plant); cultivate”

history-of-kanji-%e6%a0%bdThe seal style of the kanji 栽 had 木 “tree” underneath the writing sai, which was used phonetically for /sai/. Together they signified to prune unnecessary branches of a tree. The kanji 栽 meant “to grow (plant); cultivate.”

There is no kun-yomi in Joyo kanji. The on-yomi /sa’i/ is in 栽培する (“to grow (plant); cultivate” /saibai-suru/) and 盆栽 (“miniature tree potted in a flat planter; bonsai” /bonsai/).

The last kanji 繊 came from a very different origin. The history of the writing sai for the kanji 繊 is shown on the right. history-of-kanji-%e7%b9%8a%e3%81%ae%e5%8f%b3%e4%b8%8a

History of the writing sai in the kanji 繊 – In oracle bone style (a) had two people pierced by a halberd at the feet, and (b) had three people pierced by a halberd at the neck. It signified “to behead many people,” and from that it meant “to make something into small pieces.” When it comes to killing, the origin of kanji can be graphic. In the earlier post a month ago, we saw that in the oracle bone style of the kanji a halberd touching a person’s neck originally meaning “to kill (someone).” That was the kanji 伐. [December 18, 2016]  So in oracle bone style 伐 was about beheading one person whereas the right side of 繊 was about beheading many people.

  1. The kanji 繊 “fine; detailed”

history-of-kanji-%e7%b9%8aFor the kanji 繊, the seal style writing had 糸, a bushu itohen “thread.” The right side had two people above a halberd, and 韭underneath signified small things. Together they signified fine threads. Fibers are fine and short hair-like. The kyujitai, in blue, retained the same shape as seal style, which had two 人 at the top – the remnant of the gruesome origin –, but in shijitai the center right became the same as the writing sai, and the center bottom was also simplified. The kanji 繊 meant “fine; detailed.”

There is no kun-yomi.The on-yomi /se’n/ is in 繊維 (“fiber” /se’n-i/), 繊細な (“delicate” /sensai-na/) and 繊毛 (“cilia” /senmoo/).

In the next post we will wrap up the kanji that contain 戈. Thank you very much for your reading. –Noriko [January 22, 2017  Japan time]

The Kanji 金全銅同銀鉄鋼針銭-かねへん(1)

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In this and next posts we are going to look at kanji that contain 金 the bushu kanehen “metal.” There are quite a large number of kanji with a kanehen among the Joyo kanji. There seem to be no oracle bone style samples of any kanji for the shape 金.

  1. The kanji 金 “metal; gold; money”

History of Kanji 金The generally accepted explanation of the kanji 金 is the Setsumon’s explanation that the top originated with 今, which was used phonetically for /kin/, and that the bottom was glistening metal nuggets in soil. I imagined a scene in nature or a mine with a roof. (In this blog, oracle bone style writing is shown in brown, bronze style writing is in green, and ten style writing is in red.) I would like to add another explanation (proposed by Shirakawa) – it was the composite of another kanji 全 and pieces of copper for casting. To understand this, the history of the kanji 全 is useful. So let us make a detour to look at the origin of the kanji 全.

The kanji 全 “complete; to fulfill”

History of Kanji 全For the kanji 全, the Setsumon’s explanation for (c) was that it consisted of a bushu hitoyane and 工. It also explained it earlier shapes, (a) and (b), as flawless perfect jewels or gems (王 is the same as 玉 “jewel; gem”). From that the kanji 全 meant “complete; perfect; to fulfill.” Shirakawa explained (a) as 佩玉 /haigyoku/ “gems strung together worn by a noble on the waist in a ceremony.” In this view the whole kanji was a single image of the jewelry rather than a composite of two components.

The kun-yomi 全く/mattaku/ means “completely; entirely.” 全うする /mattoo-suru/ means “to fulfill one’s mission; accomplish one’s purpose.” The on-yomi /ze’n/ is in 全部 (“whole; all” /ze’nbu/), 全体 (“the whole; entirely” /zentai/), 完全に (“completely; perfectly” /kanzen-ni/).

Now back to the kanji 金. In ancient times in China “metal” referred to bronze. It makes sense that the term 金文 is translated as “bronze ware style writing” in kanji history. Five kinds of metal were named by their color —黄金, from “yellow metal,” meant gold [金]: 黒金, from “black metal,” meant iron [鉄] ; 白金, from “white metal,” meant silver [銀]; 赤金, from “red metal,” meant copper [銅]; and 青金, from “blue metal,” meant lead [鉛].

The kun-yomi 金 /kane/ means “metal,” and is in お金 /okane/ meaning “money,” 金持ち “rich; wealthy” /kanemo’chi/). /-Gane/ is in 有り金 (“money left” /arigane/), and 黄金 (“golden; gold” /kogane/). /Kana-/ is in 金物 (“metal” /kanamono/). The on-yomi 金 /ki’n/ is a kan-on and means “gold,” and is in 借金 (“debt; borrowing money” /shakki’n/), 金属 (“metal” /ki’nzoku/), 金髪 (“blond hair” /kinpatsu/). Another on-yomi /kon or gon/ is a go-on and is in 黄金 (“golden” /oogon/). The word 金色 is read in two way — /kin-iro/ “golden” in kan-on reading; and /konjiki/ “golden” in go-on reading.

  1. The kanji 銅 “copper”

History of Kanji 銅For the kanji 銅, the bronze ware style writing had “metal” on the left side, and the right side was used phonetically for /do’o/ to mean “red.” Together they meant “red metal” (赤金), which is “copper.” The kanji 銅 means “copper.” When 金 is used on the left side it is called a bushu kanehen. Bronze is 青銅, which is a yellowish brown color but when rusted 銅 becomes greenish blue (緑青 “verdigris” /rokusho’o/).

There is no kun-yomi. The on-yomi /do’o/ means “cupper” and is in 赤銅色 (“reddish dark color” /shakudooiro/), 青銅器 (“bronze ware” /seedo’oki/), 銅像 (“bronze statue” /doozoo/).

The kanji 同 “same; identical”

History of Kanji 同The right side of the kanji 銅 is the kanji 同 “same.” In oracle bone style and bronze ware style, it had a piece of board at the top and a hole at the bottom. A hole that went through boards enabled them to become one, which signified “the same.” In ten style, a part of the board became a line inside. The kanji 同 means “same; identical.”

  1. The kanji 銀 “silver”

History of Kanji 銀(frame)This kanji has been discussed over two years ago in the post Eyes Wide Open (4) 限, 眼, 根, 恨, 痕, 銀 and 退 on April 7, 2014. The ten style writing of the kanji 銀 had “metal” on the left. The right side was used phonetically to mean “white.” “White metal” (白金) meant “silver.” (In modern use, 白金 means platinum.) For sample words, please refer to the earlier post.

  1. The kanji 鉄 “iron”

History of Kanji 鉄黒金 “black metal” meant “iron.” The kanji 鉄 had a kyujitai 鐵, which came from ten style. In ten style the left side was metal; the center and right side together were used phonetically to mean “reddish black.” Together they meant “metal that becomes red when rusted,” which was “iron.” In shinjitai, the right side became the kanji 失, which resembled the pre-ten style writing, in purple.

There is no kun-yomi in Joyo kanji. The on-yomi /tetsu/ means “iron.” It is in 鉄道 (“railroad; railway” /tetsudoo/), 私鉄 (“private railway” /shitetsu/), as in the nationally owned railway (国有鉄道 or 国鉄), which is now called JR (/jeea’aru/) after privatization in 1987, 地下鉄 (“subway; underground railway” /chikatetsu/), 鉄則 (“iron rule” /tessoku/), 鉄砲 (“gun; firearms” /teppoo/), 鉄火巻き (“sushi roll with pieces of raw tuna inside” /tekkamaki/), from the red color of heated iron and tuna.

  1. The kanji 鉛 “lead”

History of Kanji 鉛For the kanji 鉛, the left side was “metal,” and the right side was used phonetically for /e’n/ to mean “to flow along” (as in the kanji 沿 “to go along; follow”). Lead melts at a low temperature and runs quickly. From that the kanji 鉛 meant “lead.”

The kun-yomi /namari/ means “lead.” The on-yomi /e’n/ is in 鉛筆 (“pencil” /enpitsu/), 亜鉛 (“zinc” /a’en/), 無鉛ガソリン (“unleaded gasoline” /muenga’sorin/).

  1. The kanji 鋼 “steel”

The kanji 鋼There is no ancient writing for the kanji 鋼. The left side 金 was “metal.” The right side 岡 meant “a hardy mold that had been baked at a high temperature.” Together “hard and strong metal/iron” meant “steel.“ Steel, a hard, strong, gray alloy of iron with carbon is used extensively as a structural and fabricating material.

The kun-yomi 鋼 /hagane/ means “steel.” The on-yomi /ko’o/ is in 鉄鋼業 (“steel industry” /tekko’ogyoo/).

7. The kanji 針 “needle”

History of Kanji 針The orthodox writing (正字) for the kanji 針 was 鍼. The ten style writing of 鍼 had “metal” on the left, and the right side 咸 was used phonetically. History of Kanji 十This kanji is now used to mean “acupuncture,” an alternative pain treatment using needles. In shinjitai kanji 針, the 十 shape on the right side came from a needle with a bulge in the middle, as in the kanji 十 shown on the right. The kanji 針 means “needle.”

The kun-yomi /ha’ri/ means “needle,” and is 時計の針 (“clock hand” /tokee-no-ha’ri/) and 針金 (“thin wire” /harigane/). /-Bari/ is in 縫い針 (“sewing needle” /nuiba’ri/). The on-yomi /shi’n/ is in 方針 (“guideline” /hooshin/), 秒針 (“second hand” /byooshin/) and メーター検針 (“inspection/reading of a meter” /meetaake’nshin/).

  1. The kanji 鐘 “bell”

History of Kanji 鐘The kanji 鐘 consists of a bushu kanehen and the kanji 童. We have looked at the unusual origin of the kanji 童 in the previous post [The Kanji 東動働重童 on January 6, 2015.] Here it was used phonetically for /do’o/ only. The bronze ware style writings (a) and (b) became (c) in ten style. Another ten style writing (d) was also given in Setsumon as an alternative. The kanji 鐘 means “bell.”

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

  1. The kanji 銭 “money”

History of Kanji 銭For the kanji 銭, the left side in ten style was “metal.” The right side had two halberds, 戔, giving the sound /se’n/ and also meant “shaving something thinner.” Together they originally meant a plough that had thin blades. There were plough-shaped coins. From that it meant “money.” The kyujitai 錢, in blue, reflected ten style. The shinjitai simplified the right side, and it means “money; small change; coin.”

The kun-yomi 銭 /ze’ni/ means “money,” and is in 小銭 (“small change” /kozeni/) and 身銭を切る (“to pay for from one’s own pocket” /mizeni-to-ki’ru/). The on-yomi /se’n/ is in 金銭 (“money” /ki’nsen/), 一銭 (“one-hundredth of a yen” /isse’n/), 守銭奴 (“miser; scrooge” /shuse’ndo/).

There are many more kanji with a bushu kanehen. We will continue with them in the next post. [June 25, 2016]