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See also:
U+4ECF, 仏

CJK Unified Ideographs


Han character[edit]

(radical 9, +2, 4 strokes, cangjie input 人戈 (OI) or X人戈 (XOI), four-corner 22230, composition)


  • KangXi: page 92, character 5
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 364
  • Dae Jaweon: page 195, character 3
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 110, character 5
  • Unihan data for U+4ECF


Glyph origin[edit]

Used since Northern and Southern dynasties. To avoid using the character , (mǒu, “someone”) is used instead; the character is ideogrammic compound (會意):  + , where is a variant form of .

Etymology 1[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see (“Buddha; statue of Buddha; etc.”).
(This character, , is an ancient form of .)

Etymology 2[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see (“like; resembling; etc.”).
(This character, , is a variant form of .)





(grade 5 “Kyōiku” kanjishinjitai kanji, kyūjitai form )

  1. Buddha
  2. Buddhism
  3. Buddhist image
  4. Short for 仏蘭西 (Furansu): France



Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: 5

*⟨poto2ke2 → */pətəkəɨ//fotoke//hotoke/

From Old Japanese of unclear origin. Theories include:



(shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji , hiragana ほとけ, rōmaji hotoke)

  1. (Buddhism) a buddha (enlightened or awakened sentient being)
  2. (Buddhism) a statue or image of any buddha
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 16, poem 3841), text here
       (ほとけ) (つくる) () (そほ)不足 (たらず) () (みづ) (たまる) (いけ) () () () () () (はなの) (うへ) ()穿 () () [Man'yōgana]
       (ほとけ) (つく) (そほ) ()らずは (みづ) ()まる (いけ) () () () (はな) (うへ) () [Modern spelling]
      hotoke tsukuru ma-sō tarazu wa mizu tamaru Ikeda no Aso ga hana no ue o hore
      (please add an English translation of this example)
  3. a departed soul, deceased
  4. (colloquial) a term that a parent calls a child expressing parental affection, equivalent to "my dear"
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 7)[3]
       (わが) () (ほとけ) (へん) () (ひと) (まう)しながら、こゝら (おほき)さまで (やしな) (たてまつ) (こころざし) (をろ)かならず。
      Waga ko no hotoke, henge no hito to mōshinagara, kokora ōkisama de yashinai-tatematsuru kokorozashi oroka narazu.
      My dear child, when you are talking about someone who is a manifestation [of a supernatural entity], it would not be dumb to try to bring them up in this grand fashion.
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 61)[3]
      あが (ほとけ)何事 (なにごと) (おも)ひたまふぞ。
      A ga hotoke, nanigoto omoitamau zo.
      My dear, what on earth are you thinking about?
  5. (religion) Buddhism
    Synonym: 仏法 (Buppō)
  6. (Buddhism) performing a Buddhist memorial service
Derived terms[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

(shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji , hiragana ほとけ, rōmaji Hotoke)

  1. (Buddhism) the Sakyamuni Buddha, Nepalese spiritual and philosophical teacher and founder of Buddhism: Siddhartha Gautama
    Synonyms: 釈迦如来 (Shaka-nyorai), 釈迦牟尼 (Shakamuni)
  2. (Buddhism) any of the other buddhas named in Buddhist scriptures

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: 5

From Middle Chinese (MC bɨut̚), shortened from 佛陀 (MC bɨut̚ dɑ), itself a transliteration of Sanskrit बुद्ध (buddha).



(shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji , hiragana ぶつ, rōmaji butsu)

  1. (religion) Buddhism
     (じゅ) (ぶつ) (どう)
    Ju, Butsu, Dō
    Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism
Derived terms[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

(shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji , hiragana ぶつ, rōmaji Butsu)

  1. Short for 仏陀 (Butsuda, Budda): Buddha

Etymology 3[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: 5


Proper noun[edit]

(shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji , hiragana ふつ, rōmaji Futsu)

  1. Abbreviation of 仏蘭西 (Furansu): France
    札幌 (さっぽろ) (にち) (ふつ)協会 (きょうかい)
    Sapporo Nichi-Futsu Kyōkai
    The Sapporo Japan-France Society
Derived terms[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 Horiuchi, Hideaki; Ken Akiyama (1997) Taketori Monogatari, Ise Monogatari, Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, →ISBN