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Discussion in 'All Things Japanese' started by Jkalani, Mar 19, 2017 at 01:42.
Can anyone help me identify the one kanji character that is visible on this old bottle?
The era and context are important. Starting from the 20th century B.C., there is proto-writing:
Archaic Chinese Characters
For archaic and middle Chinese, hard to beat is Karlgren's classic Grammata Serica Recensa.
Give it a day or two and someone might log in who can recognize it and hopefully give you info on it.
This might be an old sake or whiskey bottle. The two characters that preceded this one were the characters for "san" and "toshi", "three year". Thanks for the replies!
It looks like 浦. 三年浦 would be the name of a location in Kyushu. Maybe it is a sake/nihonshu bottle from that region?
My first thought when you said "sake" was that it might be 三年酒,(sannnenzake, or sannnenshū), but it looks more like 浦 than 酒 to me.
I can't help but wonder if it isn't 涷. I frequently see 東 written that way in handwriting.
I also thought the right side was 东 which is the simplified Chinese form of 東. Couldn't tell what the left side was though.
edit: a chance it could be 炼? "distill"?
炼 - Wiktionary
I think you may be right. At any rate, I certainly get the impression the bottle is of Chinese origin and not Japanese.
I think you are on to something. If I search for 三年涷 or 三年炼, nothing really leaps out, but if I search for 三年陳 I get a bunch of plausible hits. I guess this is Chinese for "aged 3 years".
三年陳 - Google 検索
In an alternate universe, there must be a Chinese reference forum that gets as many inquiries about what some Japanese text says as we do about what some Chinese text says. I don't think the cosmos could stand the imbalance otherwise.
Show the rest of the bottle with its label. If it's Chinese, you're only going to get guesses here.
Geez guys he just asked for that one character to be identified, why are you asking so many questions about the rest of the bottle?
The radical definitely looks like 阝, now I can't unsee it. The character looks like 陈 to me, which is the simplified form of 陳
三年陳/陈 gets about a million hits on google, and is often accompanied by 和酒. However, there are a lot of images and not many of the packaging in the photos seems to have that phrase on it, but it's hard to tell. I'm seeing a lot of images of what looks like moxibustion products, and this one also has the phrase on the package: 三年陈艾条哪家好？？-搜狐
My initial thought was that the right component of the kanji (tsukuri) was 本 or 東 in cursive script, as already pointed out, but in that case it's odd that the regular script 年 is used there. Majestic-san's opinion "陳 or other simplified Chinese characters" is a good idea to solve this problem.