The Word ka
The word ka か(日) appears in a modern Japanese dictionary as: day of month; counter for days. How did it get to be so? Wosite word analysis has an answer.
The circle of a represents utuho. Utuho is a state of energy. It has other meanings: that which is not visible to the eye; superior; something light and floating; primordial; a certain place; possibility of change, potentiality of transformation. It is the unborn which is unseen, just before birth (umu).
Combine the vertical line of k with the circle of a and we get the ideogram for syllable ka. Ka is the light of the sun shining on the ground. As a result, ka came to mean the time of one day duration, from one sunrise to the next sunrise.
Even today, we find ka meaning day in spoken Japanese. We count (numerals) and the days become:
hi (1), tsui-tachi, the first day of the month
fu (2), futsuka, the second day
mi (3), mikka, the third day
yo (4), yokka, the fourth day
yi (5), itsuka, the fifth day
to (10), toka, the tenth day.
Why is the first day is called tsui-tachi? From tsuki (moon) tachi (starting), namely the month begins on day one with the new moon. So, until the tenth day of the month, the number is followed by ka. Other meanings of ka are bright; right; wealthy; right-side; west; autumn.
The glyph for i
This is the glyph for the sound i. Its name is kase. The shape describes light and heat from the sun from sunrise to sunset, first rising to its peak midday and then declining to sunset. The daily temperature follows a similar pattern. To ancient people, light and heating from the sun were vitally important. Kase is separated out from male cosmic energy of utuho, the glyph for the sound a. It is the part that has regular movement like sunrise and sunset. Kase means there is movement or change. Something has actually occurred. However what has occurred is not visible to the eye. Therefore kase has this meaning of a regularly repeating movement, although it may be unseen. We can think of kase as vibration. Furthermore, it has the even deeper connotation that time exists.
The Words ki, iki
The syllable ki. When we combine the vertical line of k with the bell-shape of i we get the syllable ki. The vertical line represents the powerful energy of the sun, of space, coming down to earth.
The word ki. You may be familiar with the Nihongo word ki. It is found in Aikido, the spiritual “martial art” of Morihei Ueshiba; and in the healing art of Reiki first introduced by by Dr. Mikao Usui. It is the subtle energy that runs through our meridians, and the energy that a spiritual-martial master projects across the room. It is also found in ordinary words such as tenki weather and denki electricity. Is the word ki found in Wosite literature? In Wosite literature, there are frequent mentions of iki which may be the equivalent of ki.
What is iki? The quick and simple answer is いき (息) iki is breath. But Wosite teaches us more, gives us a better understanding through character analysis.
The word iki. Now let us study the word iki. This is shown in the third figure. The word iki appears in the ancient document, Mikasafumi, lines 11349-11352. The passage about the breath of Amemiwoya the Great Source reads:
ame tuti imata
naru zaru ni ame no miwoya no
nasu iki ha kiwanaku ugoku
amotokami mitu ni ahurano
When ame Heavens and tuti Earth are not yet separated, Amenomiwoya’s breath is eternally and everywhere moving. Supporting the breath of Amemiwoya are the Amoto Kami, powerful energies of space.
Remember that ka is energy from space that goes straight down to the ground. And the glyph for i expresses repetitive movement of an invisible very light thing. Therefore, that is the meaning of iki, a regular movement of an invisible very light thing. Even now, iki is commonly used to mean breath, the breath of life.
Here is another passage about iki, Hotuma Tutaye 2576:
ame tuti no hirakeru toki no
hito iki ga me-wo to wakarete
When ame and tuti separate, the first breath divides into wo male and me female. Here we see the first breath of life, the energy of life, iki.
In conclusion, we may say that the concept of the energy of life was known in Wosite times. The word used was iki.