The word setsu is made of two characters that are most often translated
as meaning conforming to the rule or standard, but can also be interpreted
in terms of the self as discipline or self-restraint.
more closely at the first character, setsu, the top two elements symbolize
the bamboo Kaicho Nakamura refers to in his discussion. They express division
(being two) which can also express order, as in the ordered division of
bamboo, which in turn can express time (as in discreet extensions) and
the concept of restraint and integrity that lead to self-order. Also implied
is flexibility, which is inherent within bamboo and implied by the use
of this pictorial element.
are two other sub-character elements, the one on left being interpreted
as "good." It represents a sift (to separate large from small
particles) within a sleeve or form used to filter, thus suggesting selection
of the good.
bottom element (sub-character) to the right represents a bending or kneeling
person. Originally this represented taking the proper place at a table,
which has been abstracted to mean being proper.
The second character, or "do," also has meaningful
top element can be interpreted to mean a house over an object or a stone
(the derivation being unclear), which is an abbreviation for the character
bottom element is a hand which can leads to the interpretion of measurement.
Thus, together the elements of "do" mean "degree"
drawn from measurement of various things.
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