キラキラ・Kira kira – all that glitters

1135BSeeing the lake on this morning’s walk, brought to mind  a new term in my work vocabulary and one I’ve been engaged with lately:  煌めき/きらめき(kirameki).  It means glittering, shimmering, shining, glistening or twinkling.  If there are any more terms that fit that category, I think they’ll work.

If one could look more closely at the kanji (and not the hiragana – めき), the 13 strokes it’s made up of, could be counted.  One could also determine that this character is made up of 3 distinct elements, radicals or other smaller or simpler ones.

The one on the left is 火・か・ka, meaning ‘fire.’  On the upper right sits shiro・しろ・白 or ‘white.’  Underneath shiro is 王・おう・oo or ‘king.’  How they all combine to create this meaning is a mystery at this point, something more to be researched, but it does work.

Some phrases that relate:

 — 朝日を浴びて輝く/ Asa o abite kagayaku/

     sparkling in the morning sun

1159A

— 朝の光の中できらきら輝く/ Asa no hikari no naka de kira kira kagayaku/

glittering in the morning light

And then a familiar proverb:

輝くものすべてが金ではありません。Kagayaku mono no subete ga kin de wa arimasen.

All that glitters is not gold.

One could wonder what this has to do with indigo and shibori.  There’s actually a connection and it probably (more than likely) explains why that term 煌めき/kirameki, has been on my mind.  More on that upcoming.

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4 Responses to “キラキラ・Kira kira – all that glitters”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    thanks for the nihongo lesson

  2. The Ardent Thread Says:

    I love seeing how kanji can unfold so beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

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