Hanja Word Drill: 門 – 문 문

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After doing numerals, I always feel wanting for hanja that is more than just a number. So I’ll wrap this post up by discussing a non-numeral hanja. That hanja is 門 [문], one that is both a word and a character. Let’s take a look at this basic hanja, shall we?

Hanja #34: 門 – 문 문

門 [문] is a simple character you will see a lot in Korea. It is in the name of many of Seoul’s tourist attractions: The Eight Gates of Seoul. I guess with this little tidbit of information you can already guess what the character represents. It, indeed, represents “door” and “gate”. You have to see this as a very broad concept and you will see it used in a quite a few Korean words.

Gates of Seoul

However as I mentioned, the in Seoul, 門 [문] is a character that is part of the name for all 8 of its gates. So why don’t we talk about those. The eight gates are divided into two groups: 사대문 [] (The Four Great Gates) and 사소문 [] (The Four Small Gates). The large gates are at the cardinal points (North, East, South and West) and the four smaller gates are in the cardinal points in-between (Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest). Furthermore each gate has an official name and direction name. Let’s go over all of them:

  1. Sukjeongmun: 숙정문 [肅靖] or 북대문 [] (‘North Big Gate”)
  2. Heunginjimun: 흥인지문 [興仁之] or 동대문 [] (“East Big Gate”)
  3. Sungnyemun: 숭례문 [崇禮] or 남대문 [南] (“South Big Gate”)
  4. Donuimun: 돈의문 [敦義] or 서대문 [西] (“West Big Gate”) | No longer exist, location simply marked.
  5. Changuimun: 창의문 [彰義] or 북소문 [] (“North Small Gate”)
  6. Hyehwamun: 혜화문 [惠化] or 동소문 [] (“East Small Gate”)
  7. Gwanghuimun: 광희문 [光熙] or 남소문 [南] (“South Small Gate”)
  8. Souimun: 소의문 [昭義門] or 서소문 [西] (“West Small Gate”) | No longer exists, location simply marked.

Besides these 8 gates, though other gates still exist in Seoul and they to use the hanja 門 [문] in their name. Pretty cool to see so much history when learning hanja, no? By the way, with the basic hanja of level 8 you can write the directional names of all 8 gates!

If you happen to know any other word you think has this hanja, let us know in the comments.

Our 一 Vocabulary List

*Meanings written in italics are the meanings when you use the noun as a 하다 verb.

한국어 Meaning 한자어
Door; Gate
대문 Main entrance, main gate
수문 Floodgate, lock
교문 School gate
Hanja Word Drill: 門 – 문 문
Hanja Word Drill: 門 – 문 문

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November 11, 2017

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