Tokei (時計 - Clock/Watch)

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May 21, 2018 18:05 Egnlish essay
A tokei (時計 - clock/watch) is very important to our lives.

Tokei is composed of two kanji: 時 and 計.

Since 時 means "time" and 計 means "measuring," you may think it is reasonable that the composition expresses a clock/watch.

However, the kanji 時 doesn't have the reading of to (と).

Originally, tokei was written as 土圭, and it meant a latitude measuring instrument or a sundial in the Zhou Dynasty in China.

It was imported into Japan in the Muromachi period, and the kanji form was changed to 時計 in the Edo period.



「時」は "time," 「計」は "measuring" を意味するので、「時計」が "clock/watch" を意味するのはもっともらしく思えるかもしれません。