Know Your Picture Characters Entry #2

April 26th, 2010 by Wordsman

And the long-awaited answer is . . . F!  Here are the numbers four through ten in the proper order:

四 五 六 七 八 九 十

We hereby award one (1) MWP (Meaningless Wordsman Point) apiece to A Fan, Shirley, and Gramma F, because this is a game where you get points not for getting the right answer but for justifying your guess.  Thanks to all who participated.

Before we move on from numbers, I’d just like to point out that kanji are always out to get you, even the simplest-looking ones.  The numbers that I am using here, and which anyone would learn in a first-year Japanese class, are in fact simplified forms, meaning that they have more complex versions that are used in formal documents.  One and two may be easy to recognize when they’re just one or two horizontal lines, but how about when they look like this?

壱(1) 弐(2) 参(3)

But now let’s proceed to another basic task: identifying the days of the week.  Just as in English, in Japanese the days of the week follow a simple pattern, varying the beginning but all ending in the same way.  Rather than ending in “-day,” however, they all end with this:


And let me tell you, as a freshman just starting to learn Japanese, that first character really made me wonder what I was getting myself into.  Fortunately, none of the characters that actually differentiate the days are anywhere near that complicated.  So here’s this week’s challenge: since today is Monday, tell me which of these characters is placed in front of the two shown above to mean “Monday.”  And remember: points for creativity.

A. 火 B. 金 C. 月 D. 水 E. 土 F. 日 G. 木

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Dragon Says:

    I think it’s C, because I seem to remember that it’s “moon” and I’m hoping the meanings for the days are the same in Japanese. Am I going to keep losing points for actually remembering some kanji?

  2. A Fan Says:

    Obviously, it’s E, the crucifix symbol.

    The Japanese feel just as crummy on Monday as anyone else, especially after a long weekend of too much sake and karaoke. Therefore, they want a grim and depressing kanji for Monday.

    Since Christian missionaries visited Japan long ago, but had very limited success in converting large numbers of Japanese, the cross is the obvious symbol for Monday. They would understand its grim symbolism, but not acknowledge its redemptive implications.

  3. Shirley Says:

    I haven’t a clue, but I’m going for C because it sounds like this person and I’m sure I know who she/he/it is and believe he/she/it has at least a modicum of expertise in the language.

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