What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

The Kanji Appreciation Thread

Aleksey

Registered
Joined
10 Dec 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Google translate proposed あいき そく せいかつ on Hiragana, but it's too long :( I need shorter version.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,860
Reaction score
1,254
Depending on what you're trying to do, it might be better to use 人生 for life. 生活 means kind of like the way of living (lifestyle). 人生 is more related to human existence (life/death).
Like maybe 合気道人生 which would mean something like a Life dedicated to Aikido.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,254
Depending on what you're trying to do, it might be better to use 人生 for life. 生活 means kind of like the way of living (lifestyle). 人生 is more related to human existence (life/death).

I had the exact same thoughts, but I looked up the expression before answering and that is how it appears on Japanese language aikido websites.
 
Joined
4 Apr 2014
Messages
646
Reaction score
167
Don't feel like starting a new thread so i'll just ask here. Some sources say
itsu13200-m.gif
is contemporary way to write 溢 while others state that
E6BAA2.png
is (two upper strokes facing inward) Judging from the fact that i get in majority of fonts, i prefer to write it as Any alternative thoughts?
 
Joined
4 Apr 2014
Messages
646
Reaction score
167
Thanks for clearing this out, Toritoribe. Seems like fonts in some apps and textbooks are messed up, using hanzi instead of kanji.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,074
Reaction score
3,308
Actually, the Chinese-like font was used from 1983 to 2004 by JIS, so Windows XP used it, for instance.
 
Joined
4 Apr 2014
Messages
646
Reaction score
167
Does this mean i should expect such erm... "misprints" in works printed around that time?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,074
Reaction score
3,308
Yes, that's possible. I wouldn't feel strange if I see the font used in Japanese documents.
 

Keith888

後輩
Joined
2 Oct 2014
Messages
22
Reaction score
1
My version: 『「桜」という字を分解すれば "ツヤっぽい女が木にかかる" 』
 

lincstreff

後輩
Contributor
Joined
13 Jan 2016
Messages
108
Reaction score
47
The version of the 'sakura' character prior to simplification (櫻) has a similar popular mnemonic:

二貝の女が木にかかる(二階の女が気に掛かる)
 

Biwako

Registered
Joined
31 Aug 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Yeah I know what you mean.. At school we were told that 火 (fire) was actually derived from the shape of a camp fire, 目 (eye) from the shape of an eye, 川 (river) from the streams of the river etc.. I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day, and he didn't believe a word of it, saying it was all a coincidence.. I was brain-washed from my early ages that it was like that, but does anyone have more "scientific" proof of this? :emoji_blush:


There really is scientific proof!
I will copy and paste my usual answer to this question below:

Wouldn’t it be nice to really be able to explain the form of Chinese characters? Fortunately, the discovery of material from the period in which Chinese characters originated about 3000 years ago (tortoise plastron and oracle bone writings) in 1899, provided us with new first-hand knowledge on the formation process of these characters and ultimately changed our understanding of them. Basically, Chinese characters can only be understood on the base of knowledge about ancient Chinese culture and customs. This is due to Chinese characters having originated in line with actual social rituals of very early times. They are never abstract constructs apart from the circumstances of this life. Based on the religious notions from the time in which Chinese characters developed, the very nature of these rituals is reflected in the structure of the characters.
The well-renowned scholar of Chinese characters Shirakawa Shizuka (1910 – 2006) successfully analyzed these earliest character forms and made a number of key discoveries that ensure him a prominent place in the hall of fame of this discipline. Among these is the breakthrough discovery that the part 口 included in many characters originally does not depict a mouth (kuchi in Japanese) as had been taken for granted before, but a covenant receptacle (sai). Shirakawa’s research results and publications offer a more fun and logical Kanji learning alternative to remain in the learners’ memory and is standing out against most of the mechanical, inhuman and authoritarian learning methods employed at schools and universities which are far from giving any convincing systematic explanations based on the historical facts.
One of Shirakawa’s character form explanations that first got stuck in my head is that of 取る (toru). Why does it mean „to take, to pick up“ although it consists of 耳 (mimi – ear) and the part (that for some just looks like the Japanese phonetical katakana nu) 又? It means „to take“ because Chinese warriors used to cut off their slain enemies’ ear on the battlefield and kept them as a piece of evidence for a later reward. The part 又 originally is the shape of a hand. Shirakawa’s books provide many convincing explanations of this kind and at the same time give insight into ancient Chinese ways of thinking. For those who cannot read his works in Japanese, there’s good news since there is a complete English translation of his dictionary primer 常用字解 (Jôyôjikai) by the title The Keys To The Chinese Characters (published with CreateSpace). Moreover, the commentary includes various translations from passages of other works by Shirakawa.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,254
For those who cannot read his works in Japanese, there’s good news since there is a complete English translation of his dictionary primer 常用字解 (Jôyôjikai) by the title The Keys To The Chinese Characters (published with CreateSpace).

Let me guess.....

Your name is Christoph Schmitz and you are the one selling the book?
 

Biwako

Registered
Joined
31 Aug 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Let me guess.....

Your name is Christoph Schmitz and you are the one selling the book?

I thought this book might help those who, like me not too long ago, are not able to read and understand the original Japanese version. I also wanted to know more about Kanji and luckily my Japanese teacher knew about Shirakawa's work and recommended it to me. This year in April I found out about the English translation.
 
Joined
4 Apr 2014
Messages
646
Reaction score
167
Occasionally I notice 謎 being used in it's 改正前 form (16 strokes instead of 17) in modern ads, banners etc. How justified is use of kanji's 改正前 form? (And I mean any other kanji as well, not just 謎. 溢 for instance.)
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,074
Reaction score
3,308
I would say nobody cares about it. Most people wouldn't even realize the difference.
 

joadbres

八方凡人
Joined
19 Sep 2016
Messages
733
Reaction score
265
Occasionally I notice 謎 being used in it's 改正前 form (16 strokes instead of 17) in modern ads, banners etc. How justified is use of kanji's 改正前 form? (And I mean any other kanji as well, not just 謎. 溢 for instance.)
I'll elaborate a bit on this one. The Japanese are not as proscriptive as westerners when it comes to the orthography of their own language. As an example, when new characters were recently added to the 常用漢字 list, those characters containing components which had previously been simplified among the original set of 常用漢字 (but not among characters originally left off the 常用漢字 list) were identified by the kanji kentei foundation as being acceptable in either form.
I think it's a safe bet that if you were somehow able to ask Japanese people who had just read the 謎 character five minutes prior whether the shin-nyou (shin-nyuu) component had one or two dots in it, they would be unable to tell you. It doesn't matter, as they are treated as the same.
Finally, I am a little curious about your use of the term 改正前. I have never seen this term applied to kanji, and am wondering if you saw it used elsewhere, or if it is your own ad hoc usage. If I were to use that term to describe the 謎 character, if anything, I would say that the 改正前 form is the one with 17 strokes, not the other way around.
 

HanSolo

後輩
Joined
6 May 2015
Messages
179
Reaction score
33
I find the fact that the Japanese have to write their names twice on forms particularly amusing.

It's like their language is so difficult, they have to use two languages to explain themselves. And where I used to live, even the immediate locals and taxi drivers would falsely pronounce the ward I lived in off the Kanji.

I think if your language is so hard that even the sole speakers of it, even the eldest of them, can't speak it properly, it's time to rethink something. Add that along side the way they freely absorb foreign words, but only whilst butchering the pronunciation beyond recognition with their massively limited phonography, it's quite comical really.

Someone explained an interesting theory to me recently: about "adversity theory". His idea was that the disfunctionality of their language was partly to credit for their society's high standing among the other Asian countries. I.e. "the language is so hard it contributes to killing / socially-ostracizing people, leaving only the strongest behind". Sounds out there, but uncomfortably difficult to dismiss.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,254
It's like their language is so difficult, they have to use two languages to explain themselves.

You display the common error of conflating the Japanese language with the method employed to write the language.

And where I used to live, even the immediate locals and taxi drivers would falsely pronounce the ward I lived in off the Kanji.

I have trouble swallowing that. Please tell us the specific ward you are speaking of.

I think if your language is so hard that even the sole speakers of it, even the eldest of them, can't speak it properly, it's time to rethink something.

What needs to be rethought are the warped conclusions you have arrived. How in hell do you arrive at the position that Japanese people can't speak Japanese "properly"?

Add that along side the way they freely absorb foreign words, but only whilst butchering the pronunciation beyond recognition with their massively limited phonography, it's quite comical really.

Only butchered if you start with the assumption that they were trying to pronounce them as pronounced in their original language....which nobody is trying to do. Have you ever considered the degree to which English butchers the pronunciation of borrowed words? It is hardly a phenomenon unique to the Japanese. If you know any Frenchmen you may tell them for me that they make a complete charade out of the way they pronounce croissant.

When you were in Toki-o did you ever read "main-guh" or watch "annie may"? Maybe go to "carry okie"? Maybe drink some "saki" at an "e-zuh-KAI-yuh" in ShuBOOyuh? Some people fly into NuhREEtuh and go study Kuh-ROTTY with a "sin say". How much Nuh-HONgo and "can gee" did you end up learning? When I was in the Navy I was very perplexed by why "Yokosuka" was universally pronounced "Yuh-KOO-ska" by my fellow sailors.

If you want comical, listen to Japanese spoken by English speakers who insist on using English pronunciations and intonation patterns. It's hilarious. Cringeworthy enough to make the most hardened Sam Rye commit Harry Carey. I think the Comma-Kazi must have been a last futile attempt to stave off the future onslaught of Japanese language butchering gaijins.

Someone explained an interesting theory to me recently: about "adversity theory". His idea was that the disfunctionality of their language was partly to credit for their society's high standing among the other Asian countries. I.e. "the language is so hard it contributes to killing / socially-ostracizing people, leaving only the strongest behind". Sounds out there, but uncomfortably difficult to dismiss.

That is utterly asinine.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom