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The Beauty of Inefficiency: A story about Traditional Hiragana

By Kaoru Akagawa / 22/03/2013 /

My grandmother is one of the last generations to use the old Hiragana in daily life. By contrast, my Father, who was born in

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Inspire Others: Volume 1, Issue 2

By Dave Gosine / 17/10/2012 /

Welcome to Inspire Others. As we continue the theme Autumn, the next inspirational word will be Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums through out Asian History have

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Inspire Others: Volume 1, Issue 1

By Dave Gosine / 25/09/2012 /

Welcome to Inspire Others. For the very first post we wish to begin simply. We have just entered the month of September which in Japan means time for the leaves to change colour.

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figure 1 kanji etymology jin 158x3001 158x300 - Kanji: 人

Kanji: 人

By Ponte Ryūrui / 11/07/2012 /

Shu shen (許慎, pinyin: Xǔ Shèn, ca. 58 C.E. – ca. 147 C.E.), the meaning of the character 人 was associated with the virtues of Heaven and Earth (i.e. the universe).

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figure 1 kanji etymology shin 172x300 172x300 - Kanji: 森

Kanji: 森

By Ponte Ryūrui / 20/06/2012 /

森 follows a concept of three pictographs of a tree (木, き, ki) combined in one character, and it emphasises thick tree growth, i.e. woods.

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figure 1 kanji etymology jou 239x300 239x300 - Kanji: 上

Kanji: 上

By Ponte Ryūrui / 14/06/2012 /

the character 上 originally meant “the higher part (or place)”, and it was represented by two horizontal lines. In later stages its meaning was broadened to

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figure 1 kanji etymology shou 195x300 195x300 - Kanji: 小

Kanji: 小

By Ponte Ryūrui / 24/05/2012 /

Xiao Xu Ben a revision of Shuowen Jiezi written by the Late Han dynasty scholar Xu Kai, supports the above mentioned definition of 小, by further explanation

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figure 1 kanji etymology jo 247x300 247x300 - Kanji: 女

Kanji: 女

By Ponte Ryūrui / 09/05/2012 /

a philologist of the Han dynasty (漢朝, pinyin: Hàn Cháo, 206 B.C. – 220 C.E.) is quite simple and straight forward. Xu states that the character 女 represents a woman.

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figure 1 kanji etymology shutsu 300x274 300x274 - Kanji: 出

Kanji: 出

By Ponte Ryūrui / 24/04/2012 /

The shape of the character 出 symbolises a step forward executed with vigour; each step starts from placing the heel on the ground. A strongly placed foot

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figure 1 kanji etymology juu 221x300 221x300 - Kanji: 十

Kanji: 十

By Ponte Ryūrui / 12/04/2012 /

the shape of 十 was based on the concept of a vertically oblong tool used for calculations (Figures 1 and 2). Please also refer to the etymology of the

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