Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Japanese Language Study: Sound from the Heart

I've been learning kanji, Chinese characters. I've learned the meaning of a little over 100 characters. I may not always remember their names, but I've learned their meaning.

I see them all over the place. Actually, I see them as parts of other characters.

The martial art I study is called Yi Quan (in Chinese), and is commonly translated as "intention boxing."

The second character is quan (拳), or ken in Japanese. The lower part is the character for "hand." The upper part indicates the hand is closed, making a fist. The fist can also indicate boxing, pugilism, etc.

The first character is Yi (意) or shin in Japanese, meaning intention. The lower part is mind/heart. That's a combination of rational thought, emotion, and instinct. The upper part is sound, so intention is "Sound of the Heart."

These characters are fascinating.

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