Sunday, 20 July 2014

Origami Houses!

You may have come across references to Origami folding influencing Japanese Architecture.



Yes this is house yes a real house in Japan! Possibly the corner was once a small shop or part of some's garden but the architect managed to fit a parking space and housing above into this tiny space!

MMM will the Chinese copy this trend? Would this work in Sydney?
On one of those small lots that result when someone sells their garden or a former workers cottage is in such poor condition not even the most heritage obsessed councils would insist you do anything but tear everything down?

Next time back to the horse hanzi series!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Hippo+

Many English words use hippo+ as a prefix to indicate a word has  something to do with  horse or the eque+ as in equestrian.

Modern Chinese and other languages generally use compounds with MA but there's also this less common word.


Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

a note on the two variants given for the MIN dialects. 

I have access to one online lexicon that favours Taiwanese MIN usage and I also own an old reference book, a kind of mini dictionary of Hokkien Amoy as used in the Straits area. Pinyin Qi 2 equals WG ch'i2.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Monday, 2 June 2014


Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

I have a question for my few and faithful readers?

I'm thinking horse plus horse implies that atame horse is not one fresh from Central Asia or the Steppes but a horse of the Riverlands and valleys of Northern China.

I'ld be interested in learning if there was ever a variant of this character in which instead of river the sign of a prefecture or province showing dots between the strokes was used?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

LI is a black horse

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

My first new technozi after a long break caused by a broken arm.

My next sequence will be equine words!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Brocade Project Waka 3 NOIN

Okay here's a waka by Nooin 11th century AD

( My arm has finally improved enuff to allow typing with BOTH hands instead of ONE finger!)

Arashi fuku / mimuro no yama no / momiji ba wa /
tatsuta no kawa no / nishiki narikeri

This is another of those waka that seem deceptively simple but when you contemplate it realise  each syllable works in exquisite harmony with others.

Arashi fuku a fierce wind blowing down off the mountains

Mimuro yama is an area south east of Kyoto

Momiji ba wa maple leaves

Tatsuta is a river which currently has a special riverside path and park

nishiki narikeri brocade become like

the wind has scattered the leaves all over the river's surface

so prosaic a statement in English and yet poetic in Japanese !

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Brocade Waka Two

Suguwara  no Michizane wrote

Kono tabi

Nusa mo toriaezu

Tamukeyama

Momiji no nishiki

Kami no mani mani

This poem can be found in the Hyakuninisshu

This person on this journey or at this time tabi has a double meaning
offerings for the moment hopefully sufficient implied
nusa is a staff with strips of paper or silk attached  but can also mean strips of silk or coins
Tamukeyama is a temple at Nara and the name tamuke means (hall of ) offering

maple branch probably of brocade

gods (i am ) at mercy of or the gods may take consequent action or not

this may be indirect criticism of his treatment by the Imperial Court
implying all  he could afford is a maple branch and his fate and career needed the mercy of the gods?

I wish I could be typing Nara as a location tag. Right about now one of those really expensive ryokan with a hot bath would be good for my right arm which is broken.