CHARACTER HOME PAGE

to polish; brush (teeth); grind, wear away; improve
Kanji 1831

Thank you for visiting this Character Home Page. Below you'll find a synopsis of the essay. If you wish to read the full text, the PDF of the essay is available for purchase to the right.

Synopsis

The definitions of 磨 present contradictions. Polishing is gentle, but grinding is harsh. With the versatile 磨, you can say you've brushed your teeth, scraped pans, worn out shoes, and improved your skills. This kanji helps form the word for "Daruma." Find out why this popular round doll has crane-shaped eyebrows, a blank eye, and connections to snow and fire, as well as goal setting. 

Revision History:

July 31, 2019:

p. 2: Completely rewrote the Henshall etymology to match his updated edition. Also updated the Sears link.
p. 8: Added あく (開く or 空く: to open) to the vocabulary of the leather jacket sentence.
pp. 14 and 17: Deleted broken links.
p. 16: Added a link back to this page so you can more easily access the game below.

May 3, 2013: Originally published.

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