CHARACTER HOME PAGE

well; town
Kanji 1470

Thank you for visiting this Character Home Page. Below you'll find a synopsis of the essay. If you wish to read the full text, the PDF of the essay is available for purchase to the right.

Synopsis

Why have the Japanese worshipped well water, shouted down wells, and jokingly called the Edo era the "Ido" era? How do people use the shape of a well in everything from kimono cloth to business slang? How does 井 figure into economic and political discussions? Find out all of this and much more, including the role of wells in folktales, proverbs, and Haruki Murakami's fiction. 

Revision History:

Nov. 20, 2018: p. 7: Significantly revised the first photo caption.

Apr. 11, 2013: Originally published.

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The symbol is a family crest. In 丸に隅立て井筒, the 隅立て should actually be written as 角立て. The phrase means that the circle (丸) contains a 井-like symbol that "stands" (立) on one of its "corners" (隅 or 角). 

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