This symbol 术 is part of several kanjis. Does it have a meaning of its own? I looked for it in kanji lists and a japanese dictionary and it doesnt list any meaning


1 Answer 1


It does have a meaning of its own, but it is better represented by「朮」instead.「术」is a handwritten style of the character forced into Minchōtai fonts, and you can somewhat think of「术」vs.「朮」as Shinjitai vs. Kyūjitai (although this way of viewing it has some limitations).

「朮」originally depicted a Sorghum plant (Chinese: 高梁, Japanese: モロコシ) which is the original meaning with the historical form:

enter image description here

This meaning is now written as「秫」.「[朮]{じゅつ}」is used as a phonetic component in the Jōyō kanji「述」and「術」(pending on the font you're using it may look like「术」instead).

The other place where it's found is in the bottom-left hand side of Kyūjitai 「{{zh-TW:殺}}」(compare Shinjitai「殺」, where the dot is missing). Here,「朮」serves as a graphically corrupted semantic component, originally representing a person who was about to get their head chopped off.

enter image description here

Change over time in the component depicting a person due to be executed in the character「{{zh-TW:殺}}」, eventually transforming into「朮」.

「朮」does not provide sound or meaning here, because it was originally something else.

Lastly, in Simplified Chinese,「术」is the official form of「術」.


You must log in to answer this question.

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