In all regions except Japan, the middle component is written ?, which is the orthodox form found in the Kangxi dictionary.
In Japanese shinjitai, the middle component is written ? instead of ? (the upper right dot is missing). Due to Han unification, both forms are encoded using the same code point. This character may appear to be different depending on the font used.
Possibly an ideogrammic compound (): a ? ("dog") guarding four ? ("vessel") - containers, or a phonetically borrowed character for the modern meanings with the original meaning being "to bark" (Compare ?).
Often used interchangeably with ?(ki) in compounds to indicate "machine", with the subtlety that ? implies a smaller device, perhaps hand-held, while ? implies a larger machine, such as an airplane. Compare (shokki, "tableware") and (hik?ki, "airplane"), or homophones(kikai, "machine", generally larger) and (kikai, "machine, tool", generally smaller).
From Old Japanese. Cognate with ?(utsuo, ancient utsupo, utsubo), signifying a hollowness. Appears to be a compound of ?, ?(utsu, "hollow", combining form, standalone form uchi, "inside") + ?(ha). The derivation of this ha element is unclear.