Tuesday, 9 February 2016


#hanzi #kanji #chinesecharacters #monkey yearofthemonkey

Here is the word for monkey ape and other primates in Modern Chinese.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016

Have a CLOSE look at the structure of this #hanzi

Dog / animal plus human plus ... okay books that discuss the structure of chinese characters usually repeat the statement that monkeys are being described as noble animals and discuss whether the phonetic means archer prince noble etc

.... however ... I have a suspicion that this is another case of some ancient scribe trying to hide a joke ... consider a certain aspect of monkey behaviour  

Monkeys are know to throw things at humans fruit stones ... other things 

I'm seeing some frustrated "noble archer" or just a farmer with a bow and arrow trying to get monkeys out of his fruit orchard and the monkeys are busily being the animals who take aim at humans and throw things and some later scribe tidying up the reading into something more Confucian and proper.

I also see people translate gibbon as monkey and they shouldnt. 
Thats a different character.

The most common primate species in ancient China seems to have been the rhesus macaque and the gibbon which seems to  have had a much wider range.

Japan only has macaques - saru.