Melon is "gua" in Mandarin, and fox is "hu" or "huli" but who knows if that means anything.
What's the literal meaning of 狐疑逡巡? It looks like a chengyu/four-character proverb that I should probably already know in Chinese, but who knows.
Well, broken in halves, the 狐疑 part means 'indecision' (the characters themselves mean 'fox' and 'doubt'). 逡巡 similarly means 'hesitation' or 'indecision.'
Technically, I think that this qualifies as a 四字熟語 yoji-jukugo (4-character idiom), which I'm guessing is the same as the chengyu in Chinese, although I'm not aware of any specific proverbial meaning behind the character combination.
Well, if I ever run across one, I'll pass it along. :)
Well, most 四字熟語 came from ancient chinese or japanese poetries and literatures, which has a very specific format, including a phase composed of four kanjis; or, in this case,
it was composed by two words that has exactly the same meaning.
One of my favorite 四字熟語 is 龍頭蛇尾.
Would 龍 be the traditional form of 竜? i have this stigma for learning the classical forms of kanji and Chinese characters... is it also OK to switch between the normal and classical characters in Japanese text?
Well, I believe there is also a system in Japanese that's kinda simillar to traditional/simplified chinese ;3
竜 is the modern Japanese version of 龍, although 龍 is still in use, as well (as a point of note, 竜 is not used in Chinese, to my knowledge). For the most part, the characters are identical in meaning and usage, and my Japanese IME brings up both 竜頭蛇尾 and 龍頭蛇尾 as choices when I type in りゅうとうだび.
The only time it's usually not okay to switch out these characters for another are when they're in a person's or a place's name (or if you're quoting/citing a source that uses one character or the other).
Well, 竜 is used in chinese, but it doesn't mean dragon though. It's a kind of huge tortoise, which is mentioned in 西遊記 and other chinese literatures.
Would this have anything to do with 玄武 or anything? Or is that a different mythology?
玄武 is actually a hybid of snake and tortoise, the symbol of north, water, long living and black. It's a grand creature in eastern mythology. And 竜 in chinese mythology is more common, just some huge (usually larger then a table) and white, and sometimes wise tortoise ;3 Actually you can see the bottom half of 竜 comes from 亀, and the original 龍 does not contain that part. However, there is a syntax phenomenon in chinese called "通假字", which allows you to use other kanjis to replace some hard-to-write ones. "通字" means to use a kanji to replace another if they reads the same, and "假字" means to replace a kanji with another which writes alike. That's why japanese alphatable is called 假名, since they looks like specific kanjis. 竜 can be used as the 假字 of 龍 in chinese. And before the current simplified chinese standard, aka simplified chinese version 4, in v1 and v2, both 竜 and 龙 can be used to replace 龍 in traditional chinese, but in v3, 竜 is no longer used as 龍, and serves its meaning of giant tortoise creature only.
well, in chinese it's 虎頭蛇尾, thought the meaning is the same ;3 I should add that two words with extreamly opposite meaning can compose 四字熟語 too ;3
What other critters are on tap for this animal kanji series?
Good to know! I'll keep that in mind (since I'm pretty mammal-biased myself).
Mmm... *wonders if the kanji for tiger is on tap*
I am a 赤狐人 (shakkojin). ^.^
According to my Japanese teacher who knows way too much about everything, melondog (my personal slang term for kitsune/fox) comes from the fact that in Chinese (probably ANCIENT Chinese), fox was distinguished from melon by adding the animal radical to it. Hence, "animal that sounds (is pronounced) like melon."
The kemono-hen is a bitch to write, yessiree, but with a bit of practice and stroke-order fudging, I manage to do it rather well now. First, I do the down-left stroke at the top, then do the big swipe down the middle, then make a small branch on the side for the third stroke. Probably wrong, but psh. At least it doesn't look like te-hen (for 'hand') that way.
Actuallly, the kemono-hen isn't the part I have trouble making look nice -- it's the 'melon' side that tends to come out looking ugly, especially since it's made narrower with the lefthand radical.
By the way, the stroke order you have there for kemono-hen is indeed correct.
Bentley-sensei, for all of his random information usually has some interesting historical notes about the kanji and Japan in general. *nods a bit* Good times, indeed.
It's the random little useless factual tidbits that make learning fun, IMHO.
Kitsunetsuki. I remember reading that this is basically a mental disorder in Japan related to thinking you're (possessed by) a kitsune. I'm guessing the meaning isn't so narrow, and applies to possession by a kitsune in general rather than only something resembling being a foxfur? :P
I was actually just talking about this mental disorder not even a week ago! That's pretty cool!
But yeah, the term itself literally means "fox possession" in the mythological/folklorical sense of the term, the belief in which is the cause of that mental disorder.
Well, 瓜 in modern mandarin reads "gua" and 狐 is "hu", 孤 is "gu". However, Chinese itself experienced tremendous changes through a long time period of 5000 years, so most chinese kanjis don't read the same as they used to be. in ancient Chinese 瓜, 孤 and 狐 read as "gu", with a tone that no longer used in modern mandarin. But that only applies to mandarin though. In wu (the dialect i speak) 瓜 and 孤 still read as "gu" and 狐 reads as "vu".
Oh, excellent! Thanks for clearing that up!
What happened to the Kanji of the Day? Even if not "daily" I was hoping for more of a "once every week/two weeks" thing. :-)
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