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Sukiya Living (per JoJG): Under which of these 4 categories does this label fit?

Started by edzard, February 12, 2008, 03:29:00 PM

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In Nanboroku which is considerd as bible of cha no u/tea ceremony writtrn by one of ten deciple of Rikyu, as word of Rikyu, suki or sukimono( person who like ) is simply mean "like" or person who like. useing different kanji but simply means "like". nothing more.
Hundred years later peple interpret defferntly than orginaly mean. Nanbo was Zen monk.In his book "Nanboroku" ( "roku" means record)memory of his tea master Rrikyu. Nanboroku is sort of "how to" book.  If you can find Nanboroku and read, you will know what "suki" or "sukimono" mean.
However, Kanwa Jiten/kanji dictionary may not explained about it.   :D


Sound good to me Yama  -I haven't had an opportunity to look at Nanboroku, though it sounds interesting.

I wasn't basing my understanding of 'sukiya' strictly upon what the Kanji dictionary says - every Japanese architectural and design book I have, some dating back to the 1950's, uses the pair of kanji I mentioned earlier to mean 'draw near a mysterious place', so I went with that. Thanks for clarifying your explanation.  :)

I take the kanji 'suki' 好き in the following manner: the kanji comprises woman 女 + child 子 ; apparently the intended connotation was "that which one wishes to embrace" and/or "that towards which one feels tender", which in turn came to mean "beautiful woman (to whom one feels tender(?))". "Beautiful/attractive" came to mean "fine" and "good" in a broader sense, with "like" being seen as an associated meaning.


Tearing apart a word based on phonetics, then trying to found it in kanji may be a wrong approach.  The base word as you are looking at it, indeed some of the applications mean to "suck" or "draw in". You can see relationships between the kanji meanings you both have mined.  Can we look back, if one has the resources, to the original symbol(s) for the application of sukiya as relates to the environment of man and nature?  Since we understand the true meaning, we know what to look for.  I just dont have the talent to look.  Wish I did.


"Tearing apart a word based on phonetics, then trying to found it in kanji may be a wrong approach"

Well, for me an etymological analysis has proven to be the most helpful in terms of remembering and discriminating between different kanji, many of which look quite similar to one another, and many of which share the same sound (reading), etc.

To be accurate I wasn't actually tearing the kanji apart on the basis of phonetics, but in terms of the meaning of the elements upon which they are composed. Some of these elements are kanji in their own right and have a given reading, but its not a matter of phonemes at all. Kanji are organized by radical type in the dictionary. It is often the case that a kanji takes it's sound, or phoneme, from one of the elements contained within, but that was not the basis upon which I was discussing them.

To help explain the value of the etymological approach, here's an example of a group of quite elementary kanji which I think look quite similar:


Or how about this set:


Or these four old friends:

火ãâ,¬ÂÃ¥Â¤Â§Ã£â,¬ÂÃ§Å Â¬Ã£â,¬ÂÃ¥Â¤Âª

As you might notice, I could have put some from the second group into the first, or vice versa. Seen side by side, it may well be easy enough to spot the differences between the characters, which have utterly different meanings from one another - but when you come upon them again randomly, or are trying to remember how to write them (which uses an entirely different part of the brain than that involved in simply recognizing them), well, you may find it challenging - I know I do. This problem becomes all the more intensified when the characters become quite complex, with 10~25 strokes per character, say (unlike  the simple ones above), and remembering them by appearance alone is extremely difficult. By studying the etymology of the kanji, I find I can, in many cases at least, bring the kanji alive and make them memorable for me. It's a learning device that helps me - and may not be of use to others naturally, depending upon age and learning style.

When one comes to study the kanji as an adult, there is no longer the 'blank slate' advantage of childhood to soak it all up in any old order. The order in which the kanji are taught in school in Japan is based on the logic of which are most frequent in appearance, not upon complexity, component parts, and so forth.  Japanese learn kanji largely by rote, and a grasp of the kanji etymology is simply outside of most people's grasp of the language  - just as English word etymology is outside the grasp/interest of most English speakers.

"Can we look back, if one has the resources, to the original symbol(s) for the application of sukiya as relates to the environment of man and nature?  Since we understand the true meaning, we know what to look for. "

I'm afraid I have no concrete idea of what you are talking about - could you explain more clearly? As far as going back to the original symbols, I have done that in breaking down the components of the kanji in question as a means of getting at their deep meaning- and that goes way back to their origins as pictographs and carvings on bone and shells. As far as the word 'sukiya' is concerned, that is a tad more modern. I suspect Yama might be able to unearth the origins of it's use, or someone out there with a Japanese word-etymology dictionary.

In the case of the discussion above, Yama was taking 'suki' in one meaning, with a particular kanji, while I took it in another meaning altogether, using two kanji to make the word 'suki'. Both interpretations are valid, as in many things.


Dear Chris.
The word of sukimono is explained in the"Nanboroku" which was wriiten shortly after death of Rikyu by Nambo who was zen monk and Rikyu's 0ne of ten deciple of the tea/Cha no U. Nanboroku is concidered as bible of tea ceremony.  kokugo jiten(dictioanry and kanwa jiten may be explained differently.  as the word of Rikyu while having conversation with Nambo, even useing different kanji , sukimono / siki/like,mono/ person means simply "person who like it".
Since sukimono and sukiya both root of word is same.  My kokugo jiten and kanwa jiten explain differenty than Rikyu.  ;D

I have a  large saw brought from Japan which I don't use. It have been in wooden tool box over twenty years. It is timber saw, two or three teeth per inch, it was sharpened by Japanese professinal sharpner/Togishi.I havn't use it since shrpened.  When Kobayashi san past way, I got most of his carpenrty tools.
I din't want to sell or give it to some one who don't know how to use properly. I live North shore.,Mas
rainy day or too cold to work out door, come and get it.



 :o That is a very kind offer Yama! Wow... I most certainly will take you up on it.

I have scheduled a trip to take a piece of furniture I made out to the Pucker Gallery in Boston on November 7th (a Friday). Would the late afternoon of that day, or, even better for me, the following Saturday (the 8th) work for you? Please let me know. I look forward to meeting you.

I appreciate your perspective on this discussion. I have noticed in several areas that there is some variance in which kanji are chosen for expressing the same sounds within a given word or phrase. An example from Japanese carpentry is the name given to a kind for type of wedge-shaped fixing pin, termed "shachi sen". One way it is written in some carpentry texts is: 車知栓 (lit., "wheel-know-pin"). Another way i have seen is:鯱栓 (killer whale pin). In the former, the meaning is a bit mysterious - I found by research that it refers to the pin used to temporarily connect wheeled Shinto shrines to something that pulls, so it is the "pin that knows the wheel". The second way it is written, as "killer whale pin" perhaps could be said to refer to the shape of the pin as being similar to the shape of the dorsal fin on a killer whale  - or perhaps it is a simple mistake on the part of the writer. It is hard to tell frankly. I stick with the former way of writing 'shachi', since I know it to be correct and to relate to a known component. The latter way of writing 'shachi' as 'killer whale' is however colorful and memorable.


To follow up from my earlier posting on the original meanings of characters used in the word 'sukiya', I have come across some new information that I'd like to share. Please, someone let me know if this is of no interest whatsoever and I'll shut up!

So, in the initial posting I made i was discussing the etymology of the characters used in one way of writing 'sukiya', namely: 数寄屋

In looking again at the first character in that set, æ•°, I used an explanation from a kanji etymology dictionary that said the character is composed of "(攵)'stick in hand' (the element seen on the right side of the kanji), along with the element on the left side of the kanji, which is an uncommon non-general use element meaning 'shaman-ess" ("woman shaman"); namely because it comprises an obscure element meaning to link items, and the element for woman '女'. In this character the linked items component lends its sound to express 'chant'.The literal and original meaning of the character  數, is: "woman chanting while holding counting sticks", which in modern times has come to mean primarily count, or 'kazu', and the element has taken a simplified form with the 'link items' element replaced with rice ç±³"

Okay, well now I have come across another kanji etymology source, and it gives a very different account, and I'd like to share that with you all, so please walk with me...

The character  æ•° has an older form 數. Focusing on the left hand side of these characters, '婁' (in the case of the original version), you can see that the two are pretty much identical save for the bit at the upper portion. In the modern from there is the substitution of the element ç±³ (rice), for the other components, which I previously described as "an obscure element meaning to link items". Well, my other kanji etymology source gives a different explanation for that piece of the kanji. It states that '婁'  comprises the following elements: 母 (mother, which alludes to "succession of offspring"),ãâ,¬â,¬Ã¤Â¸Â­ (middle), and 女 (woman). Taken altogether, these elements give "female slaves tied to and pulled along by a central restraint". When used in combination with other elements then, '婁' lends a meaning of "tie", "connect", "drag", "pull along", and "continuum"

So, '婁' is combined with '攵' ('stick in hand', which means: "strike", "coerce", "cause to do". This is a common element that is an 'action indicator' when used within more complicated characters) to give '數'. The meaning is "enumerate bound female slaves" which has come in modern times to mean simply "count", "enumerate"


The element '婁' shows up in a variety of other kanji, some of which are common and some of which are not so common. Here's a few examples showing the use of this element in other kanji:

'樓' (now written as 楼): '婁' (continuum) + æÅ"¨ (tree, wood)= wooden structure with a number of stories => "tower", "lookout"

A "shoro" 鐘楼 is a Belltower, commonly found on temple grounds.

鏤: '婁' (continuum) + '金' (metal)=repetitive pattern carved into a lump of metal => "carve", "stud with jewels", "inlay", etc.

"鏤める" (chiriba-meru) means: "inlay", "set", "mount"

There are many more, but I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.  ;D