What are these Chinese letters?
June 2, 2011 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify the following Chinese letters/symbols

A friend of mine asked me for help identifying the following Chinese symbols. Here's a link to the image
Does anyone know what they stand for?
posted by naskar to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The top character means god. The 2nd one is the traditional way of writing wind.
posted by astapasta24 at 8:56 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also for future reference, NCIKU lets you handwrite in characters which it will then identify for you.
posted by astapasta24 at 8:57 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks astapasta24 ! Does it mean anything when both of those letters are written together? Or is there no significance?
posted by naskar at 8:58 PM on June 2, 2011

If the character for wind is before the character for god, you could be talking about a Wind God, but other than that, I don't think so.
posted by astapasta24 at 9:01 PM on June 2, 2011

Does it mean anything when both of those letters are written together?
Yep, it's how you write 'kamikaze', the 'divine wind' that wrecked the Mongol invasion fleet and thus saved Japan, and so later used to name the famous WWII pilots.
posted by Abiezer at 9:07 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

astapasta24, that is a cool resource.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:50 PM on June 2, 2011

astapasta24 and Abiezer have it, but I just want to point out that this might actually not be Chinese, but rather Japanese. Chinese characters are used for one of the Japanese orthographies (kanji) , and the particular term "kamikaze" is much more significant and common in Japanese.
posted by d. z. wang at 10:20 PM on June 2, 2011

It means "kamikaze", or "divine wind." Ironically, these days much more common in English than in Japanese.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:37 PM on June 2, 2011

They are called characters, and don't let your friend get that as a tattoo.
posted by BobbyDigital at 6:41 AM on June 3, 2011

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