(grade 4 “Kyōiku” kanji, shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai form 器)
From Middle Chinese 器 (khijH, “vessel; instrument”).
- When used as a suffix, the resulting term has a downstep either right before, or one mora before, the ki.
- If the preceding syllable has only one mora (as in ga or tsu), the downstep occurs just after that mora:
- 瓦器 (“unglazed earthenware”): がき [gáꜜkì]
- 空気予熱器 (kūki yonetsuki, “air pre-heater”): くうきよねつき [kùúkí yónétsúꜜkì]
- If the preceding syllable has two morae (as in zen or tei), the downstep occurs between the two morae:
- 安全器 (anzenki, “safety cut-out”): あんぜんき [àńzéꜜǹkì]
- 円弧測定器 (enko sokuteiki, “cyclometer”): えんこそくていき [èńkó sókútéꜜèkì]
器 • (ki)
- device; instrument
- container; vessel
Often used interchangeably with 機 (ki) in compounds to indicate “machine”, with the subtlety that 器 implies a smaller device, perhaps hand-held, while 機 implies a larger machine, such as an airplane. Compare 食器 (shokki, “tableware”) and 飛行機 (hikōki, “airplane”), or homophones 機械 (kikai, “machine”, generally larger) and 器械 (kikai, “machine, tool”, generally smaller).
器 • (-ki)
- device; instrument
Can attach to various nouns that can be used as verbs, to indicate a device for carrying out the action. Examples:
- 計量 (keiryō, “measurement, measuring, gauging”) + 器 (-ki) = 計量器 (keiryōki, “a measuring device, a gauge”)
- 尿 (nyō, “urine”) + 器 (-ki) = 尿器 (nyōki, “urinal”)
- 印字 (inji, “print, type”, literally “stamp + character”) + 器 (-ki) = 印字器 (injiki, “a printer”, a smaller device, such as a handheld number and letter puncher)
/ut͡supa/ → /ut͡suɸa/ → /ut͡suwa/
From Old Japanese. Cognate with 空 (utsuo, ancient utsupo, utsubo), signifying a hollowness. Appears to be a compound of 空, 内 (utsu, “hollow”, combining form, standalone form uchi, “inside”) + は (ha). The derivation of this ha element is unclear.
器 • (utsuwa) (historical kana うつは)
- container, vessel
- a tool, a utensil
- one's degree of ability: talent, calibre
- female genitalia: a vagina
- (container): 入れ物 (iremono), 容器 (yōki)
- (utensil): 器具 (kigu) (smaller; such as in a kitchen)
- (tool): 道具 (dōgu) (bigger; overtones of equipment, such as in a garage)
- (ability): 器量 (kiryō)
- (vagina): 膣 (chitsu, clinical), 女陰 (join, formal), まんこ (manko, slang, crude), あそこ (asoko, slang, euphemistic)