Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kanji - Violent Language

Practicing Kanji is a constant reminder of the fact that language is how we mediate between our violent natures and our desire for at least temporary peace.  For instance, the word for "policy," 政策 (seisaku), combines the symbol for government, which literally derives from "correct with a hand," and the symbol for "plan," which derives from the idea of long strips of wood or bamboo being used to whip a horse (that is, as a way to guide it).  And of course, all policies are ultimately enforced by the implicit threat of violence, aren't they?

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