(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)
/ki2/: [kɨ] > [ki]
From Old Japanese 木 (ki2) (cf. phonetic Man'yōgana form 紀 (MC kɨX)), from Proto-Japonic *kəy. Cognate with Proto-Ryukyuan *ke, whence Southern Amami-Oshima けぃー (kʰɨː), Okinawan きー (kiː), Kunigami きー (kʰiː), Miyako きー (kiː), Yaeyama きー (kiː) and Yonaguni きー (kʰiː). Likely developed from fusion of older form *kə + い (i, emphatic nominative particle), similar to the sound changes at work in 神 in the shift from kamu to kami.
Now the modern Japanese word.
木 (hiragana き, rōmaji ki)
- a tree; a shrub
- wood, timber, lumber
- (graph theory, computer science) a tree (data structure)
- 猿も木から落ちる (saru mo ki kara ochiru): “even monkeys fall from trees”, i.e. even experts make mistakes
From Old Japanese 木 (ke2) (cf. phonetic Man'yōgana form 氣 (MC kʰɨiH, hɨiH)). Possibly an intermediate form. Obsolete in modern Japanese, and never found in isolation; remains in certain place names. Even in ancient times, its use was apparently limited to eastern dialects.
木 (hiragana け, rōmaji ke)
- a tree
麻都能氣乃 奈美多流美礼波 伊波妣等乃 和例乎美於久流等 多々理之母己呂
- 松の木の 並みたる見れば 家人の 我れを見送ると 立たりしもころ
まつのけの なみたるみれば いはびとの われをみおくると たたりしもころ
Matsu no ke no / namitaru mireba / iwabito no / ware o miokuru to / tatari shi mokoro
- Looking at the pine trees all in a row, they were just like the people from the household standing to see me off
/ko2/: [kə] > [ko̞]
From Old Japanese 木 (ko2) (cf. phonetic Man'yōgana form 許 (MC hɨʌX)), from Proto-Japonic *kə. Likely the original form. Obsolete in modern Japanese, and never found in isolation; only found in compounds and certain idioms.
木 (hiragana こ, rōmaji ko)
- a tree
From Middle Chinese 木 (muwk). The goon reading, so likely the original borrowing. Compare modern Cantonese 木 (muk6).
木 (hiragana もく, rōmaji moku)
- a tree
- short for 木曜日 (Mokuyōbi): Thursday
- When written in romaji, often capitalized as Moku.
- wood grain
- Often written 杢.
From Middle Chinese 木 (mù). The kan'on reading, so likely a later borrowing. Compare literary Min Nan 木 (bo̍k).
木 (-na inflection, hiragana ぼく, rōmaji boku)
- (derogatory) wooden, as of a person's character or behavior
- (derogatory) wooden, as of a person's mental abilities: blockheaded, stupid, dimwitted
木 (hiragana ぼく, rōmaji boku)
- a tree; more specifically, a living tree
- the bent and gnarled trunk or roots of an old tree
- wood, lumber
- something made of wood
- in ancient China, a wooden musical instrument
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Pellard, Thomas (2012), “日琉祖語の分岐年代”, in 琉球諸語と古代日本語に関する比較言語学的研究」ワークショップ, page 6
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
- ^ c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 20, poem 4375); text here