The Radical: 固


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Meaning
hard, firm    固

Explanation Outside a frame , which stands as a placeholder for things that become hard with age , such as the meat of old animals or old vegetables/roots. In other words: "things" that are old are also hard.

Used in these Kanji:
JLPT 3Joyo 4
hard, firm, strong
katai, KO
Outside frame , but here: mouth , inside: old (= tomb stone). [Some things like the meat of old animals or full-grown vegetable become hard with age.]
In the mouth old things taste: hard. (In contrast: The young/immature is in the mouth with a taste )
JLPT 2Joyo 5
individual, private person
KO
Left: person /, right: hard (Some things with age become hard.)
A person who acts such hard (= tough) is actually an isolated individual.
JLPT 1Joyo 7
a piece, item (counter)
KA, KO
Top: bamboo , below: hard (Some things [=meat, some vegetable] with age become hard )
Bamboo is hard and thus suitable as an: item counter.
JLPT -Joyo 7
to imprison so., tie up, to bond sb.
KO
Left: gold/metal , right: hard/firm/strong (Some things [= meat, some vegetable] with age [= tomb stone] become hard )
Metal is hard/strong and thus used for a prison.

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