Is it a coincidence that element 至 is in both 屋 and 室? How is 至 related to the concept of "room" or "house"?

  • They are related, of course. "「至」は矢が的に当たる様で、行き着く・行き止まるの意、屋内で、区画され行き止まった部屋の意。" (ja.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%AE%A4), "「尸」は原字において布を垂らした様の象形(「しかばね」ではない)、「至」は、行き止まりを意味し、テント状の建物が原義。「室」「窒」と同系。" (ja.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%B1%8B)
    – chocolate
    Feb 19, 2017 at 3:55
  • I think you are into something here. I could not pick it up from the English version of the same wiktionary pages. Could you put it as an answer in English please?
    – user1602
    Feb 19, 2017 at 4:02
  • Hehe... I'm waiting for other users who excel in 語源 to post a more detailed answer... @Eiríkr Útlendi さんとか ^^
    – chocolate
    Feb 19, 2017 at 4:10
  • 1
    This is more 字源 than 語源.
    – user1478
    Feb 28, 2017 at 10:54

4 Answers 4

  • 「室」means room, containing semantic「宀」(picture of a building).
  • 「至」(Baxter-Sagart OC: /*ti[t]-s/) is a phonetic component in「室」(Baxter-Sagart OC: /*s.ti[t]/).
  • 「屋」(generically meaning building) contains an abbreviated「室」in the shape of「至」as a semantic component. We can view this as the structure of「尸」taking place of the structure of「宀」in「室」.
    • Several other parts of「屋」got corrupted or omitted as well;「尸」(squatting person > body) is not the original shape in「屋」.

The original shape of「屋」did not contain「至」, as part of other characters.「屋」was a picture of a tent, and this word is now written as「幄」.

enter image description here

enter image description here

The tent shape was subject to gradual corruption into「尸」:

enter image description hereenter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here



Below I cut and paste 3 different pages of info from okjiten.jp so that you can see them all together. 「至」is a representation of an arrow which flown and landed head down in the ground. For「屋」and 「室」, imagine a person launched from a bow and falling head first through the roof into their home. Makes sense, right?

  • 指事文字です。「矢が地面につきささった」象形から、「いたる」を意味する「至」という漢字が成り立ちました。

enter image description here

  • 会意文字です(尸+至)。「屋根」の象形(「家屋」の意味)と「矢が地面に突き刺さった」象形(「至(いた)る」の意味)から、人がいたる「いえ・すみか」を意味する「屋」という漢字が成り立ちました。

enter image description here

  • 会意兼形声文字です(宀+至)。「屋根・家屋」の象形と「矢が地面につきささった」象形(「至る」の意味)から人が留まる「へや」を意味する「室」という漢字が成り立ちました。

enter image description here


Is it a coincidence that element 至 is in both 屋 and 室? How is 至 related to the concept of "room" or "house"?

至 is indeed enter image description here , representing an arrow "arriving" to its target.

In 屋 and 室 we have the radicals 尸 and 宀.

尸, originally enter image description here , represents a "sitting person", while 宀, originally enter image description here , represents a "shelter".

In the case of 屋 you can think about a person that has arrived at a place where he can sit comfortably, so to say, a "house".

With 室 you can go with the same concept: A shelter where one arrives and is able to stay comfortably.

For more information about these etymologies check the next link: therealkanjiworld.com


I'm afraid but "至" is not related to the concept of "屋" or "室."

"至" is often use as averb "至{いた}る = reach," and the phrases like as "至{いた}る所{ところ} = everwhere, wall-to-wall, "至急 = as soon as possible."

Anyway I don't know the word "至" relating the concept of "屋" or "室."

If you can show us the examples of "至" relating the concept of "屋" or "室," I'd like to read them carefully.

  • 1
    "I'm afraid but " = 怯えているが... "I'm afraid that " = 残念ですが
    – virmaior
    Feb 28, 2017 at 13:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .