9

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below.

Some Complex Character

Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do you pronounce it?

I apologize for throwing lots of questions. Any help is appreciated!

8

Welcome more questions Thomas.

Very good answer above.

It is a Spring Couplet 挥春/揮春. 招財進寶 is an auspicious saying to wish families more wealth and treasure. Chinese paste this on the front door or wall before the Chinese New Year. And they renew it annually. Some companies hope like this lucky saying so they paste it too. Besides, "福"(fu) is very popular too. Every family would paste it upside down on their doors.

Here is the pronunciation:

招財進寶 zhāo cái jìn bǎo

  • Thanks for adding to @Claw's answer! Wish I can mark two accepted answer. :/ – Thomas Hsieh Apr 14 '15 at 13:44
21

This is actually not one character, but a stylistic conglomeration of the characters in the phrase 招財進寶, meaning "ushering in wealth and prosperity".

The characters 財 and 寶 end up being represented with the same 貝 component in this "character". While the left side of 招 (扌) and the right side of 財 (才) are technically not the same component, they look similar enough to be represented with the same component here as well.

15

For people to understand better...

zhao

cai

jin

bao

  • nice pictures! I think it's better to put on each character above each picture. – AGamePlayer Apr 27 '15 at 8:48
5

They're called 合文! (combined characters ) or 合书!

http://baike.baidu.com/view/2915764.htm

( Good question - I was also curious about this a while back )

:)

1

招财进宝 means to bring in wealth and treasure for family -- felicitous wish of making money; amass fortunes

  • 1
    Unfortunately answering in simplified characters doesn't help here... The characters are quite different from the 合文... – dda Dec 23 '15 at 3:59

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