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故きを温めて新しきを知る

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故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby Takoyaki » Mon 12.29.2008 2:16 am

故きを温めて新しきを知る

I think this is using some Classical Japanese elements. Does anyone know what it means? It appeared with a home education book of some sort. I think it must be some kind of expression like "learning from the past and applying it to new things". Literally it looks like "Warm up the old and get to know the new." I don't really know Classical Japanese though...

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby richvh » Mon 12.29.2008 2:41 am

Looking over some google hits, it appears to me that your phrase has been distorted along the way... 古きを訪ね/尋ね/たずね(て)新しきを知る seem to make up a larger share of hits for "新しきを知る" than anything with 温, and those with 温 seem divided as to whether the okurigana starts with ね or め, and 古き definitely dominates over 故き.

Having said that, き as an adjective ending is definitely classical Japanese.
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby spin13 » Mon 12.29.2008 4:15 am

richvh wrote:Looking over some google hits, it appears to me that your phrase has been distorted along the way... 古きを訪ね/尋ね/たずね(て)新しきを知る seem to make up a larger share of hits for "新しきを知る" than anything with 温, and those with 温 seem divided as to whether the okurigana starts with ね or め, and 古き definitely dominates over 故き.


Actually, たずねて is being written 温ねて rather than with the standard 尋/訪/訊. The phrase as a whole seems to mean "learning from the past" and is also written as 温故知新. It certainly seems to have some appeal as a blog title.

-Eric

Edited for clarity.
Last edited by spin13 on Mon 12.29.2008 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby Takoyaki » Mon 12.29.2008 8:20 am

Gotcha. I am slowing absorbing the information. Bear with me. So き as an adjective ending is Classical Japanese. But 古き and so forth as a noun is considered what? A dialectic variation? None of my dictionaries have them as a noun, and I have a lot of dictionaries.

Just out of curiosity, do all these different readings have a certain category? Is there some simple resource I can study to be able to better handle this kind of stuff? Or is it simply a matter of I need more experience in general with the language?

Thanks richvh and spin13!!!!
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby spin13 » Mon 12.29.2008 9:24 am

The Japanese Wikipedia entry for 形容詞 confirms what I thought: -き is the 連体形 from [Late] Old Japanese.

In the phrase 故きを温ねて新しきを知る, I have no idea how or why it is being used as/like a noun. I'd also be interested in learning what the difference between the classical 形容詞 and 形容詞+ある constructions was, if anybody knows.

You can see the relevant information in English at Old Japanese or Late Old Japanese.
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 12.29.2008 9:27 am

Takoyaki wrote:Gotcha. I am slowing absorbing the information. Bear with me. So き as an adjective ending is Classical Japanese. But 古き and so forth as a noun is considered what? A dialectic variation? None of my dictionaries have them as a noun, and I have a lot of dictionaries.


The き ending of the adjectives is a 連体形 form which means that it can have one of two functions -- (1) to modify a noun (i.e. 新しき文 = A new letter), or (2) to nominalize a phrase, like modern Japanese の or こと, although it can also refer to concrete objects. In this case, it's #2. You won't find this in a dictionary because it's just a "standard" conjugated form.

So here, 古きを is like 古いことを or 古いものを in modern Japanese.

Just out of curiosity, do all these different readings have a certain category? Is there some simple resource I can study to be able to better handle this kind of stuff? Or is it simply a matter of I need more experience in general with the language?


The reason for the odd kanji use appears to be that the phrase is derived from a Chinese 4-character compound saying, so the 温 is being used because that's the character used in the (probably classical) Chinese phrase. The Koujien gives both the Japanese form and the 温故知新 with the reading おんこちしん (the reason the kanji are in different orders is the order of Chinese grammar vs. Japanese).

From a little further research it looks like あたためる can mean こっそり自分のものにする, so there is some connection between あたためる and たずねる.
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Re: 故きを温めて新しきを知る

Postby Takoyaki » Tue 12.30.2008 3:55 am

I would never have guessed there was such a Chinese influence on it's being that way. You have saved me a lot of hair-pulling. Nor would I have guessed the dual function of 連体形. I could see the use was a noun before, but I didn't know why.

That article was interesting on the Late Old Japanese. I was struck by the adjectival noun section as well below the 形容詞 section. It reminds me of how similar に and と can be used sometimes. It can get hard to keep track of. I wonder if 成る is related etymologically to ある come to think of it. になる となる、にある、とある and so forth.
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