Brushes

Kanji is deep. Okay, all Shodo and Japanese language is deep. And it comes from Chinese, so Chinese is deep. All language is deep. What I’m trying to say is that this months kanji took me down a rabbit hole.

The words are literally “one step thousand gold.” There’s got to be a good fortune cookie in there somewhere. Something about how you gotta take baby steps to reach your goals. Alas, it’s not that easy.

It’s about chess.

Or rather, it’s an idiom that refers to chess. You see, the word “step” is the kanji they use for pawns. In chess. And this little idiom really means, “no army can win without foot soldiers” or something like that. Maybe it’s like too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Kana is a waka poem. It goes

toki hanaru matsu no midori mo haru kureba
ima hitoshihono iro masari keri

ときはなる松のみどりも春くれば
今ひとしほの色まさりけり

My interpretation:

All the year round, the green of the pine does not fade
come spring, the color grows deeper


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