noon, sign of the horse, 11AM-1PM, seventh sign of Chinese zodiac
JLPT5 G2 S4 F154
A depiction of a square-headed mallet, two or more of which would be used in alternation when pounding grain in the mortar framing the mallets. Latter half of a unit of measurement (e.g., for a group of twelve, 午 covers 7-12) as well as *11 A.M. to 1 P.M.* and *noon* are associated meanings in the sense of the alternating point of a given day. *Horse* (as the seventh sign of the Chinese zodiac) and *south* are borrowed meanings. In derivative characters such as 忤 and 許, 午 exerts the conceptual influence "yield," via the image of yielding so another person can carry out a task such as pounding grain.
[Return to Full Kanji List]