Kanji: 小

figure_1_kanji etymology_shou

1. Meaning:little, small 2. Readings: Kunyomi (訓読み): お-, こ-, さ-, ちい.さい Onyomi (音読み): ショウ Japanese names: いさら, こう, さざ, しゃお, ちいさ Chinese reading: xiǎo 3. Etymology 小 belongs to the 象形文字 (しょうけいもじ, shōkeimoji, i.e., set of characters of pictographic origin). It is a pictograph of scattered tiny objects, possibly shells or precious stones. It is a historical fact that at the end of the Neolithic Era (10,000 B.C. – 8,000 B.C.) ancient Chinese began to use shells as … [Read more...]

Kanji: 子

figure_1_kanji etymology_shi

1. Meaning: child; first sign of Chinese zodiac; sign of the rat. 2. Readings: Kunyomi (訓読み): こ, -こ, ね Onyomi (音読み):シ, ス, ツ Japanese names: い, き, ぎ, く, け, ねっ Chinese reading: zǐ, zi 3. Etymology 子 belongs to the 象形文字 (しょうけいもじ, shōkeimoji, i.e. set of characters of pictographic origin). It is a pictograph of an infant. In “Explaining Simple (Characters) and Analyzing Compound Characters” (說文解字, pinyin: Shūowén Jiězì) from the 2nd century C.E., compiled by Xu … [Read more...]

Kanji: 山

figure_1_kanji etymology_yama

1. Meaning: mountain; also: climax, critical point, speculation, guess, criminal case. 2. Readings: Kunyomi (訓読み): やま Onyomi (音読み):サン, セン Japanese names: さ, やの, やん Chinese reading: shān 3. Etymology 山 belongs to the 象形文字 (しょうけいもじ, shōkeimoji, i.e. set of characters of pictographic origin). It is a pictograph of a mountain rising up from the surface of the ground. The sound and secondary meanings of the character 山 are strongly related to ancient Chinese … [Read more...]