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The Study of Sun’s Daily Orbit Through Chinese Characters - Focusing on the Ri Radical in Chinese Character of ShuowenJiezi

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2016, (34), pp.345-374
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2016..34.014
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Published : November 30, 2016

Heungsoo Park 1 강몽 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The ancient Chinese considers the sun’s orbit and orbiting time the same concept. The observation on the sun’s orbit and the its position in the sky help people with identifying the time. Based on the sequence of dawn, orbiting and sunset, the theme of the article focuses on the analysis of the Ri radical in Chinese character of Shuowen Jiezi in order to identify Chinese character’s representation of the status of sun’s daily orbit through analyzing the origin, pattern and meaning of 21 Chinese characters. In particular, some knotty Chinese characters which are categorized to the Ri radical of Shuowen Jiezi, but neither the oracle script nor the original meaning literally represents the correlation with the sun’s daily orbit. For example, there is no ‘日’ in the oracle script of ‘昕’(), but ‘囧’ is categorized to the pictograph which means ‘the window is bright' and therefore the original meaning with ‘日’ is the same. Another example, though the oracle script of ‘昔’ is (), its original meaning is not ‘dry meat’ according to the exegesis, but ‘the sun is gone’ which is extended to ‘the past’. Furthermore, the article also indicates some characters which are not categorized to Ri radical of Shuowen Jiezi, but the original meaning is related to sun’s daily orbit, and then the characters are classified as the status of dawn, orbiting and sunset according to the meaning and pattern. For example, ‘朝’() is categorized to Gan radical of Shuowen Jiezi, but stands for the status of ‘the sky is slightly bright and the moon is still visible’. Therefore, ‘朝’ should be classified into the status of ‘dawn’. In addition, ‘是’() is categorized to Shi radical of Shuowen Jiezi , but stands for the status of ‘the sun vertically shines on the ground and on the top of people’s head’. Therefore ‘是’ should be classified into the status of ‘orbiting’. ‘莫’() is categorized to Mo radical of Shuowen Jiezi , but stands for the status of ‘the sun is falling into the grass’. Therefore ‘莫’ should be classified into the status of ‘sunset’. Based on the pattern and meaning, the article probes into the cultural connotation embedded by the Chinese characters that represent the sun’s daily orbit. For example, the oracle structure of the character ‘晛’() embodies the compositional features of 'scatter perspective' which is similar with Chinese painting. In addition, the meaning of‘晋'() represents the ancient Chinese’s perception on the power of the gods of bow and arrow. Finally, based on the analysis of pattern, meaning and cultural connotation of Chinese character, the article indicates the Chinese characters of dawn, orbiting and sunset in sequence, and summarizes the status of the sun’s daily orbit that expressed by Chinese characters.

Citation status

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