Purpose: In this experiment we try to explain the construction and function of phonetic symbolism in Japanese. Materials: The words used in this exp. are 418 which are formed of 2 syllables and used repeatedly as adverb, for example paka-paka, peki-peki, bara-bara, basabasa, poko-poko, haki-haki, hara-hara etc. Method: Subjects are orderd to make a short sentence using a stimulus word adverbially with noun and verb as the completion test. Ss are 4 Japanese students and 3 Chinese girl students. Results: 1. Easiness and hardness of expression The time which needs to complete a sentence is different from words and persons. But considering the frequency curve (Fig. 1), these words be recognized as current words for Japanese except few words. And the expression of the words which need short reaction time have generally a common meaning for all Ss. 2. Limitation of meaning The representation of the meaning by the voice is limited by following factors. A) Relation of clear and turbid in consonants -k-g, s-z, t-d, h-p-b-The clear sound is bright and strong, the turbid is dark and weak. B) Character of double consonants Some consonants which connected with y, as kya, gya, sya, zya, tya-, represent childish, feeble, tumble and rashness. C) Character of vowel i express small and sharp feeling, a and o express large feeling,. a expresses clearer, warmer and larger than o, but o smaller but sharper than a, u is between a and o, e is smaller than o. Therefore the vowels may be arranged from small to large in the order of -I→E→O→U→A. D) Character of other consonants It is difficult to definit strictly the symbolic character of consonant expect above mentioned, but s and k seems to show slender, m fragility. 3. Commutability of meaning Interpretation of the same words by each S. is not always same. The sameinterpretation by all Japanese is not agreeable with the interpretation by Chinese. Japanese students are mostly agreeable with each other in interpreting words as things, but Chinese students express the same words as onomatopoeia. Generally the voice symbolize the matters by mean of the quality of vocal sound and the melody and rythm of pronunciation that is so called Gestaltqualitat, but when the matters are expressed by the latter, the special contents of perception can be changed transpositionaly, therefore the commutability of meaning in the phonetic symbolism is extended. But the commutability is limited in a definite meaning by the habit of using the words, and by the habit he phonetic symbolism becomes communicable and a special speech community is formed. In short the word is not only a meaning clanging to ear, but a voice clinging to habit.
1. Japanese letters, that include Chinese characters and Japanese “Kanaletters”, were originally formed from the figures and properties of things in the world; and when they are written, the sequences of the strokes are determined by the factors of drawing contour figures which also represent the figures and properties of things in the world. The part which is superior according to the factors of drawing, such as of spatial orders, of Cartesian Coordinate, of Size and of Enclosure, etc., is written first and the rest are done subsequently in relatin to the former. 1)2) 2. With regard to infants, about five years of age, who are instructed to copy a complex Japanese letter, the sequences of the strokes are all the same as those of drawing, while with us adults, there dominate especially the physiolo-mechanical factors against the psychological ones; in other words, the letters are written from left and upper side to right and lower side, and those parts which had psychological superiorities when the letters were seen as figures are done now subsequently. 3. In order to find the cause of this difference between adults and infants, and as we assume that the writing orders in adults have developed-themselves from those of infants according to some needs necessary to our practical writing situations. we take the infants into the situations which have such needs or conditions. If the sequences of the strokes in infants change, in these situations, into those of adults, we may justly say that these needs or conditions are the inquired cause. EXPERIMENTS 1: In the first place, eight Kana-letters, were presented one by one to be copied by the infants. The result was that almost all the letters were written like figures; for axample, was begun with the bigger, horizontal groundline which had the psychological superiority to the other parts, while in us adults the smaller but upper horizontal line comes first, which is superior owing to the spatial orders. 2: In the second place, fi ve of these Kana-letters were arranged vertically and so closely that they looked as a compact whole.(Fig. 1 in Japanese text.) With these copies, 14% of the writing orders was transformed naturally into those of adults. Though the percentage is low, we may say that this transformation came about under the influence of the above-mentioned conditions, for the writing orders of the infants have common, figural tendencies, and so far as one letter only is presented, very few transformations into adults' orders are seen. 3: Thirdly, in order to hasten the slow tempo of infants, we brought two of them into competition of writing the same copy as used in 2. In this series, the percentage of the natural transformation into adults' orders was greatly increased, ranging from 42 to 100%, which must be considered to be the results of the conditions of this series. CONSIDERATIONS. When we analyse the processes thus transformed, the characteristics are as follows. 1. The direction of every stroke does not change at all from what is done with a separate letter or with figures. 2. The no-touch processes which exist between such strokes now come to the front, they tend to take the most smooth and shortest cut of all the possible ways as are shown in Fig. 2, in which ‘A’ shows the transformed. This also proves the dominant participation of the physiolo-mechanical factors in these transformed cases. 3. In this way, when the infants are required to write letters in haste, not separate one by one where no regard to the following letters is needed, but as a vertical whole, in which the letters are closely arranged and have new properties owing to their positions, they begin naturally with the upper part of this whole according to the factors of spatial orders, and go on the shortest and the most smooth way to reach the lower end of it; these traces thus formed are the same as what are done by us adults habitually.
Problem: In the elementary school of Japan 1362 Chinese characters are taught to our children during the course from grade 1 to 6. But we are greatly disappointed to find that they can correctly write only 600 characters even at the end of the elementary education. This investigation aims to find out the reason why the learning of the Chinese character is so difficult. Method: The subjects were about 30 school-children per grade. They had to copy from 83 to 336 characters in the readers respective to their grades one by one carefully as good as they could. Work-limit method was used. Results: It was found that the school-children made many mistakes. The degree of occurence of mistakes was smaller than when writing from memory, but the tendency was the same. We can consider from this point why the Chinese characters are so easily mistaken for both writing from memory and copying. Such a learning difficulty of Chinese characters is considered to base upon the following: 1) As the Chinese character is an ideograph, but not a phonograph, it does not need syllabification in reading and writing. So that it is apt to be recognized as a unitary whole (Gestaltqualitat). 2) When we read or write the Chinese character, total impression dominates and detailed architecture becomes negligible. This is the essential condition for iniswriting of Chinese characters. 3) In addition, Chinese characters are always used in Japan with Kana-letters which are more completed. The contrast effect strengthens the Gestalt-tendency of Chinese character. This is a promotive condition for iniswriting of Chinese characters. Therefore from a psychological point of view many miswritings of Chinese characters are not groundless.
The purpose of the present investigation is to interprete and understand psychologically the expression of ‘Sabi’-experience, an aspect of the consciousness of japanese literature, from the treatise concerning Waka, Haikai, No and Sado (tea ceremony). We assumed the general meaning through the recent papers by many authors, dealt with the theoretical meaning of ‘Sabi’ and its origin, ‘being potential and implicit’ from unclearness and unsmoothness of its expression, and discrepancy and inconsistency in it, and proceeded to analyse its structure especially in the perceptional field. Regarding ‘Sabi’-colour, it is generally admitted that dark or blackish brown is preferable and dim, blackish, unsaturating, film and space colour like properties are favourable for it. As for clang, we can not find the ‘Sabi’ quality in BO high-pitched, but rather low-pitched, voluminous, dim, weak tone. To feel vibration as in japanese music may be its main factor. To enjoy sweet within hitter in our experience of taste, and to feel rough, cool, cold in cutaneous experience may also be required. From above mentioned, we can summarize that the characteristics of ‘Sabi’ experience is to find complexity within simplicity in our perceptional field. Further its spacial and temporal traits were considered. Asymmetry, nonequilibrium rejection of repetition in spacial form and soft, slow, steady motion in temporal are assumed as ‘Sabi’ traits. We can find such traits in the principles of the construction of japanese tea room and, of No-play. Calmness in activity Must be the essential condition of ‘Sabi’ experience.