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The stories behind chinese characters

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kanji with sickness radical [Sep. 2nd, 2006|09:07 pm]
The stories behind chinese characters



japanese on-reading: エキ ヤク
chinese pinyin: yi4
cantonese (Yale):yik6

meanings: epidemic, plague

sample japanese words:
疫病 えきびょう、やくびょう epidemic, plague
防疫 ぼうえき prevention of epidemics

sickness radical + 役 (phonetic, abbreviated) alloted task. sickness that falls on many people, without them having a choice.

japanese on-reading: シツ
chinese pinyin: ji2
cantonese (Yale): jat6 jaat6

meanings: rapidly, disease

sample japanese words:
疾患 しっかん disease, (chest) ache
疾病 しっぺい disease
疾うに とうに (疾っくに とっくに normally written in hiragana)
long time ago, already

sickness radical + 矢 arrow... progress quickly as an arrow, sickness progressing this way

japanese on-reading: ショウ
traditional chinese: 癥
chinese pinyin: zheng4
cantonese (Yale): jing3 jing1

meaning: symptom

sample japanese words:
症候 しょうこう symptom (synonim: 徴候 ちょうこう)
症例 しょうれい medical case
炎症 えんしょう inflamation

sickness radical + 正 correct (phonetic)

japanese on-reading: ヒ
japanese kun-reading:
chinese pinyin: pi2
cantonese (Yale): pei4

meaning: skin, pelt, fur

sample japanese words:
脱皮 だっぴ shed skin
皮膚 ひふ skin
毛皮 けがわ fur, pelt

was animal's body/fur w/head on top, and slanted hand peeling the fur. the kanji also carried the meaning "slanted".


japanese on-reading: ヒ
japanese kun-reading: つか(らす) つか(れる)
chinese pinyin: pei4
cantonese (Yale):

meaning: tired, exhausted

sample japanese words:
疲労 ひろう fatigue
疲れる つかれる be tired

sickness radical + 皮 skin/bend (phonetic). unable to stand straight because of tiredness/sickness

japanese on-reading: ヘイ
chinese pinyin: bing3
cantonese (Yale): bing2

meaning: 3rd of the ten heavenly stems

fish's tail ("spread" in two directions).
alternatively, legs of table or person spread evenly for support.


japanese on-reading: ヘイ ビョウ
japanese kun-reading: や(む) やまい
chinese pinyin: bing3
cantonese (Yale): bing6 beng6

meanings: illness, sickness, pain

sample japanese words:
病気 びょうき 病 やまい disease
病院 びょういん hospital

sickness radical (person lying in bed, depicted vertically) + 丙 (phonetic) spread in two directions. depicts body stiff from sickness


japanese on-reading: ヨウ
japanese kun-reading: もち(いる)
chinese pinyin: yong4
cantonese (Yale):yung6

meanings: use, utilize

sample japanese words:
用いる もちいる use
用心 ようじん be careful
器用 きよう handy
不器用 ぶきよう amateur, clumsy,

stick 卜 passing through a square board, making a hole in it or splitting it. wooden target and arrow hitting it
alternatively, picture of a bronze bucket


japanese on-reading: ツウ
japanese kun-reading: いた(む) いた(い) いた(める)
chinese pinyin: tong4
cantonese (Yale): tung3

meanings: pain, hurt, extremely

sample japanese words:
痛み いたみ pain
痛撃 つうげき attack forcefully

sickness radical + 甬 (phonetic): the マ form is 人 person (alternatively an obsolete kanji like right side of 氾 meaning to sprout/force way through obstacle) + 用 phonetic => pass through, penetrate


japanese on-reading: トウ
chinese pinyin: dou4
cantonese (Yale):dau6

meaning: smallpox/variola

sample japanese words:
天然痘 てんねんとう 痘瘡 とうそう smallpox

sickness radical + 豆 beans or 逗 stop/leave tracks phonetic.


japanese on-reading: リ
japanese kun-reading: き(く)
chinese pinyin: li4
cantonese (Yale): lei6

meaning: profit, benefit, advantage, effectiveness

sample japanese words:
利益 りえき profit, benefit
利く きく have effect, be useful

禾 rice plant + 刀 knife. cut down rice plant with a sharp tool. alternatively, drain and ventilate a field (with 刀 meaning dry). to carry a job thoroughly and without fault. original meaning: pass through. chinese dictionary has 謪 commerce and 厤


japanese on-reading: リ
chinese pinyin: li4
cantonese (Yale): lei6

meaning: dysentery/diarrhea

sample japanese words:
下痢 げり diarrhea
赤痢 せきり dysentery

sickness radical + 利 cut through (phonetic)


japanese on-reading: ギ
traditional variant: うたが(う)
chinese pinyin: yi2
cantonese (Yale):yi4

meaning: suspicious, suspect

sample japanese words:

japanese dictionary: left side 矣 (phonetic) = 厶 person + 矢 arrow - person that stops while looking backwards
right side:
マ=子 child 疋=止 feet stopping
to stop moving because of fascination. stop in consideration.
alternatively: child, being uncertain

wenlin offers a detective-story alternative: "矢 is an arrow. 匕 is 人 a person's body, sideways. Apparently we have a 矢 weapon, and a 匕 victim (who's been 止 stopped dead). Can there be any 疑 doubt that the 子 child is our only suspect?"


japanese on-reading: チ
traditional variant: 癡
chinese pinyin: chi1
cantonese (Yale): chi1

meaning: stupid, foolish, insane

sample japanese words:
痴漢 ちかん pervert, molestor
痴呆 ちほう 痴呆症 ちほうしょう dementia
白痴 idiot, imbecile

sickness radical + 疑 to stop in astonishment. to loose mind or stand still dumbfounded.

modern form: sickness radical + 知 know (phonetic)


japanese on-reading: ヘキ
japanese kun-reading: くせ
chinese pinyin: pi3
cantonese (Yale): pik1

meaning: habit

sample japanese words:
癖 くせ habit
くせに - in spite of
悪癖 あくへき 病癖 びょうへき bad habit

sickness radical + 辟 phonetic (人 person + 口 mouth/opening + 辛 sharp tool for punishment => make a person worship laying down flat or torture/execute a person tearing his body by moving a sharp object in different directions). to move in a direction, straying from norm. an abnormal habit.


japanese on-reading: リョウ
simplified chinese: 疗
chinese pinyin: liao2
cantonese (Yale): liu4 liu6

meaning: heal, cure

sample japanese words:
医療 いりょう 加療 かりょう 治療 ちりょう
療法 りょうほう 療養 りょうよう
medical treatment

sickness radical + 尞 phonetic.


japanese on-reading: ユ
japanese kun-reading: いや(す)
chinese pinyin: yu4
cantonese (Yale): yu6

meaning: heal

sample japanese words:
治癒 ちゆ 平癒 へいゆ 快癒 かいゆ recovery, convalescence
癒す いやす heal

sickness radical + 兪 phonetic (舟 + to scoop/make hollow => canoe, wood ship made by hollowing the inside part) to dig out the sickness from the middle of the body