Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 关 | 關

Today we move on to another character related to 門 - 關, whose Simplified version is 关. What does it mean? Quite clueless here. Same as 开 | 開, we could probably get help from its ancient scripts, as shown below (image taken from http://vividict.com):
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 关 | 關
Bronze Script of 关 | 關 - is quite obviously a drawing of following picture:

 So Bronze Script emphasises the state of the "door as closed but not locked or latched". Another version of Bronze Script emphasises the state of "door as locked or latched", by using a 串 we just learnt. A baris put through two bolt holesto lock the door properly.

Its Seal Script however added (which is ancient script of 丝, here probably refers to rope) to emphasise the meaning of using rope to lock the door. Modern form 關 is a continuation from , which is obviously composed of 門, (which is 丝 - rope) and (which is the drawing of locking system of the door).

Simplified version 关 should be created from its Cursive Script - .

So it is clear now that 关 | 關 originally means "closed door". From here, many meanings have been developed for 关 | 關.

关 | 關 means to close or to shut down or to stop.

As  is the drawing of closed door or gate, 关 | 關 can be used as noun to mean gate, or checkpoint or even customs. A typical city gate in ancient China:
And while door is closed everybody inside cannot leave, thus 关 | 關 is extended to mean imprison or take into custody.

关 | 關 is also extended to mean relate as verb or relationship as noun, like 关系. I guess it is probably because of its Bronze Script , 串 under a 門 (note that 門 can also mean a family) contains the meaning of strong bounding of family members.

That is pretty much all for 关 | 關. Now it is time for us to enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 关 | 關 inside:

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