Kanji 512-540. The Cliff Primitive

Cliff Primitive
The Cliff Primitive


stone

#512. It is debatable whether the kanji for ‘stone’ truly uses the ‘cliff’ primitive, because the second stroke begins some distance in from the edge of the cliff. Many people see this kanji as a pictograph of a stone falling off a cliff. Others note the similarity with ‘right’ and imagine that the stone has amputated part of their hand. The problem with this approach is that the stroke order for ‘right’ and ‘stone’ are not the same.

pressure

#513. The ground () at the base of a cliff is under a lot of pressure.

ashes

#514. We made a small fire () at the base of the cliff, but then regretted it because of the ugly ashes.

anti-

#515. I’m not anti bikinis (), I just don’t think they’re ideal for climbing cliffs.

provisional

#516. Depending on when you grew up, you might think of the ‘Provos’ as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, or the term ‘provisional’ might make you think of the Iraq Provisional Authority. If not, think of a provisional position in a new company… Whatever you choose, put your ‘person’ character into that context, and then make them declare that they are ‘anti-‘ () it.

slope

#517. The soil () on the left has eroded from the cliff. The process of erosion is anti- cliff, and leads to the development of un-cliffy slopes.

plank

#518. Trees () are against (anti-) the making of planks.

printing block

#519. Combines one-sided and anti-. On one side () of a printing block is a picture of what needs to be printed (such as a kanji); on the other side is the reversed anti-image, the one that actually leaves the ink impression.

boulder

#520. A boulder is like a cross between a stone () and a mountain ().

tiger

#521. I found a wand at the top of the cliff, and seven () pairs of human legs down the bottom. It took a while to work out what happened, but it seems that a bunch of wizards were practising shape-shifting, and one managed to turn himself into a tiger.

beach

#522. A lovely secluded beach at the base of the mountain (), hidden by a small cliff, with a nice dry () ledge for drying out your towel…

smash

#523. To really smash a stone () you need to hit it nine () or ten () times

thick

#524. The child () was sick of being thin-skinned, so it scrambled up and down the cliff all day in the hot sun (), until its skin was thick..

rin

#525. The computer () fell to the bottom of the cliff, and now its only worth one rin (one thousandth of a yen).

charcoal

#526. Like ashes, the fire started at the bottom of the cliff, but this time the fire burned the whole mountain, so there’s lots of charcoal.

sand

#527. What the hell? I wrote a note saying please send a truckload of sand () but they just sent me a () few stones ().

meadow

#528. The combination under the cliff is thought to be a variant of ‘spring’ (), but what started as white+water has been simplified to white+small ( + ) Follow the small, gushing spring ( ) from its origin at the cliff face to the lovely hidden meadow. (Often means ‘origin’ in compounds).

rend

#529. From Sunnian at koohi.com… Me Ugg. Me have rock. Me rend pelt () with rock ().

horizon

#530. From the ivy-clad () cliff, across the water, I can see the horizon.

marketing

#531. He was so good at marketing, people rushed to hand over their money and you could have sworn they were all anti-money (:anti: ).

nitrate

#532. After I’ve finished with the nitrate explosive, this building will resemble () a pile of stones ().

equip

#533. Person, grassy, cliff, utilise.

Here is where it pays to have a concrete image for ‘utilise’ (), such as an electric drill. Imagine your person character () is after some special grass at the top of a cliff. First he equips himself with an electric drill (), and then he uses it to scale the cliff and get the grass.

source

#534. Like ‘meadow’, but emphasises the H2O coming from the spring at the base of the cliff; this is the source of the H2O (), before it runs down into the meadow.

captive

#535. The wizard who turned himself into a tiger (see earlier) can now hold seven men captive at the base of a cliff just with the threat of waving his wand. (Compare with , which has only human legs at the base of the cliff, not men ).

uneasiness

#536. Revise the kanji for ‘give’ (). The wizard who turned himself into a tiger (see earlier) has offered to give () me free lessons at the base of the cliff, but I feel nothing but uneasiness at his offer.

calendar

#537. From someone at koohi.com (acknowledgements to follow):
This is just a picture of a wall calendar with a page for each month. The bottom half has the grid of days, the top half has a pretty picture of a forest this month. The cliff radical here is the top and left edges of the paper. You can see the paper curling up at the lower left where a breeze is trying to turn the page.

Calendar

curriculum

#538. Learn this with ‘calendar’ (), and take note of the difference: a ‘curriculum’ is just like a calendar but it lists the days you have to stop having fun.

skin

#539. We return to our wizard-turned-tiger, but this time the lower element is ‘stomach’ ().

Ending up in a tiger’s stomach is not good for your skin, as it’s full of stomach acids.

prudence

#540. A closer translation of the meaning of this kanji is ‘ponder’. It combines the ‘tiger’ radical (like the ‘tiger’ kanji, but without the human legs at the bottom of the cliff) with ‘think’ ().

Ponder carefully (i.e.think with prudence) about approaching a tiger.

(The kanji could refer to metaphorical tigers. To ponder is to think about the hidden dangers of different courses of action.)