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Phonetic Primitive - Example of the family "JI - "

Phonetic Primitive "JI - "

寺 JI
tera

The primitive portraying a growing plant 土, symbol of consistent action and 寸 : the law. The first places where laws were enforced consistently, were Imperial Court and Buddhist temple.

Phonetic family JI

Seven Kanji in common use are formed with this primitive : 侍 待 持 時 特 等 詩

侍 JI

The primitive 寺, meaning the Court, the Temple, is associated with the key of the person 亻. The person attending - serving the court is a dignitary, a samourai; the temple, a scholar.

Phonetic family JI

待 TAI
machi, ma(tsu)

The primitive 寺, meaning the places where laws were enforced, depicts here a place where an appointment has been set. It is associated with the key meaning "to go" 彳. To go for an appointment often involves waiting.

Phonetic family JI

持 JI
mo(chi), mo(tsu)

The primitive 寺, meaning the Court, the Temple, is associated with the key of the hand 扌, universal symbol of ownership. Historically, the lords, the priests were the first to have, possess, keep valuable goods.

Phonetic family JI

時 JI
toki

The primitive 寺, meaning the Temple, is associated with the key 日: the Sun. According to the position of the sun, monks estimated the hour of the day, according to the law of passing time.

Phonetic family JI

特 TOKU

The primitive 寺 is associated with the key 牜: the cow; the ox. The Kanji means "special", the ox, the male, following "special" law in the herd. According to other sources, this meaning comes from the special treatment reserved for cows in India.

Phonetic family JI

等 TŌ

The primitive 寺, meaning the places where laws is enforced consistently, is associated with the key of bamboo 竹. The law consists in allocating the land divided into categories, grades, of equal sizes marked by bamboo slats.

Phonetic family JI

詩 SHI

The primitive 寺, the place where law 寸, rules, are applied with consistency, is associated with the key 言: the speech, words. The "words" produced by following rules - rhymes, are verses, poems. By extension, poetry.

Phonetic family JI

Finally (although it does not belong to the list of Kanji in common use), to complete the family, we can mention the Kanji 痔: hemorrhoids ; the disease 疒 whose victims were often monks, these sedentary spending most of their lives sitting, to copy the sacred texts.

All the Kanji have kept the general meaning of their basic phonetic primitive : "the places where laws were enforced consistently".
This family is less "serious" than KEN - 兼. The reading of the basic phonetic "JI" has been preserved for 侍, 持, 時, partly for 詩 ("SHI" instead of "JI"), but not for 待, 特 and 等.