corvi (corivax) wrote,

Kanji: Iro, Koto

<td></td><td>Another kanji delayed by keyboard and camping malfunctions. Unfortunately, this one had to be available by Friday night, and I didn't get home until 6 or so on Saturday. I even called gfish from a ranger station to have him email sar_anon my apologies. Sigh. Anyhow, this was requested for Private Constructs [not work|mormon safe], as balancing calligraphy to this set, and supposed to convey the meanings 'strength, sensuality, arousal'. As far as I can tell, that's utterly impossible. Granted, my kanji vocabulary is not nearly as big as a native speaker's, but strength and sensuality are conceived of as mutually exclusive concepts in the Japanese culture that shaped the kanji meanings. Sensuality is seen as a fleeting, insubstantial thing. Ukiyo - the Floating World - a thin shimmer of silk and watercolor stretched over the things that matter. So I eventually gave up and just settled for 'sensual,' since the other calligraphy conveyed 'strength'. This is irogoto, 'sensual pleasures'. The top kanji, iro, originally depicted two stick figured, one above the other, both kneeling. Uh... not sure how to phrase this delicately... one person bending over another, a reference to sex. Over time the meaning drifted to 'sexually attractive' and came to mean beauty/color as well as sensuality. Koto shows a three-fingered hand holding a long pole, with a square banner and a small trailing flag atop it, a guild marker. The early meaning was worker or guild member, and variant forms evolved into the symbols for both 'servant' and 'official' (we all have our work to do, I suppose. :) ). Its modern meanings are all extensions of work: thing, matter, act. Calligraphy on this was hard. I like the top character a lot better, all sweeping curves and impassioned arches. It was a lot harder to do that with 'goto', which is all straight lines and right angles! Hrmph. Even though it's of no use at this late date, it was very good practice.</td>

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