シ, よ, よ.つ, よっ.つ, よん, あ, つ, よつ

four

JLPT5 G1 S5 F47

The relevant oracle bone form of this character is four horizontal lines indicating *four* → *fourth*; *four times*. The present form derives from SIS, which is mouth + split right and left → splitting off/dispersal of breath through the nostrils to right and left (compare ). Earlier, a bronzeware inscription form combined with the horizontal lines of the oracle bone form (repositioned) to suggest the same idea of dispersal of breath. In that sense, the application of the meaning "four" to the present character represents a borrowed meaning.

[Return to Full Kanji List]