Welcome to Kanji Curiosity | The Basics | Glossary
Today we’ll do things backward. Try your hand at a bevy of quizzes, all involving 刺 (SHI, sa(su), sa(saru), sa(shi), sashi, toge: to stab, pierce, prick, sting; thorn; business card), a kanji we’ve examined over the past few weeks. In the answer notes, you’ll find sample sentences. In other words, dessert first and salad later.
Quiz 1: Homophonic Murder Mystery
This murder mystery has two steps. Let’s start with Step 1. (We can’t do everything backward today!)
The following words all have the same yomi: shikaku. One word means “assassin.” Can you locate the assassin by matching the kanji compounds to the meanings? If I supplied the breakdowns, it would be too easy, so try to make do without them.
Quiz 2: If-Then
1. If 鳥刺し (torisashi: bird + sliced raw flesh) means “bird catcher” (that is, one who catches wild birds) or “chicken sashimi,” and if 馬 means “horse,” then what does the following term mean?
2. If 牛刺 (gyūsashi: cow + sliced raw flesh) means “sliced raw beef,” and if 人 means “person,” then what does the following term mean?
3. If 牛刺 (gyūsashi: cow + sliced raw flesh) means “sliced raw beef,” and if 肉 means “flesh,” then what does the following term mean?
Quiz 3: What’s the Meaning of This?!
Can you match the following words to their meanings? In particular, can you figure out what activity involves wet sheep (羊水)?! Breakdowns would make this quiz too easy, so I’ve provided none.
A Yojijukugo Contest!
This one isn’t a quiz but rather a contest. First, take a look at the following New York Times article. It’s about yojijukugo, four-character compounds that tell stories or convey ideas in pithy, idiomatic ways.
As you’ll see from the Times piece, the insurance firm Sumitomo Seimei has an annual create-your-own yojijukugo contest. What a fantastic idea! And to think that an insurance company devised something so creative!
Let’s do the same thing here. I’m making this up on the fly, and I may have failed to think through all the details, but it doesn’t seem that complicated to me. Here are the rules:
Feel free to make your entries cheerier than that! I look forward to seeing your submissions. Good luck!
Meet you back here in two weeks!