On Kanji

Kanji Blog Post #5

Verbal Logic Quiz 1

Verbal Logic Quiz 2

A Deeper Look

Answers to Quiz #1

A Deeper Look

A Deeper Look

A Deeper Look

A Deeper Look

Answers to Quiz #2

11 Responses to “Kanji Blog Post #5”

  1. M. Feldman Says:

    Your comments about the Japanese use of the word “mouth” reminded me of the Hawaiian slang, “broke the mouth.” That is a way of saying, “The food is so wonderful that it broke my mouth trying to chew it up so fast.”

  2. H.C. Says:

    I wonder if they have a cute Kanji nickname for the Japanese fast eater Kobayashi who wins all the Nathan’s hot dog contests. mouth+fast+tiger+….

  3. Hitomi Says:

    It is so educational! Thank you very much. One thing I want to say is about “Kuchikazu”. I have been using Kuchikasu as the way it literally means…such as “Kuchikazu ga sukunai – speak less- a person with less words”. I never used as “mouth to feed” meaning…but maybe it is something that I do not know. Language is a living thing that we can explore so much….

  4. Hiroshi Mori Says:

    I agree with Hitomi-san that I, a native speaker of Japanese, have never encountered an instance where “kuchikazu” means a number of mouths to feed. Though Hitomi-san is evidently not questioning the blog’s credibility, I consulted three dictionaries and all list that meaning. My speculation is that it was used in that sense when Japan was less affluent and parents had to think hard how to reduce the mouths to feed but the usage gradually disappeared. Nowadays it is not households but corporations that are trying hard to reduce the mouths to feed!

  5. Laura Says:

    I love your robotic-kanji person! Very clever. Love the “Going Deeper” part too. -Laura

  6. carolyn Says:

    Hi Eve,
    はやくちことば (hayakuchikotoba) is a tongue twister. My children love doing them both in Japanese and English.
    Have you ever noticed the kuchi in 船 (fune). It’s “8 mouths in a boat.” I find this fascinating because most cultures have ark related references in their histories. There were 8 people in Noah’s ark and here it is in kanji too!

  7. Eve Kushner Says:

    There were 8 people on Noah’s ark? I’ve only ever heard about the pairs of giraffes, zebras, etc.!

    I have a vague feeling that a Japanese man once told me something about the 8 mouths in 船, but I don’t remember that conversation clearly. Anyway, I’ve consulted Henshall to see what he says about the etymology. He says the right-hand side of 船 originally meant “hollowed out” (from 八, which meant “split,” and 口, which meant “opening). Thus, 船 was a “hollowed-out boat,” maybe a dug-out vessel (like a canoe???).

  8. carolyn Says:

    Noah and his wife, his sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives = 8 people.

    Have you ever looked at Korean? My Japanese room mate used to study Korean because of the similarities to kanji and it was full of circles where Japanese used “squares.”
    I think… it was a long time ago.

  9. Eve Kushner Says:

    Yes, you’re definitely right about hangul, the phonetic Korean script. I’m quite familiar with the way it looks.

    I’m much less familiar with Noah’s situation! I didn’t that, as you imply, he was on his second marriage by the time of the flood.

  10. carolyn Says:

    I’m sorry Eve,
    I really don’t know how my sentence could be construed that Noah was on his second marriage by the time of the flood?
    The Bible says clearly that there were 8 people on the ark.
    Noah and his wife. Their three sons. And one wife for each son. Three daughters-in-law in total. 2+3+3=8
    If you’d like to read it for yourself it’s found in Genesis chapters 6 to 8.

    My original point was that it’s interesting that the kanji for ship looks like 8 mouths in a boat.
    People see what they want to see based on what they believe, myself included.
    If you suppose that the Bible is true you can find it in the oral and written histories of the world, finding it in kanji and ancient Chinese characters is fascinating for me.
    People who presuppose that the Bible is fiction won’t be able to find any of that history and if they do get a glimpse they label it as something else or a leftover of some ancient tradition.
    Thankfully we all have the freedom to believe as we choose.

  11. Eve Kushner Says:

    I was merely responding to the phrase “his sons” in your comment. I figured you meant that they were his sons, not jointly his and his wife’s sons. Thanks for the clarification!

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