Radokurifu, Marason gorin daihyō ni ichi-man mētoru shutsujō ni mo fukumi
Traditionally, Chinese characters are classified into six categories known as 六書 rikusho. Introduced some 1900 years ago in the Chinese classic dictionary 説文解字 setsumon kaiji, these have played a central role in Chinese lexicography. The first four categories are based on the character formation process; the last two are based on usage.
1. Pictographs (象形文字 shōkei moji) are simple hieroglyphs that are rough sketches of the things they represent. Example: modern 目 moku 'eye'.
2. Simple Ideographs (指事文字 shiji moji) suggest the meanings of abstract ideas, such as numerals and directions. Example: 三 san 'three'.
3. Compound Ideographs (会意文字 kaii moji) consist of two or more elements each of which contributes to the meaning of the whole. Example: 休 kyū 'rest' (person 人 resting under a tree 木).
4. Phonetic-Ideographic Characters (形声文字 keisei moji) consist of one element that roughly expresses meaning (usually called the radical), and another element that represents sound and often also meaning. Example: 茎 kei 'stem, stalk' consists of 'plants' and 圣 kei 'straight', i.e., the straight part of a plant.
5. Derivative Characters (転注文字 tenchū moji) are characters used in an extended, derived, or figurative sense. Example: 令 rei changed from its original meaning `command, order' to 'person who gives orders' to 'adminster, governor'.
6. Phonetic Loans Phonetic Loans (仮借文字 kasha moji) are characters borrowed to represent words phonetically without direct relation to their original meanings, or to characters used erroneously. Example: 豆 tō originally referred to an ancient sacrificial vessel, but is now used in the borrowed sense of 'bean'.
The great majority of characters are phonetic-ideographic (type 4 above). 民, for example, originally a picture of an eye pierced by a needle, represented a slave blinded by his master to keep him from escaping, but later changed to 'ignorant masses' or 'people' in general. As a phonetic-ideographic element in the formation of other characters, it represents the sound min and has a basic meaning of 'sightlessness' or 'darkness'. For example, 民 (abbreviated to 氏) is combined with 日 'sun' to give 昏 'darkness, dusk'; 眠 'sleep' consists of an eye (目) in a state of sightlessness (民). An interesting example is 婚 'marriage', which consists of 女 'woman' + 昏 'darkness'. According to one theory, this is because wedding ceremonies were held at night.1 In this way, a basic unit like 民 contributes its shape, its reading, and its meaning to the formation of other characters.
The table below shows several groups of characters that share the basic element 目 'eye':
im alone and broken and its all my fault so i deserve to die i admit it
My gift is my song and this one's for you And you can tell everybody that this is your song It may be quite simple but now that it's done Hope you don't mind I hope you don't mind that I put down in words How wonderful life is now you're in the world