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I usually see the 投入{とうにゅう} on labels on ATM or train station gate. Is this kanji applicable to all flat input devices, or does it also include coin slot? I can only infer this means some sort of input because of the kanji 入. When I search this in the dictionary, it states investment or circuit. How do you define this word in general?

I also see 投入場, which seems to me to be describe receiving area.

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Are you sure you saw 投入場? Where did you see it? –  sawa Jul 1 '12 at 15:34
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「投入場」 is a dumping ground... –  Choko Jul 1 '12 at 17:50
    
@sawa the word is being used as a section in an car assembly system. –  Nap Jul 2 '12 at 1:13
    
@Chocolate do you mean dumping ground for anything irregardless of size. So for the train ticket, it is a dumping ground for ticket. For vending machine it is dumping ground for empty cans? –  Nap Jul 2 '12 at 1:14
    
@Nap Do you actually "dump" a train ticket on to "the ground"? I don't think so. And, implies geographical location, so it can refer to "(junk) yards", etc, but not "(trash) cans". –  sawa Jul 2 '12 at 8:58

1 Answer 1

I'm not Japanese, but I know a few places where I've seen this word used which might help to define it better.

When I researched the word 「投入」, I found that there are usually two predominant meanings.

The first would be "to invest" as you had previously stated. From what I have seen, phrases that carry this meaning usually involve money, resources, effort, and energy. For example, 資金、資源、努力、エネルギー. The important thing to remember is that things that are used with 「投入」in this way can be deposited or stored.

The second meaning that I saw meant "to be thrown into". Situations where this meaning was used involved realeasing a product into the market, being thrown into orbit, and soldiers being put in another area/country. For example, 製品を投入、軌道に投入、軍隊を投入、政策を投入.

So to answer your question, 投入 probably doesn't need to be only limited to a thin paper, but probably can be applied to something that you store/deposit/place in a container/invest. For this there is 投入口 which is close to "slot".

As far as 「投入場」, I honestly am not sure. However, I would guess it means something like "an area where you throw things into".

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