Rekishi – History

[Created by Me]

How old does something have to be in order for it to be considered as history? Do things even have to be old to be called as a part of history? What makes something become history? What is history in the first place?

Those were the questions that popped up in my head as I looked through the table of contents of our new APUSH textbooks once again to determine how many more weeks of the hell, commonly known as the chapter outlines, we will have to face.

Interestingly enough, there just happened to be a section on modern United States history whose events are so recent that they are younger than even yours truly, who is known for being the youngest in his immediate and extended families. I highly doubt that we will ever reach those sections by the time the AP exams roll around in May, but I find it just so strange that events that have happened as recent as 8 years ago are already being recorded as a part of history, like the presidential election of 2008 which resulted in Barrack Obama becoming POTUS.

The kanji for the Japanese word for “history”「歴史」are quite interesting, particularly the first one. I can’t say much about the second kanji「史」, which means “history, chronicle,” but the first kanji「歴」, meaning “curriculum, continuation, passage of time,” definitely implies a history-related meaning with its radicals. First off is the roof over the rest of the radicals of the kanji「厂」, which could represent a building in this case. Underneath the roof are two trees「林」that are stopped「止」, presumably stopped in time. In this case, the kanji as a whole could represent a museum storing trees that have  stopped aging.


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