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Laura
Japanese Radicals: 豆 Why is 豆 in 頭? Doesn't 首 on its own mean head already? (Isn't 頭 kind of like 豆 + 頁?) Why is the radical 豆 for "bean" added? Is there an idiomatic reason? I feel as if I see this as part of the kanji for some words, but I don't know why.
2019年8月1日 11:57
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Answers · 2
Hi Laura, 豆 in 頭 is actually more or less an indicator of how 頭 could be read. This is a common characteristic in many Chinese characters. The onyomi of 豆 is read as とう, as seen in the word 豆腐 (とうふ). Likewise, an onyomi for 頭 would be とう, as seen in the word 頭部 (とうぶ), which means "area of/around the head". Another character that uses 豆 to indicate reading but not meaning is 闘 (とう, to fight) in 戦闘 (せんとう, to fight/battle), but this pattern can be seen not only in 豆 but in other radicals as well. 頁, on the other hand, is an evolved version of what was originally 首 written above 人, which I'm sure makes total sense when it comes to the meaning of the character. Hope this helps, Andrew
2019年8月1日
Laura
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Korean
Learning Language
Japanese, Korean