Posted by Jam the House Snail (22.214.171.124) on March 27, 2020 at 12:03:53:
In Reply to: Re: Utagawa Hiroshige III ? posted by manuD on March 27, 2020 at 07:36:30:
Thank you for the kind words, but in all those generalities, I forgot to describe the exact case!
The "ki" in this case is 幾, I believe. You can see its form as a hentaigana here:
Also worth mentioning is the difference between the two "ka" in this inscription (ka/ga). The first is based on 加, which is the basis for the modern kana 'ka', so very familiar to us. The second (ga) is based on 可, which is a hentaigana (dropped in modern times, but still used in modern calligraphy.) This is a very common hentaigana, so I think we are all used to it now and the difference in the two ka forms drew no comment!
To close off, the su is 須 and the mi is 身, I believe, in their calligraphic/simplified forms.
But of course the kanji basis doesn't mean that these are functioning as such (no character meaning brought to the inscription). The characters are here used only for their sounds, and would have been read phonetically in the same way that we whip through modern kana without giving their kanji basis a second thought.
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