This kanji, ¸½, means "actual," "present," or "current". Its individual meaning is "actuallity." The right half is recognizable as ¸«, meaning "to see". If you imagine the left half as a ruler measuring sight, this kanji conveys a scientific approach to what is seen to create an accurate or actual view of what is immediately (and presently) visible. This analogy is reinforced by the compound form ¸½Âå»Ë, "contemporary history."
(Contributed by: Alex K. of Wesleyan University on 5/16/07)