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画家 meaning

linknut

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Why is 画家 write with a 家 (house) kanji? is it like japanese painters used to paint houses or they used to paint inside their houses? or what?
I'm curious!
 

Majestic

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As with "hand" in the other thread, this is not to be taken literally as "house". This meaning in this case comes from the Chinese usage of the word from the middle-ages, meaning someone or some group with specialized knowledge.

 

bentenmusume

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The answer to this is similar to your other question about 手. 家 can also have the meaning of a profession or discipline, or the people engaged in it. This abstract meaning can be understood much like 手, as back in the day it would be common for all individuals of a certain line or household to practice the same profession, and thus for the boundaries between the individual and the profession of their household to be blurred somewhat.


(Look at definition #3 under 意味 and #4 under 家の解説.)

In addition to 画家, you'll also see 作家 (author), 発明家 (inventor), 翻訳家 (translator), 専門家 (specialist), 武道家 (martial artist), 発明家 (inventor), 資産家 (tycoon), and many, many more examples.

edit: I just noticed my post overlapped with Majestic's but I'll leave it as is since we posted different links/examples.
 
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