LOVE: What does it mean? Insight from the Chinese Character 愛


Just like Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “I draw the flowers so big so that everyone else can see it”. I take apart this sacred Chinese character 愛-love so that hopefully you can see its beauty and make sense of it.

From the original Oracle Bone Script  more than 4000 years ago, to the complex Chinese character 愛, to the simplified version 爱, this character has undergone significant morphological (form) changes, yet its etymological (word origin) meaning remains intact and consistent. I have prepared two sets of interpretations, one based on the complex character form - 愛, one based on the Oracle Bone Script form. As always, the interpretation has to be consistent across ALL interpretations for ALL other characters such that each individual component of the character maintain consistent meaning throughout the Chinestory methodology.

In the eyes of the modern-day people, 愛 can be decomposed as

  • a caressing hand(爫, claw radical)

  • arms around each other(indicated by 冖)

  • heart(心) beating together

  • hands(又, active hand radical) raised up to high five(indicated by 夂)  

I then handpicked 18 images from pixabay to help you visualize the character, and to bring to memory the vast, vivid and the richness of this common yet sacred word.   

Love Conquers ALL


{Chinestory Valentine’s Day playlist} fuzzy friends & fantastic beasts

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.


{Chinestory Valentine’s Day playlist} best friends forever, aka.BFF

I am happiest when I’m right next to you.


perfect love cast out fear
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. ...
— 1 Corinthians 13:4-8


Over to you

What does love mean to you? How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your part of the world?  Make your comments below.