root; stem; origin; source; this; the current; original; inherent; originally; classifier for books, periodicals, files etc;
radical: 木 (no.
75) (Nelson uses 丨, no.
本 is a deictic graph. It shows “tree” 木 with a mark added to its roots, to convey the literal word “root” (of a tree or a plant). Extended meanings are “origin, fundament”. It is not clear how it came to refer to books.¹
One theory relates that until the ninth century books were in cylindrical “stem-like” rolls, and that perhaps that could account for the relation of the word “root” 本 to books.²
- Qiú, 2000, p. 183; Schuessler, p. 160.
- Seeley at al., p. 64.
- 日本 nihon; nippon [n] Japan (lit. origin of the sun; poetically, “Land of the Rising Sun”.
- 本 hon 1. [n] book; volume; script 2. [pref] this; present 3. main; head 4. real; regular 5. [suf,ctr] (sometimes pronounced bon or pon) counter for long cylindrical things; counter for films, TV shows, etc.; counter for goals, home runs, etc.; counter for telephone
- 本当; 本當[oK] hontou, honto (also spelled as ホント[ik], ホントー, ホントウ) 1. [adj-no,adj-na,adv,n] truth; reality; actuality; fact 2. [adj-no,adj-na,adv] proper; right; correct; official 3. genuine; authentic; natural; veritable