This character contains three of our tree building blocks all squished together. It’s structure is actually very similar to the character 焱 (yan2), which means “flame”. Like western culture, the forest is sometimes associated with darkness in Chinese, so we can find this compound in phrases that mean things like “gloomy”, “eerie”, and “dark”.

I think forests are generally lovely places for adventures, but perhaps this wasn’t the case in ancient times! Pinyin: 森 sen1