dipper; 18 liters; "dots and cross" radical
Kanji 1633

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.


The dipper kanji helps you hold your liquor! That is, its core meaning is "dipper," a device to scoop saké. (It means "dipper" in the constellation sense, too!) Using 斗, we can also measure large quantities of that saké. By studying 斗, we find out about noshi. And that’s not all! The 斗 shape is a ryakuji (a simplified form of more complex kanji), as well as a radical.

Originally published: April 13, 2012

Revision history: 

February 24, 2013: Working on 1386 (升: 1.8 liters), which has some overlapping material, made me look at 1633 in a new light. I made lots of small changes to the first few pages (and then caught an error on p. 10):

p. 1, Character Profile: Changed definition from "unit of measurement (about 18 liters)" to "18 liters."
p. 2, Etymology Box: Reworded the last sentence.
p. 3, main text: Deleted any indications that 枡 is a variant of 升 or that 枡 could represent 1.8 liters. Neither is true. Also added a link to "rectangular space between the inner and outer gates (of a castle)." Also altered the definitions of 枡目, deleting "measure" because we're not talking about a masu container here, and that's what the first definition meant.
p. 3, Sidebar 2: Changed the 1st sentence, deleting any indication that 枡 is a variant of 升.
p. 3, Sidebar 3: Slight rewordings.
p. 10, sidebar: It should have said that "Radical Positions" is the "fourth" section of Radical Terms.



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RADICAL斗 (68: dots and cross)