Readings & Meanings:
I added one pinch of salt to the pot.
I purify myself with salt after the funeral.
The sumo wrestler threw salt into the ring.
I added one pinch of table salt to the pot.
土 is the left radical.
皿 is on the bottom.
口 in the middle.
塩 used to be written as this: 鹽.
Aren't we lucky it got simplified?
In the Buddhist funeral ceremony, you are in the same room as a dead body. It is traditional to purify yourself afterwards. Before you go into the house, you ask someone inside to throw salt on you.
Salt has this purification aspect in many cultures, and Japan is no exception.
If you watch sumo, you know that sumo wrestlers throw salt into the ring before they wrestle.
When I was living in Japan, I sometimes mixed up 塩 and 砂糖. Not the kanjis, but how you say them. Eventually, I tried to memorize them by remembering that they sound like the opposite of the English words.
さとう = sugar
しお = salt