Pictogram (象形); derived from the pictogram of a horse with its head turned to look back and showing a flowing mane in the wind. The four short strokes at its base (灬) represent its feet, and the sweeping hook stroke in the lower right represents its tail.
|Oracle bone script||Bronze inscriptions||Large seal script||Small seal script|
|Clerical script||Semi-cursive script||Cursive script|
Han character 
馬 (radical 187 馬+0, 10 strokes, cangjie input 尸手尸火 (SQSF), four-corner 71327)
Derived terms 
- KangXi: page 1433, character 1
- Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 44572
- Dae Jaweon: page 1956, character 34
- Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 7, page 4539, character 1
- Unihan data for U+99AC
馬 (POJ ma, Guangdong [Bao'an, Hong Kong, Meixian] ma1, [Hailu, Siyan, Kwangtung] ma1, ma3, Hagfa Pinyim ma1)
- CCDICT (Chineselanguage.org)
- Academia Sinica - Hakka-English Dictionary
- Lau, Chun-fat. Hakka Pinyin Dictionary (Chinese). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1997 (Chinese IME supplement) ISBN 962-201-750-9.
|Japanese stroke order|
Etymology 1 
From Old Japanese. Recorded in the Nihon Shoki as having been brought over from the Korean peninsula kingdom of Baekje, with the earlier reading of ma. The initial m sound was apparently emphasized, possibly similar to *mma, becoming then uma or muma, via processes also seen in the word 梅 (ume, mume, “plum”).
The ma sound denoting "horse" is common to a number of languages of central Asia, where horses were first domesticated, suggesting a possible cognate root. Compare Manchu morin (“horse”), Mongol морь (morj, “horse”), Korean 말 (mal, “horse”), Mandarin 馬 (mă, “horse”), and Proto-Indo-European *mark(')- (“horse”) and descendants such as Irish marc (“horse”, archaic) or English mare (“female horse”).
- a horse
- (shogi) a promoted bishop
- a sawhorse: a four-leg stand made of wood or iron for supporting other materials
Etymology 2 
Shift from uma form, becoming more common starting from the Heian Period. This change later reverted, and muma is now considered obsolete.
- (obsolete) a horse
- 1957, Tomotarō Suzuki; Hisao Kaaguchi, Yoshimoto Endō, Kyōichi Nishishita, Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei 20: Tosa Nikki, Kagerō Nikki, Izumi Shikibu Nikki, Sarashina Nikki (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, ISBN 4-00-060020-6:
- 2003 [c. 759], Akihiro Satake; Hideo Yamada, Rikio Kudō, Masao Ōtani, Yoshiyuki Yamazaki, Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei 4: Man'yōshū 4 (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, ISBN 4-00-240004-2:
- Sound (hangeul): 마 (revised: ma, McCune-Reischauer: ma, Yale: ma)
See also 
- 말 (mal)
Min Nan 
- horse (large four-legged animal)