ゼン, まえ, まえ, さき, さと, まい

in front, before

JLPT5 G2 S9 F27

The relevant seal inscription form of the element# minus combines an abbreviated form of 船 boat + (leg/foot) → progression of boats or of people on foot. The addition of sword/knife suggests the idea of cutting/shearing in small increments → *forward progress* in small increments (compare and 踐) → *before*; *in front* (← immediately behind/in front of one). In derivative characters, is often written in the form seen for example in and .

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