Know Your Picture Characters Entry #67

August 22nd, 2011 by Wordsman

A. 青懸巣 B. 鰭条 C. 高麗鶯 D. 国民 E. 真旗魚 F. 勇士

Theoman once again has stumbled into one of the classic blunders of kanji learning.  He saw the second character in F and immediately thought, “Aha!  I recognize that character!  It means ‘earth!'”  However, he was dead wrong.  ‘Earth’ is a completely different character, which looks like this:

See?  Here, I’ll put them next to each other so you can see the obvious differences:

土 士

See?  Totally different, aren’t they?  See how on one the upper crossbar is shorter than the base and on the other it’s longer?  That’s a difference that’s just painfully easy to recognize, don’t you think?  And, since these two kanji are so radically different, it would make perfect sense for them to have entirely unrelated meanings, right?  For example, the one on the left means ‘earth’ and the one on the right means ‘person,’ generally used for people with some significant societal function like scholars, doctors, warriors, etc.  And thus we see that Theoman, in addition to making one of the classic kanji blunders, has also made one of the classic KYPC un-blunders, for while F has nothing at all to do with ‘earth,’ it is indeed the Atlanta Braves.  His identification of D as the Washington Nationals is, as he said, quite boringly correct, though he slipped up a bit on A, identifying the first character as being a color but not paying quite enough attention to which color it is.

Shirley was hoping for a sweep after she did so well on last week’s west coast road trip, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Disturbing D is not the Yankees but the Nationals, though given Shirley’s views on congress, perhaps this fits just as well.  F is not the Red Sox, but kudos to her for cheering them on against the Evil Empire.  Damn those Yankees for using their filthy money to give huge contracts to those two free agents, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, last winter.  Hey, wait a second . . . Interestingly enough, she picked B as the Mets because it’s so short, and B is in fact one of the three MLB teams to be only four letters long.  It’s just not the Mets.  B is the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays, with their stupid name and their awful stadium, about which A Fan likes to make incomprehensible French (?) puns.  Finally, I find it curious that Shirley thought E looked cold, because E is the Florida Marlins, who play in Miami (not cold) and have a fine stadium, as far as I know, except that they forgot to put fans in it.

Speaking of missing fans, we were delighted to see A Fan get in under the wire this week, just as he was presumably delighted to see that the wire had been moved back about 12 hours due to laziness unforeseeable circumstances.  He was so excited, in fact, that he posted four times.  I like the enthusiasm, even though he didn’t get any answers correct.  A Fan may not have much of a batting average, but he always plays with effort, diving for those balls he just misses up the middle and sliding headfirst into first base.  We have therefore dubbed him the “Nick Punto of KYPC.”

A Fan appears to judge baseball teams based almost entirely on the degree to which they are located in New York City.  Thus the Yankees and Mets are irredeemable, and the Phillies, only a couple hours away, are in dangerous territory.  We salute him for being the only contestant to mention the once-great Baltimore Orioles, who are not at F but are actually in the quiz; you’ll find them at C.

Oh yes, to get back to A, just in case you haven’t figured it out, these are not the Boston Red Sox but the Toronto Blue Jays.  Go Bautista!

Okay.  By this point, I’m sure you’re sick of baseball.  Heck, it’s August, so everyone who doesn’t live in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, or San Francisco has every right to be sick of baseball.  Let’s find something new to talk about.  Let’s see . . . weather?  No, we already did that.  I know!  We’ll talk about famous warlords.  That’s something people make small talk about, right?

After the power of the shogunate collapsed in the mid-15th century, Japan was essentially ruled by daimyo, feudal lords who constantly battled their neighbors for territory.  Let’s learn about a few of the more famous ones from the end of the Warring States Period (in other words, the latter half of the 16th century).  In this period we have the Three Unifiers: first was Oda Nobunaga, who conquered much of central Japan and seemed poised to take the rest until he was betrayed and killed by his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide.  Next came Nobunaga’s vassal, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who defeated Mitsuhide and took over where his former master left off, taking over all of Japan but dying before he could pass it on to his young son.  Last came Tokugawa Ieyasu, who took control of Japan for good when he defeated his rival, Ishida Mitsunari, at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600.  See if you can sort out these five.

A. 明智光秀 B. 石田三成 C. 織田信長 D. 徳川家康 E. 豊臣秀吉

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. TheomanZero Says:

    I’ve heard of these people but never seen their names written in Japanese. Still, I bet I can sweep this one:
    A. Akechi
    B. Ishida
    C. Oda
    D. Tokugawa
    E. Toyotomi

  2. A Fan Says:

    I know that they are in some video game my kids play, but the historical accuracy of that game seemed a little dubious.

    I think A. must be Tokugawa, because he was the big winner, and A. looks like a winner.

    B. looks like a loser, so that must be Oda, who was the first one to get killed, and by a disloyal retainer, no less.

    C. is actually “kamikaze,” the so-called “divine wind,” which played some role in Japanese history (even before WWII), although possibly not in this time period.

    D. is Toyotomi, who was only a couple of letters away from havign a car named after him.

    E. is Tom Cruise, who helped out several of these guys in that “Last Samurai” movie, before getting shot 14 times but not actually killed.

  3. Dragon Says:

    To prove that Samurai Warriors (the video game A Fan mentioned) is in fact ENTIRELY historically accurate, I will be basing all of my answers on it.

    A is Ishida Mitsunari, because the third character kinda reminds me of a fan, and that’s what he fought with in the game, right? And obviously also in real life.

    B is Akechi Mitsuhide, because the characters look like the simplest and he had the most ordinary-looking character design of these five in the game. Except for the fact that his hair was ridiculously long, but that’s okay.

    C is Tokugawa Ieyasu, because the thing on the left of the third character could be a spear, and the thing on the ground next to it could be the cannonball he just fired out of it. And the lines above it show it falling to the ground.

    D is Oda Nobunaga, because I don’t really remember much about him in the game (or, um, in real life) and it’s the one I have left over.

    E is Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and this one is actually less because of the game and more because the second character looks like a histogram of a normal probability model if you turned it sideways. Most of the things in the probability model will be in the middle, and Toyotomi came in the middle of all these guys. Also, the third character looks kind of wobbly and/or dizzy, probably from all that spinning around Toyotomi does.

  4. Shirley Says:

    Cripes! these guys look as violent and bloody as the English kings from, but not limited to, William the Conqueror to William of Orange and the Roman emperors. I guess human nature doesn’t change throughout human history. When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?

    I’m thinking the unifiers are A. C. and D. They look formidable It follows that the defeated would be B. and E., who also look somewhat fearsome, but, hey,they lost!

    A.Tokugawa Ieyasu. There is a battle going on, especially at first, But the the final battle is won at the end.

    B. Not a whole lot is going on. Ishida Mitsuhide, One of the losers. History is written by the victors and losers get short shrift.

    C. Toyotomi Hiduyoshi, Early violence as Toyotomi avenges his master and proceeds to finish the unification.

    D. Oda Nobunega is seen unifying away for all he’s worth, but is cut down when dirty little coward who shot Mister Howard took Oda out.

    E. Here we have the dirty little coward himself, Akechi Mitsuhide. The defeat and his just desserts, oblivion.

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