This week my Korean language exchange partner wanted to introduce me to the Chinese characters associated with the days of the week (the Korean words for which I already knew); here is an excerpt from the notes she wrote:


She got taught in quite a traditional way at school and thinks that learning these characters is an important part of a Korean’s education, and she really likes characters like this for being really simple as compared with many others. I think I agree with her that they are attractive.

When learning about them (even in this incredibly elementary way) I find myself with a sense of awe similar to that which one gets from reading really old philosophy (e.g. Plato), that is, you’re connecting with an extremely old tradition which has meant a lot of different things to different people. Makes me want to learn Chinese/Japanese in order to learn the characters! Maybe some day I will look into that.