If us look in ~ kanji in the irradiate of traditional philosophy, they do a lot more sense. In kanji symbolism, fire and also movement, life and also humanity are illustrated in regards to the ancient metaphysical thinking usual to all traditional civilizations.
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King Lear remained in line with tradition when he dubbed humanity a “forked animal”. This is specifically what the kanji because that a human being 人 (hito on its own, jin/nin in combination) shows. Notice that the “fork” is all it shows. There room no eight or head. Just, as Shakespeare said, the forked animal.
Kanji alleviate things come the essential. Why is the fork the essential feature that humanity? humanity is, in classic thought, the center of the middle Kingdom – the creature that links earth and also heaven. The being that stands in ~ the Axis the the World. Mankind is upright and also stands on 2 legs quite than four.
Being “between earth and heaven” humankind is inherently dual. We have both a Heavenly and also an earthly nature. Or to put it in Buddhist state we have both a samsaric nature and a Buddha-nature. And also we are constantly choosing in between the two. The is exactly how we create our karma.
So the fork 人expresses what is vital to humanity.
Of course civilization do have arms. Once they host them out vast they are saying other is this big. So we obtain 大 big.
Humanity likewise has in ~ it the divine Fire, the spark of life. So as soon as we want to depict fire, we think of that in this most fundamental sense – together the Solar rule on earth. Every fire originates from the sunlight in traditional thought. Wood burns due to the fact that it to be fed because that years ~ above the warmth and also light that the sun. As soon as wood is burned, it releases that warmth and light in the kind of fire.
But the highest possible fire – the earthly avatar of the Heavenly sunlight – is the Solar principle in each human being being – the magnificent Spark – 火. Therefore the kanji price fire (ka) shows the human being being and the magnificent flames. Why two? because we deserve to use the heavenly strength for an excellent or evil, so even the fire in united state is to express in two flames, continuing to express our “forked” duality.
The an initial non-human-powered auto was the chariot, and, as we would certainly expect, the chariot is deep rooted in traditional symbolism. In the Bhagavad Gita, the entire teaching that the bible is offered while Krishna and Arjuna space in the chariot. The chariot is the world, or human being body, and also within it room the divine Principle (Krishna) and the human principle (Arjuna).
The architecture of the chariot itself mirrors this. The human body of the car is the world, or the human body (these two “vehicles the manifestation” are called the macrocosm and also the microcosm – the great world and the little world – in classic Western thought). Through its center passes the human being Axis with the 2 wheels as the twin principles the lie “above” and also “below” the world.
The civilization itself is often explained as a “field” (kshatra in Sanskrit). The chessboard is referred to as kshatra since it represents the world in that is black/white duality – the field on i m sorry the conflict of light and also darkness bring away place.
In kanji the field looks favor this: 田. This is the easiest possible type of the symbolism the is elaborated ~ above a chessboard or a go-board. The fourfold division is the of the material people – its four directions, four elements, four seasons.
Add the world Axis (axle) and the upper and lower wheels, and also we have actually the chariot: 車.
The chariot gift the first and fundamental human vehicle, 車 is provided in Japanese because that every type of wheeled vehicle. The straightforward vehicle this day is the car, for this reason 車 kuruma method just that. Interestingly our English indigenous “car” also originally method “chariot”
The Etymological thesaurus tells us:
Car: “Wheeled vehicle,” indigenous Anglo-French carre, Old north French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, pertained to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), initially “two-wheeled Celtic battle chariot”.
Kanji etymology and also English etymology alike keep the identification of the modern-day “fundamental vehicle” with the vital Archetype that the Chariot.
From this straightforward chariot/car, i beg your pardon is express kuruma, we have countless combinations (in which that is express sha. So us have, for example, 電車 densha – or electric-vehicle – a train and 自転車 jitensha, a self-revolving car or bike (note that the 自 ji that jitensha always means oneself, together in 自己紹介 jikoshoukai, self-introduction, or 自己中 jikochuu, self-centeredness. So self-revolving means “revolved by oneself”, no “revolving itself”.
Now if a auto has to carry a hefty weight, we might need to include extra wheels. Because that carrying hefty loads the four-wheeled dare was used. Thus the ide heavy is stood for by a four-wheeled vehicle. 重い omoi, heavy.
As in English, and also most various other languages, the concept of heavy may likewise be offered metaphorically to typical “important”. Us talk around “the heaviness of the situation” or “a weighty matter”. In combinations 重 is express juu, so us get, for example, 重点 juuten, “important point” (literally heavy point).
力 riki is stamin or power. We will check out is in many, many combinations. If you use strength come something heavy, you move it. For this reason 動く ugoku method “to move”.
動 in combine is pronounced dou. So, because that example, we gain 動物 doubutsu, meaning animal. The kanji literally means move-thing. Therefore we deserve to see that the Japanese indigenous for pet is essentially the same as the Latin/English indigenous “animal” – something animated or moving.
We will view all these facets in numerous different combinations. For instance we can tie together many of the things we have actually learned this particular day with the word 人力車 jinrikisha, shortened in English to “rikshaw”.
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I am sure you have the right to see that the word literally means “person-powered vehicle”.