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Nattou = Payment Beans?

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Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby CD_Vision » Sun 08.21.2005 6:48 pm

Ok so I was doing my daily Kanji practice and I decided I wanted to learn the kanji for "Nattou". The first character, "Na", seems to mean payment, or currency, while the second, "Tou", translated very simply to bean or small object.

Am I to translate this as "Payment beans"? Why are they called this, or is it just coincidence. Were fermented soybeans once used as currency?

Someone please explain..
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby battousai » Sun 08.21.2005 7:57 pm

I'm no expert on the etymology of natto, but if I recall right another meaning of the 納 kanji is to reap. Therefore, "cultivated beans" could be where it is derived from. But in the end, it would be just defined as fermented beans.. I'm guessing this is just your study method for kanji. I can't think of any off the top of my head but there are definitely some words with kanji that have nothing to do with their meaning. Actually, 料理 might be a good example, heh.
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby Kates » Sun 08.21.2005 10:19 pm

The one I remember best is 服用する (ふくよう -- fukuyou suru) = to take medicine (orally). The first kanji means 'clothing' and the second 'use'... how the HECK does that end up meaning 'to take medicine'??

(I didn't know myself, so I checked on 納 and found it is the 'root' for 'osameru', which means to offer or dedicate (which, I suppose... 'payment' is a way to say that...) -- is nattou offered at any certain time by the Japanese?)
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby kempokatt » Sun 08.21.2005 10:38 pm

納 is also the first Kanji in 納屋 naya (barn/outhouse) - which is what Nattou smells like...connection?

It's also the first Kanji of words that mean "troubled & worried"....again, the smell makes me think there is a connection.
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby CD_Vision » Sun 08.21.2005 11:15 pm

Lol KK.. that's pretty funny. Might be a question for your Japanese teacher then..
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 08.22.2005 12:20 am

Actually, the first kanji in 納豆 is 納まる, to pack. So, packed beans. Ironically, the kanji for Tofu 豆腐 is Rotten Bean. The names are the reverse of what the food actually is.
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby Beau » Sun 09.18.2005 10:27 pm

Ryouri makes perfect sense.... the first character means fee, MATERIALS or charge. The materials meaning can be extended to mean ingredients, and seasonings (by adding certain other characters). The second character means justice, reason or logic.

So: The logic of ingredients: cooking.
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RE: Nattou = Payment Beans?

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 09.19.2005 1:00 am

um, maybe this a little off topic, but i love it when kanji combinations make perfect sense, like 上手 - upper+hand - to mean skillful. but, when they don't make any sense... say, have they solved the 馬鹿 mystery yet?
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