Sign, Mark, Brand 標

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Kanji: 標
Hiragana: ひょう、しるし
Pronunciation: hyo, hyoh, hyou, shirusi
Meaning: Sign, Mark, Brand

Compounds:
目標 (mokuhyo, mokuhyou) goal; target; objective
標語 (hyogo, hyougo) slogan; motto; catchword; watchword
標識 (hyoshiki, hyoushiki) sign; mark
商標 (shohyo, shouhyou) trademark; brand name
標本 (hyo-hon; hyoh-hon, hyouhon)
標榜 (hyo-bo, hyoh-boh, hyoubou)

Kun:
標 (shirushi) symbol; mark; evidence; proof

Special Reading:
標縄 (shimenawa) sacred rope;
標縄 (shimenawa) is a traditional Japanese ornament, a rope often used in sacred places or for special events. These are hung at shrines, temples, and house entrances, and are meant to ward off evil spirits and protect sacred objects.

標縄 (shimenawa) are made mainly of white linen thread or hemp cloth and have a distinctive shape. They are usually decorated with ornaments or decorations at both ends, and these ornaments may take different forms depending on the region and purpose of use. The common shape of a shimenawa is a figure of eight, consisting of two intersecting rings.

The use and form of the sacred rope varies from culture to culture and region to region, but some of the main uses are as follows

  • Decoration of sacred places: Shime-nawa are hung in sacred places such as shrines and temples. They are used to mark sacred areas for welcoming gods and spiritual beings.
  • Decorations for events and festivals: During festivals and celebrations, shimenawa are hung on gates and buildings. This indicates that the place is to be treated as sacred during festivals.
  • House Entrance Decoration: Hanging a shimenawa at the entrance of a house signifies the sacredness of protecting the house and inviting good luck. It is often decorated especially during New Year’s and Sekku festivals.

標縄 (shimenawa) are an important symbolic element of traditional Japanese culture and beliefs, and can be seen in a variety of settings. Because of their decorative nature and symbolic significance, they are considered an integral part of the Japanese cultural landscape.

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