Thursday, February 3, 2011

之繞 (shin-nyou)。

I find the kanji radical shin-nyou, which appears in 70+ kanji and generally means movement or progression, really interesting. "Nyou" is just the type of radical, an "enclosure" radical that usually spans the left side and the bottom of the kanji. (Cf. hen, ashi, tsukuri, kamae, etc.) "Shin" is the really interesting part, because the originating kanji, 之, seems not to carry a pronunciation of "shin" or have anything to do with movement. In fact, it's one of those super kanji that stand in for particles or basic words, in this case の (possessive) and これ (this) (although in fact hiragana の derives from a totally different kanji, 乃). I suspect, but will have to verify later, that it's also the parent kanji of hiragana え. 面白いなぁ。

Addendum: I've checked, and the parent of え is not 之, but 衣 (ころも/イ koromo/I), meaning, weirdly enough, either robes/clothing or some kind of bread-crumby batter coating. A Google image search for 衣 turned up an image of something that might be batter-coated...and about a million images of lingerie. (I don't think I've ever image-searched anything in Japanese and not gotten a slew of provocative images, but these seem actually to be related to ころも.) Funnily enough, a hiragana chart I checked shows an intermediate form between 衣 and え that looks a lot like 示すへん shimesu・hen, the "altar" radical that appears in a ton of interesting kanji that are generally about religion, fortune, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment