Friday, 27 November 2015


#twocats #chinese #cats #hanzi #japanese #asianlanguage

Copyright Julie Vaux 2015 

Note the elements of this character: the cat is a ferocious small predator that comes near rice fields or the dog/ animal + rice field 

I wonder if cats once hunted snakes and eels and other food in rice paddies?

Friday, 20 November 2015

Nihonga Sansui Style

Here's how a 20th century #Japanese painter trained in the #nihonga style sees and depicts a "dry garden" with ink.

Please note I have reduced the size of the image for better web sharing.

The original painting is much much larger than this !


Friday, 6 November 2015

Where are the women in Chinese landscapes?

Hands up and on to the Keyboard if like me as much as you like Chinese painting you wish someone would depict a female poet wandering the hills?

Okay so maybe there is a scroll in a private family collection or paintings were burnt during the Cultural Revolution but in the many years I've looked at Chinese art I think I've seen one qing dynasty work of a woman in a library and far too many works of pretty maids and boys serving scholars in gardens or during picnics.

Surely there must have been at least one painter who did a genre scene of women picnicking while visiting family tombs or a womens quarters tea party or daughters instead of sons and could one "contemporary" artist please subvert the One Hundred Children meme by making them ALL GIRLS?

I love Chinese painting but sometimes ...

Saturday, 31 October 2015

What kind of animal?


Copyright Julie Vaux 2015

Truly People I've seen so many different definitions given?

The one constant factor seems to be its use in characters describing small felid or mustelid or viverid predators though some of those species get written with characters using a dog component.

There's probably going to be a PhD thesis granted for some linguist tracing this character in ancient texts and sorting out why and when so many animals ended up having their names  being written with the dog radical instead!


Sunday, 25 October 2015

REI is Clever and Spooky

More info about the REI # kanji Ling in #chinese

Copyright Julie Vaux 2015  

I wish someone would use the Paypal tip jar. I'm in sydney but I'ld rather be in Kyoto viewing the autumn colors in the northern hills, something I have not seen in person. Yeah it would take a hug amount of tips to pay just the air fares but ... one can dream ...

Next time maybe some nihonga-e for a change ...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Friday, 16 October 2015

REIKO Spirit Fox or Clever Girl?

#smstirling #Changeverse #kanji

In The Golden Princess an #alternatehistory #Sf novel by S. M. Stirling there's a character whose name is an excellent example of how one character can have different meanings!

I promised my fellow Changeverse fans a post explaining How Reiko could perceive her name as meaning Ghost Fox but Orlaith heard it as Clever/ beautiful lady/girl.

Now there are several combinations of kana and kanji that could write the sounds REI + KO.

Normally in modern Japanese in a girls name KO is the tzu character meaning child though there seems to be a shift away from this practice with some adult women shortening their names to one character.

Lets see the characters I think REIKO would use to write her name on a Personal seal used for private correspondence or poetry.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2015 

In chinese this would be Ling Hu or Leng wu in Cantonese ?

The REi character has several meanings quick clever beautiful intelligent supernatural spirit ghost and its KUN readings is TAMA which means jewel and spirit so Reiko's childhood name could have been Tamako and then changed to Reiko as an adult? Her actual REIGN name will probably be something different.

Here's the traditional form next to the modern form on the right.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2015  

I'll show you the character for Fox with more info in a subsequent post soon!

Fellow Stirling fans please help me out but not just sharing this post but also referring people to my Red Bubble site? Thanks?