Graphical etymology
meet; party; association; interview; join
on: KAI E
kun: a-u a-waseru atsu-maru
names: ai
strokes: 13
radical: (no. 73) (Nelson uses , 亻,𠆢, no. 9)
kuài to balance an account; accountancy; accounting; ◇ huì can; to be possible; to be able to; will; to be likely to; to be sure to; to assemble; to meet; to gather; to see; union; group; association; CL: 個|个 ; a moment ();
pinyin: kuài huì
台湾: Taiwan pr. for this sense is [hui3]
strokes: 13
radical: (no. 73) (Nelson uses , 亻,𠆢, no. 9)

Graphical etymology

According to Ochiai 會 is a representation of a “steamer” for cooking food (see below for early forms). At the bottom of the graph it has receptacle 𠙵 (to add water), in the middle the pot itself and on top a lid. ¹

A commonly held theory has it that 會 is a semantic compound that combines the cooking pot with “lid” to convey the idea of “join”, “put together” in a general sense.² Additionally, some scholars attribute a phonetic role to 亼.³


Both Japan and the PRC currently use the simplified character instead of 會.


  1. Ochiai, 2016, p. 111.
  2. Ochiai, ibid.; Seeley et al. p. 69.
  3. See Seeley et al, ibid.


OBI for 會
Bronze inscription for 會

Additional details for 會

Frequency in Japanese: not frequent
Morohashi: 14306 5.1001
SKIP code: 2-2-11
Four corner code: 8060.6
Korean reading: hoe; goe; gwal
shinjitai 新字体 (1946): 会
Kanjidic cross references: variant kanji (JIS): 03271 variant kanji (Nelson index)381
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
to assemble, meet together; a meeting; an organization
Unihan on: KAI E
Unihan kun: AU
Unihan pinyin: huì
Unihan kSimplifiedVariant: 会
Unihan kSemanticVariants: , [kMatthews,kMeyerWempe]
Cedict simplified: 会