Sunday, January 30, 2005

Encounter with an Unknown "Dragon" Character





While browsing through Amazon.com for textbooks, I saw this Chinese dragon T-shirt for sale by ChoiceShirts. The odd thing is that the character on the shirt does not mean "dragon" (), matter of fact, I have never seen it before in my life.



The closest two characters I can find are these, which there is no connection with dragon:



= come across, meet with, encounter

= enlighten, advance; progress



8 comments:

  1. I'm wondering if it's a really poorly drawn chosen because they picked it out as 'fu'(insterad of )in the dictionary, which they probably used to mean that it's a fu dog image.

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  2. Perhaps it's supposed to be the first of the two characters you give, and read "Enter the Dragon"? (Bruce Lee's first American movie, which a bit of googling would have informed the designer is Long zheng hu dou, 龍爭虎鬥 [錄影資料] -- http://library.hku.hk/record=b1983640.)

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  3. That isn't a dragon in any case, is it? Looks more like your standard dog/lion/beast thingy that stands on either side of the temple entrance.

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  4. 曺 and 曹 are same word written differently.

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  5. Yeah, it looks much more like the traditional stone lion than a dragon. But the picture looks like the artist is a bit confused as to what it should be. Maybe it's supposed to be the mythical 四不像, the Chinese equivalent to the Greek chimera... so the word also took on the characteristic of being similar to other words, while being none of them. It does, after all, also bear a slight resemblance to the word the Japanese typically use to mean "dragon,"--竜.

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  6. Silly me, I think I recognize that symbol from playing Mahjongg on the PC!

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  7. If it is indeed a variant of 遭, when that character is used to write 遭う [あう] in Japanese, the use of that particular kanji carries the connotation that the meeting is undesirable (the specific wording of the usage note in my Japanese-text-input-system-thinger is 「好ましくないことに」).

    It's possible that the character was chosen to indicate that the creature pictured (or the person wearing the shirt) is not someone you'd want to run into.

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