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What is the etymology (i.e., why is "east" part of the word)? 23:58, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I found your question answered elsewhere (, it is because the East represented the position of the 'master' or the 'host'. The master of the house was seated facing the East and the guest faced the West, therefore "東" represents the high status of the landlord and his position of ownership.
The answer also mentioned the Lǐjì 禮記 (Book of Rites):
See a translation of the quoted text here
This shows clearly that the East was the high-status position. Compare 《東人》, 《房東》 and 《西賓》. Pistachio 17:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Pistachio, thanks for finding that! I didn't think to check under 房東. -- A-cai 23:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)