2014: Joy of giving and receiving

I’d like to talk about the joy of giving and receiving today. 受ける (ukeru) means “receiving,” which consists of three parts. The top lines represent the fingers of one’s hand, and below it represents a boat. The bottom line is one’s arm. When the boat brings back some items, one’s hands, fingers and arm receive […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Divine arrangement

Happy New Year! Today I would like to talk about “Kami hakarai,” or divine arrangement. 神 (Kami) means “God/Divine Parent of the Universe,” and consists of two parts. The left side represents the divine altar and the right side represents lightning or thunder. Kami or God can create powerful things such as lightning and other […]

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 BEAUTY OF BRUSHSTROKES: Akie Karahashi and the art of shodo

Akie Karahashi, a Bay Area Japanese language and shodo teacher, organizes a display of select works of calligraphy at the festival. Karahashi talks about her passion for the art and the beauty that she sees in the characters. Nichi Bei Weekly: What do you find beautiful about calligraphy? Akie Karahashi: We write on white paper […]

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: 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,” […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Joy, even if you are in suffering

困る (komaru) means “suffering,” and consists of two parts. The outside lines represent a box, and the inside lines represent a tree. The tree can’t get out of the box, so it suffers. 喜べ (yorokobe) means “joy,” and consists of two parts. The top part represents a drum or musical instruments on a stand. Below, […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Divine dragon

龍 (ryu or tatsu) means “dragon,” which consists of three parts. The top left side represents a person standing, and below that represents the moon. The right side represents the form of a dragon. 神 (jin or Kami) means “God,” which consists of two parts. The left side represents a divine altar and the right […]

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