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See also: ?
U+4ECF, 仏


Han character

? (radical 9, ?+2, 4 strokes, cangjie input (OI) or X (XOI), four-corner 22230, composition ???)


  • KangXi: page 92, character 5
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 364
  • Dae Jaweon: page 195, character 3
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 110, character 5
  • Unihan data for U+4ECF


Glyph origin

Used since Northern and Southern dynasties. To avoid using the character ?, ? (m?u, "someone") is used instead; the character is ideogrammic compound (): ? + ?, where ? is a variant form of ?.

Etymology 1

For pronunciation and definitions of ? - see ? ("Buddha; statue of Buddha; etc.").
(This character, ?, is an ancient form of ?.)

Etymology 2

For pronunciation and definitions of ? - see ? ("like; resembling; etc.").
(This character, ?, is a variant form of ?.)




(grade 5 "Ky?iku" kanjishinjitai kanji, ky?jitai form ?)

  1. Buddha
  2. Buddhism
  3. Buddhist image
  4. Short for (Furansu): France


  • Go-on: (butsu, J?y?); (buchi)
  • Kan-on: (futsu)
  • Kun: (hotoke, ?, J?y?)
  • Nanori: (satoru)


Etymology 1

Kanji in this term

Grade: 5

*?poto2ke2? -> */p?t?k/ -> /fotoke/ -> /hotoke/

From Old Japanese, of unclear origin. Theories include:

  • The hoto element might be from a Chinese dialect variation on Middle Chinese (MC b?ut? d?),[1] or possibly just the ? (MC b?ut?) portion,[2] ultimately deriving from Sanskrit (buddhá). The ke element might be the suffix ? (ke, "spirit").[1]
  • Possibly an ancient borrowing from Middle Korean (Yale: pwuthye), the source of modern Korean (Bucheo).[3]



?() o (hotoke (ky?jitai ?)

  1. (Buddhism) a buddha (enlightened or awakened sentient being)
  2. (Buddhism) a statue or image of any buddha
    • c. 759, Man'y?sh? (book 16, poem 3841), text here
      ?()?()?(?)?()()?(?)?()?()?()()?()?()() [Man'y?gana]
      ?()?()???()?(?)?()?(?)?()?(?)?()??()??()??(?)? [Modern spelling]
      hotoke tsukuru ma-s? tarazu wa mizu tamaru Ikeda no Aso ga hana no ue o hore
      (please add an English translation of this example)
  3. a departed soul, deceased
  4. (colloquial) a term that a parent calls a child expressing parental affection, equivalent to "my dear"
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 7)[4]
      Waga ko no hotoke, henge no hito to m?shinagara, kokora ?kisama de yashinai-tatematsuru kokorozashi oroka narazu.
      My dear child, when you are talking about someone who is a manifestation [of a supernatural entity], it would not be dumb to try to bring them up in this grand fashion.
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 61)[4]
      A ga hotoke, nanigoto omoitamau zo.
      My dear, what on earth are you thinking about?
  5. (religion) Buddhism
    Synonym: (Bupp?)
  6. (Buddhism) performing a Buddhist memorial service
Derived terms

Proper noun

?() o (Hotoke (ky?jitai ?)

  1. (Buddhism) the Sakyamuni Buddha, Nepalese spiritual and philosophical teacher and founder of Buddhism: Siddhartha Gautama
    Synonyms: ? (Shaka-nyorai), ? (Shakamuni)
  2. (Buddhism) any of the other buddhas named in Buddhist scriptures

Etymology 2

Kanji in this term

Grade: 5

From Middle Chinese ? (MC b?ut?), shortened from (MC b?ut? d?), itself a transliteration of Sanskrit (buddha).



?() o (butsu (ky?jitai ?)

  1. (religion) Buddhism
    Ju, Butsu, D?
    Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism
Derived terms

Proper noun

?() o (Butsu (ky?jitai ?)

  1. Short for (Butsuda, Budda): Buddha

Etymology 3

Kanji in this term

Grade: 5


Proper noun

?() o (Futsu (ky?jitai ?)

  1. Abbreviation of (Furansu): France
    Sapporo Nichi-Futsu Ky?kai
    The Sapporo Japan-France Society
Derived terms


  1. ? 2006, (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), T?ky?: Sanseid?, ->ISBN
  2. ^ 1995, (Daijisen) (in Japanese), T?ky?: Shogakukan, ->ISBN
  3. ^ Pellard, Thomas (2014), "The Awakened Lord: The Name of the Buddha in East Asia", in Journal of the American Oriental Society[1], DOI:10.7817/jameroriesoci.134.4.689
  4. ? 4.04.1 Horiuchi, Hideaki; Ken Akiyama (1997) Taketori Monogatari, Ise Monogatari, T?ky?: Iwanami Shoten, ->ISBN

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