There are many words in French that are spelled identically to or very similarly to English words but the meanings are not the same. These words are called faux-amis (false friends) because they trick you into assuming the meaning and then you discover the meaning is sometimes quite different.
''rester'' means ''to stay'', not ''to rest''.
''quitter'' means ''to leave'', not ''to quit''.
''monnaie'' means ''loose change'', not ''money''.
''librairie'' means ''bookstore'', not ''library''.
Anyway I have discovered a similar phenomenon between Japanese and Chinese.
''人参'' means carrot in Japanese but Ginseng in Chinese.
''棚'' means shelf in Japanese but shed in Chinese.
''麒麟'' means giraffe in Japanese but it is a kind of mythical creature in Chinese.
I feel these are kind of faux-amis between the Japanese and Chinese language.
My question is: Why don't the characters used for Japanese Kanji have the same meaning as those used in Chinese ?