From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kanji Mastery—Radical 112 (Stone)

[a] Rockface RF
Hard, obdurate, unyielding. These are some of the qualities of the "stone" or "rock" radical—number 112 in a classic series of 214 lexical markers in written Chinese or, for our purposes, Sino-Japanese. The word combinations below will give you a sense of the kinds of connections that this character has inspired in all aspects of life and practice.

Let's take a look at the etymology of the character, followed by a few combinations. By all means, check out the following sites for useful information on the character:

Radical 112
Chinese (Mandarin): shi2  (Cantonese): sek6
[b] Bridgestone RF
Japanese (on): セキ, シャク seki, shaku  (kun):いし, こく

Selections from The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary.
Ishi stone. At left: ishi hen. Nickname: Stone.

ishi stone, pebble, rock; jewel; the go playing stones.
koku 4.96 bushels; ten cubic feet (of lumber)

石工 いしく              ishiku               workman, craftsman      (stone + work)
石火    せっか                  sekka                flint fire; flash                 (stone + fire)
石弓 いしゆみ               ishiyumi             crossbow, catapult        (stone + bow)
石川    いしかわ               ishikawa            river with stony bottom (stone + river)
石匠    しきしょう           sekishyou          stone mason                 (stone + craftsman)
石道    いしみち               ishimichi            stone road                     (stone + path)
石門    いしもん               ishimon              stone gate                    (stone + gate)
石橋    いしばし*              ishibashi            stone bridge                 (stone + bridge)
石切    いしき(り)             ishiki(ri)              quarrying                     (stone + cut)
石臼    いし うす              ishi usu               stone mill                     (stone + mortar)
* Also (せっこう)
**Also (せっきょう)

And then we have a cluster of other combinations that remind us that not all language is neutral or suited to the tastes of "modern" readers. The nature of all life is that it is historical and cultural. The dictionary (all dictionaries) is chock full of terms that hearken back to darker times. If you have been reading the news, you will quickly see that every one of these terms remains relevant in some parts of the world. "Stone" carries with it more than merely lexical or phonetic baggage, and I replicate some of the more harrowing terms here without further comment.

石女       うまずめ             umazume           barren woman             (stone + woman)
石婦       せきふ                 sekifu                 barren woman             (stone + wife)
石打  いしう(ち)          ishiu(chi)             stoning                        (stone + beating)
石合戦 いしがっせん     ishigassen          fighting with stones      (stone + unite + war)
[c] Rockwall RF

No comments:

Post a Comment