This is a follow-on to a previous post: Character frequency in the Heart Sutra. That previous post broke down the characters in the Heart Sutra according to how many times a given character occurs in the Sutra.
This post goes a step further and looks at the “character components” and how often they occur. For example, the very first character in the title of the Heart Sutra is 摩, which is made up of three components: 广 + 林 + 手. But it doesn’t stop there. The first component of 摩, 广, can be broken down even further: 丶 + 厂. The second component of 摩 is 林, which is made up of two (identical) components: 木 + 木. The third and last component of 摩 is 手, which at least as far as I am concerned, isn’t broken down any further. In theory you can often keep breaking down components into sub-components into sub-sub-components, but you have to stop somewhere.
So, returning to 摩, it is made up of a grand total of six unique components: 广, 林, 手, 丶, 厂, and 木. Once all of the characters are broken down like this, we can count up how often each component occurs.
And to make things interesting, some of the characters of the heart sutra are also components of other characters. For example, 心, the second to last character in the title, also occurs as a component of three other characers: 想, 意, and 恐.
1 component with 22 occurrences:
1 components with 18 occurrences:
1 components with 16 occurrences:
1 components with 15 occurrences:
3 components with 9 occurrences:
氵 亻 丿
2 components with 8 occurrences:
3 components with 7 occurrences:
木 目 匕
4 components with 6 occurrences:
亠 二 又 儿
3 components with 5 occurrences:
言 立 八
8 components with 4 occurrences:
𠂇 罒 隹 主 宀 工 丨 𠃊
24 components with 3 occurrences:
厂 丁 殳 几 糹 夕 阝 彳 寸 古 十 田 疋 乛 龰 冖 心 音 戈 女 厶 自 矢 天
29 components with 2 occurrences:
广 可 舟 皮 虫 𠂉 寺 灬 刀 皿 白 穴 廿 七 禾 刂 爫 耂 戌 曾 勹 𠫔 月 辶 扌 巾 兄 人 小
106 components with 1 occurrence:
林 手 右 必 巠 巛 雚 見 咅 产 生 亍 罙 㓁 昭 召 縕 𥁕 囚 比 亼 共 皀 卩 戠 复 夂 者 去 烕 火 后 爭 彐 亅 咸 攵 艮 畀 丌 千 殸 耳 声 未 角 蜀 介 ⺻ 歹 首 䒑 知 㝵 旦 戶 斤 是 垂 卄 士 衣 石 疑 龴 巩 凡 忄 布 袁 𧘇 离 㐫 禸 凵 乂 冂 眞 頁 到 至 九 圼 般 弗 弓 豸 兒 臼 礻 申 𥫗 ⺼ 余 貫 毌 貝 虍 业 ⺊ 兌 曷 曰 匃 帝 少
This makes for a grand total of 186 unique character components (the large majority of which, sigh, occur only once). The grand total of all characters and character components is 293. Note that 12 of the individual characters in the Heart Sutra turn out to also be components of other characters in the Heart Sutra. These are:
一 見 生 心 自 耳 知 是 眞 至 般 曰