Wah Nam Hong (華南行) in Rotterdam

Here in Rotterdam we have a Chinese supermarket called in Dutch phonetic Cantonese 'Wah Nam Hong', which in Jyutping (waa4 naam4 hong4) stands for the hanzi <span lang="zh">華南行</span>. Literally translated <span lang="zh">華南</span> stands for South China and matches the obvious Cantonese heritage. The <span lang="zh">行</span> stands for a profession or business line.

What is interesting to me is that in Japanese (<span lang="ja">日本語</span>) you read <span lang="ja">華南</span> as <span lang="ja">かなん</span> and it means South China as well. However, <span lang="ja">行</span> would be <span lang="ja">こう</span> or <span lang="ja">ぎょう</span> and has not retained the profession/business line meaning at all.

The beauty song - 佳人曲

The movie 'House of Flying Daggers (<span lang="zh">十面埋伏</span>)' contains a song sung by Zhang Ziyi (<span lang="zh">章子怡</span>) called 'The Beauty Song (<span lang="zh">佳人曲</span>)':


Which translates to something like the following:

In the north there is a beauty: Surpassing the world, she stands alone.
A glance from her will overthrow a city; A second glance will overthrow the State.
Don't I know she can overthrow the city and the State?
But such a beauty cannot be found again!

This is a poem by the Han Dynasty poet Li Yannian (<span lang="zh">李延年</span>).

So simple or why the bone character is written differently

In a previous entry I wrote about how the bone radical is written differently in some Chinese cases. Well, thanks to John H. Jenkins of Apple I found out that the People's Republic of China made a switch from the traditional character to the one that has the corner on the left side. This way the stroke count is reduced by one. But for font designers it offers a small problem, since it means that you have to know your target audience quite well.

To sum it up: PRC uses the newer character, most likely Singapore does so too being another simplified Chinese user. Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, and Taiwan use the older character.

Bone radical, number 188 - 骨

In the radical classification system called Kang Xi after the Chinese emperor Kang Xi we find 214 radicals. At position 188 we have the radical nicknamed 'bone' (<span lang="ja">骨</span> - hone). It is part of the group of radicals consisting out of 10 strokes (<span lang="ja">部首</span> - bushu).

The above image shows the character 'bone' in four fonts for the three languages of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The fonts used are STSong (Chinese), MingLiu (Chinese), MS Mincho (Japanese) and Batang (Korean). As can be seen the Chinese font is the only one that squares off the top image's corner on the left-hand side. The other Chinese font and the Japanese and Korean font do so on the right-hand side.

I raised this issue on the Unicode list since the Unicode character charts have three points where 'bone' is encoded, to note: CJK Radicals Supplement 0x2ee3 (left-hand side), Kangxi Radicals 0x2fbb (right-hand side), and CJK Unified Ideographs 0x9aa8 (left-hand side).

I wonder if the discrepancy is a wrongly written letter during buddhist studies which was taken from China to Japan and subsequently later exported to Korea.