Glyph of the word 'ho'.


  • (part.) resumptive particle (marks antitopics, among other things)

Kau kavaka’u uamo, hou iku pou papayu i iko imata.
“Words can’t describe this picture.”

Notes: This is the one I mean:

A kind of mini forest.

Of course, it’s not true, as I’m about to describe this in words, but it’s an expression in Kamakawi. Literally it’s “The glyphs haven’t been written that explain this picture.”

What it is is a kind of bonsai called bonkei. It’s a bonsai tree that’s set in a miniature landscape, which itself is set upon a rock. There are a number of these in the Japanese gardens at the Huntington which are all quite stunning.

(Amusing aside: You couldn’t get away with referring to this as a “craft” or a “hobby”.)

The iku for ho is determined by the “ground determinative”, but that, really, is for lack of inspiration. The use of ho is a colloquial—and spoken—phenomenon. When encoded in the written language, this iku was developed to write it. It’s a kind of truncated version of the syllabic glyph for ho that has the “ground determinative” beneath it. Probably an associative usage: The particle “grounds” the sentence in reality, tying the two disparate pieces together (kind of what a resumptive particle is, in many cases…).

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