I was at a bookstore looking at some old books and saw the following weird Kanji between 表 and 主. What is its reading and what does it mean? Weird Kanji


The book title is 日本外交年表竝主要文書.

The word is 竝 and it is an alternate/old (異体字) way of writing 並. In the title of this book, it would be an abbreviation for 並びに{ならびに}. I found the following image showing the evolution of the Kanji from this website and it feels fairly convincing.

Kanji evolution


並 originated as a writing abbreviation or stylisation of 竝. which depicts two upright people (立, vertical, erect, upright) simultaneously side by side.

The character 竝 represents directly the word 竝{へい}立{りつ} (to exist simultaneously).

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