Know Your Picture Characters #34

December 6th, 2010 by Wordsman

A. 刀自 B. 冬至 C. 杜氏 D. 湯治 E. 統治 F. 蕩児 G. 陶磁

This week’s guessing placed a lot of focus on the end, with both Shirley and Theoman drawn to the complexity of G.  Theoman was correct in his assumption that it was the most complicated (the choices are listed in order based on the number of strokes it takes to write them, going from least to greatest).  As for whether or not governance is complicated, I suppose it depends on who you ask.  If you asked me, I would probably say yes (or, if it’s not, then maybe it should be), but I would also add in an aside that G, at least, isn’t it.  Those interested in ruling should look two to the left at E, amongst the moderately complicated kanji compounds.

Shirley’s impression of G was not so much one of complexity as of disorder.  It looks pretty regular to me, but I have experience with these things, and also if I was looking at a handwritten rather than typed version  even I might have to think that it was time to put the taste-test cup down.  Because of this potential problem, perhaps, the character gurus chose to keep this word relatively simple so there would be less to screw up, and C is therefore our tipsy brewmaster.  According to my dictionary, the word comes from the name of the person who supposedly invented sake.

Shirley can take comfort, however, in the fact that her sentimental choice was, to use an industry term, “dead-on-balls accurate.”  B is the winter solstice, shortest and bleakest day of the year, which apparently isn’t even here yet.  Man, where’s old Toji the Sake Brewer when you need him?  Or, better still, a hot springs cure?  That one can be found at D, which, as you may have noted, shares its second character with E.  As with many kanji, this one has multiple potential meanings; it can refer to ruling or governing (as in E) or curing/healing (as in D).  What’s the connection?  Don’t ask me.

So what was G?  Well, appropriately enough, it’s the least complicated thing on the list: clay.  Go figure.

Oops, almost forgot to give A Fan his grades: A. Right B. Wrong C. Wrong D. Wrong E. Wrong F. Right G. Wrong.  Not bad for the shotgun method.

But let’s try for something a little closer to home this time around.  Our next puzzle will be about translated titles of famous works of English Literature.  And when I say famous, I mean famous.  We’re pretty much sticking to big names on this list, your Dickenses and your Orwells and your Austens, etc.  We are not, however, going to go too close to home; this first round is the Twelfth Grade Edition: Brit Lit.  I would encourage those who find one they are pretty sure of to branch out and also attempt one about which they are less certain.

A. 嵐が丘 B. 高慢と偏見 C. 動物農場 D. 二都物語 E. 蝿の王

F. 指輪物語:王の帰還

NOTE: Because of travel plans, next week’s edition of KYPC might not appear as promptly as usual.  Don’t worry, though.  It’ll get there.

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. TheomanZero Says:

    Well, I do see what appears to be “and” in the middle of B, but the two sides don’t appear to be names. After considering “War and Peace” and “Crime and Punishment” (and then rejecting them because they aren’t British), I’m going with “Pride and Prejudice”.
    I know you said I should make a second guess, too, but it seems like all of the other Brit Lit I can think of contains names (except 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, and I know my numbers pretty well), so I’m just stumped. Sorry.

  2. A Fan Says:

    A. 1984

    B. Pride and Prejudice

    C. Great Expectations

    D. A Burnt-Out Case (A Fan actually read this in 12th Grade English many years ago–thanks for putting it on the quiz)

    F. Animal Farm (they love Orwell in 12th grade, don’t they?)

    G. Macbeth

    E. Portrait of the Artist as Young Man

  3. Shirley Says:

    The Last Chronicle of Barchester isn’t exactly famous in and of itself, but Trollop’s Barchester series certainly is, so I’m calling F The Last Chronicle of Barchester, because it’s a long name and F is a long kanji and Trollop thought it was the best of the series so even though it isn’t the most famous, it ought to be. Of course, one can question whether any twelth grade teacher would assign that, so I’m calling that choice my uncertain one.

    For my more certain one (though not by much) I’ll use F again as the translation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s long, too and looks kind of dreamy except for the silly looking stuff in the middle which looks like the silly play within a play.

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