Calluna V. (callunav) wrote in linguaphiles,
Calluna V.

Kanji/Chinese characters for 'protection' or 'safety.' No, it's not a tattoo.

Can any of you who actually know their stuff tell me about the nuances of a couple kanji/Chinese characters?

I'm looking for something to put on something I'm making for a new baby - so maybe this isn't that much better than a tattoo, except that I have studied the language (one of the languages) some and maybe that helps and maybe it doesn't - and I need a character which means protection or safety from harm which on the one hand, really is not just about being happy and well-cared-for but about concrete protection from actual harm, but on the other hand wouldn't be an insult to parents.

No, the parent's aren't going to be able to read it, and they will take my word for it when I tell them "It means protection" or "safety" or whatever, but if I'm going to use the characters at all, then I want to use them right.

From the research I've done, my best candidates are

保 - or 保護 - I don't know if the two can be used independently

安 is a good example of what I'm pretty sure I don't want. It shows up in a lot of Japanese words and phrases which have the kind of meaning I want, but the readings given for the character on its own have more to do with contentment and things being generally good than about protection.

The last time I wen through this, I concluded that 守 was my best choice, but I no longer know exactly how I determined that, except that I'm familiar with the verb 'まもる' and that seems to be the character most commonly used for that. Kind of thin.

I would prefer a single character - something that can be used roughly in parallel to 福 in offering good wishes. I realize there may not *be* a single character, though, and I can't force there to be by wanting it.

守 is also the character used in writing おまもり, isn't it? Is it a character which would actually appear *on* an おまもり?

I also don't know how much this differs between Japanese and different kinds of Chinese, or any number of other factors.

If anyone can help me out, I'd be grateful. thing. A couple years ago, I asked a question very like this on a Japanese Language forum which claimed to be open to such questions. One person apparently didn't think much of my asking, and found it amusing to make a suggestion which was the opposite of what I'd asked for. I didn't. If you don't like my question, could you please either say so or just ignore it?

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