The Heart of Kanji

THE HEART OF KANJI: A trip to Japan, and reflections on the heart of matters

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series. Nineteen of us, including 13 Boy Scouts, four leaders, the Rev. Rodney Yano and myself, visited Japan for 16 days this summer. We arrived at Itami airport in Osaka via LAX and Narita airport on July 25. Mr. Taki and Mr. and Mrs. Furuya welcomed us […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: I have and I do not have

有る(aru) means “I have” or “to possess,” which consists of two parts. The top line represents a person’s hand and arm and the bottom represents a piece of meat. 無し (nashi) means “nothing,” or “I do not have,” which consists of three parts. The bottom represents a fire’s flame, the middle is a house and […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Cherry Blossom Festival

桜 (Sakura) means “cherry blossom,” which consists of three parts. The left side represents a tree; the top right side represents a cherry flower necklace; and below that is a woman sitting. Together, the cherry blossom resembles a beautiful woman wearing a cherry blossom. 祭り (Matsuri) means “festival,” which consists of two parts. The top […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Thank you very much

有 (ari or yuu) means “to have or to possess,” which has two parts. The top lines represent a person’s hand, and the line below represents a slice of meat. So the person’s hand is holding or having the sliced meat. 難 (gato or nan) means “difficult or suffering,” which has three parts. The top […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: First month of the year — January

正 (sho, tadashii) means “righteous or correct,” which consists of two character parts. The top part represents one finger, which indicates one or once. The bottom part of this character represents one’s foot, which indicates a footstep. As a whole, this character represents stopping to think deeply about where you have been in the past […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Golden light

金 (kon or kin) means “golden or gold,” which consists of two parts. The top is the shape of a mountain and the bottom represents gold in the soil. 光 (ko or hikari) consists of two parts. The top represents fire flames, and the bottom represents a person’s legs. Looking back at 2012, many things […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Thank you very much 1,000 times a day

一 (ichi) means “one,” which represents a form of one finger. 日(nichi) means day, which represents the form of the sun. 千 (sen) means “thousand,” which consists of two parts. The bottom lines represent the number 10 and the top line represents many numbers. 回 (kai) means “time,” which indicates the circle or swirl. A […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Life and death

生 (sei) means “life or live,” and consists of two parts. The bottom part is soil or ground and the top line represents a new plant. Because of the soil or ground, the plant can receive life and grow big. 死 (shi) means “death,” and consists of two parts. The top and left line represents […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Human virtue, educational virtue and divine virtue

“In order to be a useful person in the world, one should strive to attain human virtue, educational virtue and divine virtue. — Konko founder 人 (Jin) means “human.” This character symbolizes two people supporting each other. When we support each other, we receive “human virtue.” 学 (Gaku) means “education,” which consists of two parts. […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Accept and stand firmly

受けて (ukete) means “accept or receive,” and consists of three parts. The top part represents one’s hands and fingers, the middle part represents a boat and the bottom part represents one’s arms. When a boat brings us items or materials, we accept or receive them with our hands, fingers and arms. 立つ (tatsu) means “stand,” […]

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