Wednesday, December 10, 2008

notes on the kanji - a new blog begins

imi no bakebanashi 意味の化け話

Some of the initial posts from the blog follow:

Stories about the ghosts of meaning as they mutate and float around in kanji characters, words and compounds.

意味 imi = 意(feelings, thoughts)+味(flavor, taste)
化け(る)bake(ru) = to change, mutate, take the form of (also implies ghost as in obake - in this case, the ghosts of meaning.)
話 hanashi = tale, story.

Mojibake - 文字化け is composed of 文字 (moji), which means letter, character, and 化け (bake), from the verb 化ける (bakeru), which means to appear in disguise or to take the form of. Literally, it means "character mutation".

This journey is about how imi (meaning) bake'd into moji(characters) and how moji bake'd into jukugo(compounds) and later perhaps even look at how that bake'd into bun(sentences).

It is a record of my journey as I explore the space between reality, the manner in which the ancient Chinese perceived it, and how that perception condensed into the snowflakes we call the Kanji. And further into Kanji compounds. Also perhaps, some interesting patterns that emerged as the kanji were adapted by the Japanese to fit their language. And then some oddities, questions and interesting kanji tidbits.

slowly the kanji,
sink into this mind-ripple,
like snowflakes drifting down to the ground.
each one different, but similar
silent moments of frozen beauty, a clue ...
for this world, that there is another....

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