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I want to display the two parts of the 右 character in a document. The first part, 口, is easy. The problem lies in the second part, which some sources call "left hand" radical.

This video calls it a character derived from the 十 (ten) radical. However, the drawing in the video is different from the one found in zhongwen.com, which is more similar to the original drawing (but at zhongwen.com it's an image, and I want an Unicode character).

Actually I've (probably) found the character I want (𠂇?) from here. But, even after I installed some 10 different Chinese fonts in my Debian system, it still displays as a square with numbers on it, and sometimes as a large blank space. I've updated the font cache, and still nothing. So, do I need some very specific font or what?

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The CJK IDS has this entry for 右:

U+53F3   右   ⿸𠂇口
U+20087  𠂇   𠂇

Which seems to match what you found.

You do need a font that includes CJK Extension B for 20087. No problem on my Mac, it seems to have lots of them with this character.

  • Where are the entries for CJK IDS? And how could I know that U+20087 is in CJK Extension B? – Rodrigo Feb 18 at 20:30
  • @Rodrigo CJK IDS is here: github.com/cjkvi/cjkvi-ids It is more of a visual structural breakdown of characters than a linguistic breakdown, but sometimes there are correspondences. – Ben Jackson Feb 19 at 0:15
  • @Rodrigo Another easy place to find the composition is a google search which will bring up en.wiktionary.org/wiki/右 – Tom Gewecke Feb 19 at 15:23
  • @Rodrigo A google search for U+20087 will quickly give you info about what part of unicode it is in, e.g. codepoints.net/U+20087?lang=en – Tom Gewecke Feb 19 at 15:25
  • @TomGewecke Yes, I've found it in a few sites, but wasn't sure because the proper font wasn't installed yet. – Rodrigo Feb 20 at 1:11
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Just FYI, the top left part of「右」and the top left part of「左」have different origins. Also, neither of them have anything to do with「十」.


The top left part of「右」as a stand-alone character is now written as「又」. It was originally a picture of a right hand.



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  • The「口」in「右」was added later to distinguish between the meaning right hand (anatomy) and right side.

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The top left part of「左」, unsurprisingly, was originally a picture of a left hand. As a stand-alone character, it is now written as「𠂇」.



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  • The「工」(picture of a tool) in「左」was added later to bring out the meaning of assistance, help, now written as「佐」.

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The top left component of「右」and「左」look very similar in the modern script, but the original components meant different things and had different pronunciations. For example,「又」, being the top left component of「右」, is also found at the top left part of both of the following characters, where it contributes both meaning and sound:

  • 「有」(yǒu; picture of a hand「又」yòu holding a piece of meat「⺼・肉」> to have [something])
  • 「友」(yǒu; picture of two right hands「又」yòu > friend)

References:

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