27 February 2012

Kanji Lesson 15

By Evelyn Blackwood
CC BY-NC 2.5

This kanji is a squared and straightened version of a picture of a farmer planting a rice seedling on a paddy field. The rice plant is  normally grown as an annual plant, which mean that its life cycle, from planting to harvesting, is within one year. After harvesting, the plant usually dies, so a replanting would be needed for the next year/season. Rice is a semi-aquatic plant that requires a lot of water, so before planting the seedlings, the paddy field is flooded with water. As a result, the farmer's feet will be partially submerged under water while planting. Notice that the longest vertical line, the lower part of which represents a farmer's leg, goes through the lowest horizontal line which represent the flooded paddy field. Furthermore, planting rice manually like this is said to be a backbreaking labor, and as can be seen from the illustration of the kanji, the "back" eventually "breaks".

  • 一年 (いちねん) One year
  • 本年 (ほんねん) This (current) year
  • 年より (としより)  Old people, The aged
  • 年金 (ねんきん) Annuity, Pension
  • 青年 (せいねん) Youth, Young man

Consists of the roof radical and two additional strokes that represent a chimney-like structure. A chimney is basically a hole on the roof.

Sky, Empty
By Satoru Kikuchi (Flickr)
CC BY 2.0
Consists of the kanji for "hole" (穴) and "construction" (工). Usually, a construction (building) is an enclosed space with only a small number of holes (doors & windows). The sky is a different kind of construction that consists only of holes (empty spaces).
  • 空気 (くうき) Air, Atmosphere
  • 青空 (あおぞら) Blue sky
  • 空手 (からて) Karate, Empty handed

Mingle, Mixing, Association
This kanji is a picture of a person sitting with legs crossed. Some parts of the right leg is at the left side, and vice versa. Therefore, left and right is mixed / mingled.

School, Exam, Correction
This kanji consists of the tree radical (木) and the kanji for mix/mingle (交). A school is basically a place where people socialize (migle) and learn new knowledges and skills. In primitive times, especially when people are still hunting and gathering, there was no such institution as a school, and people learn the knowledges and skills they need to survive, from the nature. So, in those times, a school is where people mingle with the trees to "learn" from them. Nowadays, we have organizations (informal schools) that offer lessons in primitive survival skills, which of course, involve mingling with the trees.
  • 学校 (がっこう) School
  • 小学校 (しょうがっこう) Elementary school
  • 校正 (こうせい) Proofreading

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