Today I visited a garden of one of my friends and there were several screen walls with a character on each one. (The owner was absent and neither could his housekeeper read these characters.) 1 2 3 4 These walls shield the cloister. 5 The last wall shields the gate.

But still I could guess out most of them (as a native speaker). The first four are 天 地 同 和 (point out if I am wrong). By no means can I identify the last one. Hope someone can help X:D

(I recognize 酋 and 廾 up to down in the last character, but they don't look like any character I know.)

  • The character is 尊.
    – dROOOze
    Aug 17, 2018 at 6:40
  • @droooze (。・ω・。)ノ♡ Ooops, but the bottom of it... sigh. Aug 17, 2018 at 6:42
  • I'll write up the explanation soon, just gotta find the right references.
    – dROOOze
    Aug 17, 2018 at 6:43

1 Answer 1


The character is 「尊」.

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「尊」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*[ts]ˤu[n]/) was originally a combination of a wine vessel 「酉」 and two hands 「廾」, indicating the meaning (to conduct) a wine ceremony or ceremonial wine vessel. From Etiquette and Ceremonial:



Etiquette and Ceremonial: Coming of age capping rites

...A jar of ceremonial wine proper at the Northern gown arrangement...

「酉」 was later replaced with the derivative 「酋」 (also wine vessel).


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Eventually, 「廾」 was replaced with 「寸」 (/*[tsʰ]ˤu[n]-s/, picture of hand pulse location > hand actions), gaining a sound hint in addition to its semantic function.

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In case the other characters are hard to recognise, 「地」 and 「和」 are written with variants「坨」and「龢」, respectively.

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