漢字: Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing as opposed to the two kana syllabaries and romaji Latin letters.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
209 views

How to classify the non-standard reading of “お土産{みやげ}”?

Is お土産{みやげ} an 当{あ}て字{じ}、 熟字訓{じゅくじくん}、 or something else? For 「お土産」 to be 当て字, the「み」reading must be part of the 音{おん}、訓{くん} readings or a 名乗り{なのり} reading for the「土」kanji. This is not the case. For ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

Is there a difference between 'hanasu' written 離す versus 放す?

I was looking for the pronunciation of 離す by searching 'let go' on Jdic. I came across 放す, but not 離す. Is there a difference between the 2? The example I was looking at was: ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Is it correct to write その方がいい, or do you have to write そのほうがいい?

I know 方 can be used for constructions with verbs' ta forms, but can it also be use with things like nouns, adjectives, etc.? My understanding previously was that it was all the same word, but should ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

てはいけない or ては行けない?

When using a "te wa ikenai" construction, do you have to write "ikenai" without kanji, or can you use 行? For example: 働かなくてはいけない vs: 働かなくては行けない My understanding was that the idiom was ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

When is “事” used instead of こと for past experiences?

In the "ことがあります" construction about past experiences, when is "事" used, and when is "こと" used? The textbook used in class uses "こと": 六本木の おんせんに 行った ことがあります。 If it wanted to use "事" instead of ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Are there any old loanwords from Korean, especially any not written in katakana?

Given the close proximity and long history of interaction of various kinds within East Asia, the great influence of Chinese in both Japanese and Korean, and the similar structures of Japanese and ...
9
votes
2answers
183 views

Why do 為る【する】 and 為す【なす】 use the same kanji as 為【ため】?

Why do the verbs 為る【する】 and 為す【なす】 ("to do") use the same kanji as 為【ため】 ("because of", "for the sake of", etc.)? I'm not seeing any obvious connection between the meanings of する・なす and ため that would ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Japanese without Kanji [closed]

Everyone says Japanese is a hard language, but if you remove the Kanji learning part from it, is it just as easy as any other language which just has a different writing system? Is spoken Japanese ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

How do native speakers “read” single-kanji signs when those kanji are not also standalone words?

In my time in Japan I've noticed a few kanji that can be used on their own commonly in various kinds of signs, yet I don't think they are also words in their own right: 押 引 危 開 閉 Since all kanji ...
6
votes
1answer
356 views

Is there a kanji for しか?

Is there kanji for しか as in. 商品がひとつしかありません。
7
votes
1answer
274 views

understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?

I would like to understand this Zen calligraphy: ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Is there a “right” or “best” way to write this Okinawan expression for “cheers”?

When I was still in Okinawa I learned how to say "cheers" / "乾杯{かんぱい}". You can either say just karii or you can use the extended version I pefer karii sabira. My question is how to write it? I have ...
8
votes
2answers
235 views

Same word - written with kana and kanji in two places in the same paragraph. Why?

I am aware that some Japanese words can be written in either kana or kanji and that the rules about it are not set in stone. This has already been discussed in some questions and answers here (e.g. ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

In which terms, if any, is へつ used as an On-reading of the character 閉?

Just now in the chat room we came across a reading of the kanji 閉 that seems to be either rare or erroneous. In the English Wiktionary's entry for 閉 there is the following "Readings section": On: ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Help identifying low-res kanji (and perhaps words) on a low-res album cover

Listening to an ancient rip of Escaflowne soundtrack, I wanted to add artist information to one file. I managed to identify some things from context and matching guesses to dictionary entries, but not ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Intuitive or logical way to know when to use a kanji spelling vs hiragana spelling?

A recurring theme on this site is that foreign learners of Japanese use too much kanji. Often the reaction is puzzlement that we can't "just know the right way". Native speakers literally say they ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Why do song lyrics frequently include rare kanji or kanji where kana would usually be used?

Rather than alternative readings (as seen in manga etc.) I mean deliberate use of a more complex kanji in place of a simpler one, or use of kanji when kanji would not normally be used. A few examples: ...
0
votes
2answers
186 views

Clarification on a Translation

After all this time I think I finally have my translation of "Walk your own path. Let People talk." But before I put it in my CAD program, I would like to get an opinion on the word usage and grammar. ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

Kana causing translation difficulty: 「きれている」

Ok, so I've been having trouble with a passage. It's mostly written in kana, and I can get most of it, but because of the kana, I have no idea what a certain word is. At the beginning of the music ...
8
votes
1answer
201 views

How to read single stand-alone language-name kanji?

So we all know that most (all?) countries' names can be written in kanji as well as kana. And occasionally kanji from these names are used to represent the language of those countries. For example, we ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

What purpose did the kanji read “たいと” (雲雲雲龍龍龍) serve?

Back in the day, my friends and I derived much amusement from the kanji that is read 「たいと」, which consists of three 雲 and three 龍: What actual purpose did this kanji serve? The Japanese Wikipedia ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

What is this kanji? 「兵」

I am having difficulty locating this kanji. My guess is the radical is cliff "厂" with 7 strokes. However, my dictionary fails me. The closest I got is 后.
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Deciphering Kanji [closed]

The kanji are very confusing to me. Not quite sure how to read them phonetically. Of course ' I am just getting familiar with katakana and hiragana. Is there a way to decipher kanji into hiragana? Or ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

硬い・堅い・固い - how are different spellings used?

硬{かた}い, 堅{かた}い, and 固{かた}い all have very similar meaning and can be generally translated to English as "hard, tough, solid, stiff". Yet it seems that different kanji are used in different situations. ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Kanji radicals: Question to the radical assignment in dictionaries

I was browsing through the webpage of Japanese radicals on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_Japanese_kanji_radicals) I noticed 74 - 月 and 130 - 肉 bot entries are referencing in ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Run-in with an odd use of kanji 「供膳」

I'm currently working on a translation of a song ("故" by Gremlins) and I have run into something quite strange... While it is not unusual for Japanese lyricists to use kanji with a different meaning ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the best utility for identifying kanji? [closed]

I often run into kanji that I don't recognize and need some way to translate them into kana, so that I'm able to look up the meaning. What's the most useful utility (in any form, web-based, ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

Help identifying a low-res kanji

I've been playing an older Japanese video game, and I've come across a kanji that I'm unable to identify. I've attempted to use the radical lookup on jisho.org, but the low-resolution is making that ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

ふるさと (home town, birthplace) uses which kanji - 古里 or 故郷?

I've noticed that there are 2 ways (at least, maybe more) of writing ふるさと (home town, birthplace): 古里 故郷 Am I correct? Are they interchangeable? Is one used more often than another?
14
votes
1answer
696 views

Is there a list of kanji ordered by usage in novels?

I have found many lists of kanji ordered by their usage in newspapers, but are there any lists that order by their usage in novels and other fictional material? This might be useful to have because ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Can an average Japanese person read 草書 style calligraphy?

Apart from learning Japanese language, I've also started learning Japanese calligraphy (書道). I have a question about 草書 style (cursive style in English?) calligraphy. Most 草書 style kanji seem ...
-1
votes
1answer
166 views

こおれえぐす, こーれーぐす, こおれえぐうす, or こーれーぐーす to get the word 高麗胡椒? [closed]

高麗胡椒 is a condiment originating in Okinawa that consists of chilis immersed in awamori. I don't know how to type it, especially the long vowels. I can get neither the katakana nor the kanji spelling ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

even on 常用漢字表{じょうようかんじひょう}, no kanji have an official 送{おく}り仮名{がな}?

Recently, I was talking with a friend regarding the 常用漢字表 as specified here I noticed that the 送り仮名 property of kanjis is not specified. She was a little puzzled, but concluded that the 文部省{もんぶしょう} ...
10
votes
4answers
293 views

kanji 有る, usage in the negative be verb

I am curious about a bit of academic pedantry of trivial importance. If I wanted to put kanji in 日本人ではありません, would I use 有りません? This looks weird to me because 有 has some connotations of possession as ...
1
vote
1answer
295 views

How to read this kanji? (see image)

All the methods I know failed. My count is 7 strokes, but may be wrong. I think the key is the bottom part, but no radical matches its shape. The rest of the word, including particle, is: きながらでも ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Pre-Kana Kanji readings

How did Japanese know how to read kanji before invention of kana? (having only kanji to write a language) Without kana and romaji, if they heard a new word - how could they look it up in a ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Kanji identification

What's the 2nd kanji in the image below? I know that the first one is for oni, the second is 'mushi'. Can't seem to figure out what comes before 'mushi' though !
6
votes
1answer
218 views

Which readings were changed in the 2010 Jouyou kanji reform?

I'm looking for pointers on which readings (on/kun) were changed in the 2010 reform. By that I mean which kanji has additional readings and which kanji has had one or more readings removed? Is there a ...
4
votes
2answers
620 views

Should I use On reading or Kun reading for numbers?

I've just started to learn Japanese, and I've been looking at the Joyo Kanji. Most of the words have On reading and Kun reading. I was wondering, which one is most popular and when should I use one ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Are both spellings for ふけ (fuke) “dandruff” ateji? If not what's actually going on?

The other day after washing my hair I decided to add the Japanese word for "dandruff" to my vocabulary. It turns out to be an interesting word. It has only one pronunciatation, ふけ (fuke), but two ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

How do I know whether 毎月 should be まいげつ or まいつき

This is my first question here and I'd like to ask something that has been bothering me for a while. Some words written in kanji can be read using both onyomi and kunyomi of some of the kanji and the ...
8
votes
3answers
786 views

What is the radical which is written by two dots on the top of a Kanji?

I have seen a lot of kanjis with two dots on the top as in 前、咲く、呼ぶ、etc. What is that radical? In http://jisho.org/kanji/radicals/, I see they have mentioned this two dot radical in their list, but ...
4
votes
3answers
273 views

If 校 is the kanji for school, why do I need 学 to actually say school?

Perhaps a dumb question, but something that I was wondering and couldn't find a clear answer via search. Since 校 is the kanji for school, why do we also need the kanji for learning 学 to say "school" ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

音{おん}訓{くん} for 肉{にく} and 皿{さら}

As per a "中学{ちゅうがく}漢字{かんじ}ドリル" textbook used by native speaker students in Japan, this is the 音訓 readings specified for "肉" and "皿": 肉 音: ニク 訓: none given 皿 音: none given 訓: さら Yet, at ...
5
votes
3answers
138 views

Where does 見 come from in 見捨てる or 見殺し?

I wonder if there is a certain meaning of 見 that isn't immediately obvious or straight-forward. 見捨てる and 見殺し both carry this idea that, through inaction, something bad is allowed to happen. There may ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

雨 pronunciations

I have a question about this character: 雨 I know each kanji has so many pronunciations, this is pronounced "ame" but it has other pronunciations, could you please tell me when to pronounce it ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

漢字 classification: 象形、指事、会意、形声

I'm looking at this table of classifying 漢字 into the types 象形文字、指事文字、会意文字、形声文字 (and 転注文字 and 仮借文字, but I'll focus on the first four for now). I like the idea of 見 "to see" being an "eye" on "legs", ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Shinjitai kanji that existed prior to simplification?

I've been doing some researching on kanji characters, and was wondering if there were cases where already-existing characters were used as the final 新字体 form of a character. To clarify, I'm not ...
9
votes
3answers
999 views

How did 服 come to have meanings related to both “clothing” and “submission”?

服 by itself means "clothing" (e.g. 服を着る), and there are also some related derivative terms like 私服, 制服, 和服, 洋服, etc. On the other hand, you have words like 征服 "conquest", 克服 "overcoming", 承服 ...