In Wosite writing, two different types of images are combined into one ideogram, one syllable. When the Wosite is written or spoken, its meaning is born. The two types are called tai and sou. They describe transformative energies in motion. It is important to know them in order to understand the true meaning of a text, and the principles of the universe which it reveals.
Acknowledgement: Beginning with this post, all Wosite charts were created especially for Woshite World by S. Sakata (see profile in About), unless otherwise stated.
Tai is an image group based on five primordial creative processes. From top to bottom, the five tai images are called utuho, kase, ho, mitu, and hani, more properly utuho-tai, kase-tai, ho-tai, mitu-tai, and hani-tai. They represent change-producing processes which are somewhat associated with the states of space, wind, fire, water, and earth. However, they should not be confused with elements. Mitu, for example, represents flowing of energy like the water in a mountain stream, but not the water itself. All the tai are different kinds of movement of energy that produces change and transformation. They are creative energies. In written and spoken language, the tai play the role of vowels.
Five Tai, Five Energies, Five Vowels
The utuho-tai image is written as a circle. When an ideogram is written as a dot surrounded by a circle, we have “a” (pronounced ah). A is originating energy.
The kase-tai image is written as a bell shape. When the ideogram is written with a dot within the bell, we have “i” (pronounced ih). I is repetitively moving energy.
The ho-tai image is written as a triangle. When the ideogram is written with a dot within the triangle, we have “u” (pronounced uh). U is hot, creative energy.
The mitu-tai image is written as a snaky river. When the ideogram is written with a dot in the river, we have “e” (pronounced eh). E is flowing, gathering energy.
The hani-tai image is written as a square. When the ideogram is written with a dot in the suqare, we have “o” (pronounced oh). O is firming, completing energy.
Ten Sou Consonants
Sou is an image group consisting of ten images. These ten images are shown here. Nine of the ten sou that serve as consonants. However, the first sou, the dot, keeps the vowel sound of the tai. The dot represents the energy of Source. After the dot, the nine other sou are sounded like the consonants: k, h, n, m, t, r, s, y, w. They are called ka-sou, ha-sou, na-sou, ma-sou, ta-sou, ra-sou, sa-sou, ya-sou, and wa-sou.The actions of the ten sou are best explained by actually studying them in examples, as we will do.
Syllables are formed by combining a tai and a sou. When the utuho-tai is written together with the ka-sou k vertical line, it is pronounced ka. Kase-tai i with a vertical is ki, and so forth. The ha-sou two vertical lines of the consonant h join with utuho-tai a to form the syllable that is sounded ha. And so it goes for the other tai and sou. There are 48 allowable combinations, as shown in a previous post.
Rule: the consonant is always sounded first.
In Posts 4 through 8, we study the tai in greater detail. As we do so, we will introduce sou and their meanings. We will also present verses from the Wosite literature. By reading them together, we will become familiar with the vocabulary of old Japan which continues even today. And each verse will teach us something about their culture, philosophy, science, practices, and world-views which we can contemplate and consider as options for us in this modern world.