Kanji 541-554. Drag and Cave


In this short lesson, we’ll meet two cliff-like primitives that combine with several kanji we already know to make a total of 14 new kanji. The first primitive, ‘drag’, looks deceptively like the cliff primitive of the last lesson, but the first stroke of ‘drag’ starts on the right and slopes down and to the left (the opposite direction of ‘cliff’, which starts on the left and goes straight across to the right). You might recognise that these two strokes closely resemble the start of ‘axe’, and therefore the start of ‘hill’ as well. Given that the direction of the first stroke is towards the vertical, cliff-like second stroke, you can remember the stoke order (and the similarity with ‘cliff’) by vividly imagining dragging something or someone to a cliff edge.

The ‘cave’ primitive is a cross between ‘lid’ and ‘cliff’, starting with a short downwards stroke and then finishing like ‘cliff’. As a pictograph of a cave, this wouldn’t make much sense, but it might help to see the first short stroke as a marker or an arrow pointing under the cliff, as if to say ‘cave under here’.


#541. The combination of ‘drag’ and ‘one’ looks like a capital F (but note the first stroke direction).

From the mouth () of the empress, the F-word issued forth.


#542. (Acknowledgements pending).

This is a magic shield with ten eyes which have the power to drag the victim towards it.


#543. This kanji is used in the word 循環 ( じゅんかん), meaning ‘circulation’ (of buses through their routes, of blood through the vessels, and so on). It adds the ‘step’ radical to the kanji for ‘shield’.

Picture Roman soldiers at boot camp, circulating through a sequential obstacle course, stepping forward with their shields () bravely to face each new challenge.

government office

#544. A government office is basically a street cave, full of bureaucrats that never get out into the fresh air.


#545. Early primates made their bed in a tree () or a cave.


#546. Batman is looking for a new assistant. If you have a strong heart and like caves, you can apply.


#547. All human history written on paper should be considered to have a preface, written beforehand in caves.


#548. Even if you live in a cave, you must adhere () to the policies of the municipality.


#549. Remember the kanji for ‘lower’ ()? This refers to someone who is lower still… No longer a person (no person radical), but just some lowly cave dweller – they have truly reached the bottom.


#550. Within the cave, it is twenty degrees warmer than outside, and everyone can keep comfortable in just their bikinis.


#551. This is a pictograph of Bruce Wayne’s secret warehouse, where he stores his batcar and other gadgets in his cave.


#552. There are two types of hemp plants/trees – those used for clothing, and those used for making drugs. This is a pictograph of my secret hydroponics set-up in a hidden cave.


#553. This kanji might be better thought of as ‘ferry’, a particular type of ‘transit’ – the keyword may change before the final release of KSP. Not only is the character used to mean ‘ferry’, the word ‘transit’ has no direct connotations of water, despite the presence of the H2O radical.

If a ferry is going to transit across H2O, there have to be some degrees in the water temperature, not zero degrees, or negative degrees.


#554. Remember my hydroponic hemp () outfit? The feds found it, and I had to make a quick getaway across the rocky face, away from the cave. My hands () got really chaffed and I lost all my hemp ().