16 August 2011

Kanji Lesson 5

Consist of a line on top (一) to represent the sky/heaven, and earth (土). It's a king's responsibility to maintain the harmony between heaven and earth, in other words, to ensure the physical and spiritual welfare of his people.
  • 王子(おうじ) Prince
  • 女王(じょおう) Queen

(ギョク, たま)
Gemstone / Precious stone (especially Jade), Ball
Consist of a line on top (一) representing the sky, the earth (土), and a dot representing something small (stones) under the earth. Gemstones are usually found buried down under the earth, but their value is sky high. This is especially true for jade which have a special status in Chinese culture. There's even a Chinese saying that means "Gold have a price, but Jade is priceless". Note that the 一 and 土 elements make the kanji for "king" (王), which correspond to a legend that says that in ancient times, only emperors may possess carved jade.
  • 一円玉 (いちえんだま) 1 yen coin
  • 玉子 (たまご) Chicken egg
  • 目玉 (めだま) Eyeball

(カ, ケ, ば.ける、ば.かす、か.す)
Change, Take the form of
Consist of the "person" radical () to show a person in a standing position and 七 to show a person in a sitting position, hence the idea of a "change" in form.
  • 文化 (ぶんか) Culture

(シュ, ズ, て)
Picture of the wrist & the palm with 5 fingers. The fingers are "straightened up" into vertical & horizontal lines.

  • 入手 (にゅうしゅ)  Obtaining, Coming to hand
  • 手入れ (ていれ)Repairs, Maintenance

By hherbzilla (Flickr)
CC BY-NC 2.0
(ボク, モク, き)
Tree, Wood/Timber
Picture of a palm tree with 5 leaves. A palm tree stem doesn't branch, so what looks like a branch is actually a leaf (called "compound leaf"), which is subdivided into smaller parts called "leaflet".
  • 土木 (どぼく) Public works

(ホン, もと) 
Book, Counter for long cylindrical objects
By annieo76
CC BY 2.0
Consist of a tree (木) and a horizontal line at the "stem" area representing a segmented stem. A well known plant with segmented stem is the bamboo plant, whose stem is long and cylindrical by nature. As for the meaning of "book", a book is actually made of many "segments" of paper, which when traced back, will lead to the idea of plant stem (paper <- pulp <- wood <- plant stem).
  • 日本 (にほん) Japan
  • 本日 (ほんじつ) Today
  • 日本人 (にほんじん) Japanese (people)
  • 六本木 (ろっぽんぎ) Roppongi (a place name in Tokyo)
  • 見本 (みほん) Sample

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