This question came to my mind while playing
漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time.
温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning
to learn from the past.
It is a Chinese phrase* and its kun-reading is usually given as
To ??? the old, and learn/understand the new.
Dictionaries and gogen-allguide disagree how one should read the first character
温. The reading
故き温【たず】ねて "to revisit the old" seems to be a bit more common. The problem I've got this reading is that the character
温 does not mean
たずねる or anything close -- I cannot find such a nuance in a kanji dictionary either. Kanji dictionaries such as the 漢字源, however, list the alternative interpretation that has been suggested, that is
故きを温【あたた】めて "to warm up the old".
温 ever signify something like
たずねる? Was it ever read as
温【たず】ねて in other contexts?
(2) Can anybody shed some light on the intended meaning of
温故知新? Presumably, this would involve knowledge of Classical Chinese.
* The original Chinese phrase in the Analects is
子曰、温故而知新、可以為師矣. See the link for the kanbun reading.