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9

"Come true" isn't the literal translation of 叶{かな}う. The word かなう means "to fit; match; accord", in this sense in accord with 叶's meaning in Classical Chinese. So we are practically saying 願いが叶う "my wish matches it" as if a fixed phrase corresponds to "my wish comes true". かなう once had tons of kanji transcriptions (see below), but most of them were culled ...


8

Yes, many Japanese wonder why, too. The truth is that it's an obsolete usage of 天地 (except in this idiom!). 日本国語大辞典 (kind of the OED of Japanese) apparently has a definition: てん‐ち 【天地】 (...) (6)(─する)上下をひっくりかえすこと。 *滑稽本・早変胸機関〔1810〕「裾廻しは天地(テンチ)するだよ」 that is, 天地 once meant for "to turn upside down", at least attested on 1810 in Edo ...


6

That is because the cursive script of the kanji 「川」 kind of looks like 「つ」. It should look even more like 「ツ」.


1

This refers to the phenomenon of "Girl Power." Suggested search phrase: "girl power spice girls tattoo." One of the Spice Girls had a tattoo that was constructed of the kanji you describe. It is not a Japanese word, but an attempt to use kanji to write the English phrase "Girl Power." No difference in meaning whether written horizontally or vertically.


1

There are actually three candidates for the origin of つ and ツ. One is 州, which in the Jiankang dialect was pronounced "zhōu". Zhōu → tsu (origin of kana) → shuu (modern on'yomi). The next is 川, which is generally pronounced "chuan" in Chinese. Chuan → tsuan → tsu (origin of kana) → sen (modern on'yomi). Yet another argument is that the kana are derived ...



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