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sho (1.8 liters); small wooden measuring box; square on a grid
Kanji 1386

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

Find out why the Japanese drink saké out of small wooden boxes. Learn how their role has changed in Japan over time, and see how they have brought out the playfulness in designers. Learn when to interpret 升 as a unit of measurement or as a container, and distinguish 升 from 枡, 斗, 合, and 昇, which have overlapping meanings. Finally, see why 升 is popular in a Chinese context.

By the way, the JOK Notebook entry for March 1, 2013, takes a close look at eight of the Japanese sentences that appear in this essay.

Revision history:

Jan. 24, 2020: 

  • p. 2: Etymology Box: Replaced the old Henshall etymology with the new one. This necessitated changing the Sears image, as well as deleting a sidebar on p. 5, which then meant renumbering subsequent sidebars.
  • p. 14: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Oct. 31, 2013: p. 1. Added 井 as a look-alike. 

Mar. 1, 2013: Originally published.

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