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I didn't find an explanation or clear etymology for the kanji 関.

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Kanji etymologies are often more an aspect of Chinese than Japanese. Wiktionary tends to be a good source for Chinese character origins and some sense development.

As we see there, this was originally composed as semantic (meaning) element 門 ("gate, door") + phonetic (sound) element 𢇅 (probably something like //*kroːn// in Old Chinese), referring to a door being closed or locked.

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