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

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Why are the common strokes of these two characters written in different order?

Consider the following characters, gyuu and sei. I know both are not exactly identical for sure. According to the textbook I am using, the stroke orders are given as follows. My question is why the ...
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201 views

why did Asahi Shinbun write “子{こ}ども”、instead of “子供{こども}” in this headline?

I just happened across an Asahi Shinbun article with a headline that reads: 日本{にほん}の子{こ}どもの幸福度{こうふくど}は6位{い} 豊{ゆた}かさの一方{いっぽう}、深刻{しんこく}な貧困{ひんこん} (-) Compacting articles as much as possible is a ...
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240 views

“Full” names of metals

When written as a standalone kanji, the following metals have longer, "full" names (based on their colour): [金]{こがね} → こがね [銀]{しろがね} → しろがね [銅]{あかがね} → あかがね [鉄]{くろがね} → くろがね In my ...
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100 views

How to correctly analyse kanji from jisho

I am newly learning Japanese , so I whenever I encounter a new Kanji I search for it on jisho.org , but then I find that there are given Japanese Kun Japanese on andJapanese names . How do I know ...
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308 views

Which kanji to use for 'change television channel'?

The verb for change is かえる。 Which kanji is used for changing a TV channel? Which kanji should be used, and why? Even native Japanese websites appear confused. Is it: 返る・変える・替える・換える? I must be hanging ...
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117 views

What is this kanji? It's too small for me to understand right now

If the image doesn't show up here is a link to it http://i.imgur.com/VOH3FlR.png
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194 views

Is there a way to find words for less popular readings of kanji?

Let's take 文 kanji for example: I can find words for its most popular readings - もん、ぶん、ふみ: 文字、文化、文、文人【ふみひと】 But here it says there are two other readings - あや and かざる - but i can't find words ...
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1answer
161 views

Why does 熊 have 能 in it?

Why does 熊 have 能 in it? What do the four dots mean, and what is that stroke called? When I say why does it have it in it, does anyone have either a linguistic interpretation, or am interpretive ...
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2answers
313 views

What should I expect to see in JLPT 5? [closed]

I am using various programs to study Japanese: audio CD's, Ja Sensei and TenguGo Japanese. Kanji are grouped by JLPT levels. Often kanji bleed across various levels. For example 車: くるま An ...
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1answer
145 views

The difference between 幸 and 運 as “luck” or “fortune”

I've come across these two kanji in a few cases for "good/bad fortune" and even in combination with eachother. I'd really like to understand if there's a subtle difference that I'm missing so that I ...
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1answer
175 views

complex sentence ending in a noun breakdown

どうせ知識だけ頭に詰め込んでる兵器 A couple things confuse me: How can we end a sentence in a noun? Whats the 「込んでる」? I thought something deru, but it doesn't use 出る.
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256 views

What is this character that looks like 人? Is it some kind of quote?

I want to convert this text to kanji. A translation is optional, I really want to just figure out what the kanji is electronically. 人サベージ? I'm really not sure about the first character "hito" or ...
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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.
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112 views

Translation of 通行人

I have the following translation I need to do for my introductory Japanese class. 最近、交通事故が多いので、左に曲がる時は、自転車や、通行人に気をつけなければなりませんよ。 So far I have the following. Recently there have been a lot of ...
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160 views

一番下のむす子 Translation

I have the following sentance that I have to translate for my homework. 今、ちょうど一番下のむす子が、昼寝をしているところです。 I am having trouble with the 一番下のむす子 part. I think might mean "youngest son" (number 1 low's ...
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370 views

why do some kanji have multiple stroke counts?

A few years ago, I came across the issue of one kanji having multiple stroke counts. Now, I need to review this: 牙 = (4 or 5 strokes) 瓜 = (5 or 6 strokes) 邑 = (6 or 7 strokes) .... If native ...
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1answer
338 views

What's the difference between 生む and 産む?

These two words both appear to have the meaning "to give birth" or "to produce". However, what is the difference between the two kanji used? I originally assumed that 生む meant "to give birth" and 産む ...
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2answers
257 views

what are kanji that can be flipped, but not rotated?

Plenty of kanji are symmetrical on the y-axis and x-axis. Plenty of kanji are symmetrical only on the y-axis. What are some kanji that are only symmetrical on the x-axis? I don't know one. What ...
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445 views

Japanese language “compression ratio”

Somewhat cryptic title, but a simple question. I start with the (logical?) assumption that kanji makes writing Japanese shorter than using romaji. How shorter is it compared to English written in ...
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233 views

adding 「化」as a suffix can create サ変名詞, right?What is the technical term for this?

"Personification" might be the term for adding 「人」or「者」as a suffix to a noun. I am pretty sure that 「化」can also function as a suffix to a noun. My perception is that adding 「化」as a suffix "injects ...
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Native speakers (basically) don't study radicals. So, how could they be useful for learning kanji? [closed]

In a recent post titled "Kanji identification?" the accepted answer stated that the "parts" for 「烙」 are "fire", "folding chair" and "mouth". Japanese native speakers don't understand what that means. ...
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1answer
161 views

Kanji identification?

What does the Kanji next to the bar at the bottom right hand side of the screen mean in this video? (The small bar, not the larger one): http://youtu.be/qIKNRmdEx5E?t=20s - The bar that it's next to ...
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232 views

Shorthand for [傘]{kasa} or normal use? 仐

I was at a Japanese class and saw what I thought was a mistake, or at best shorthand for the character [傘]{かさ} -> 仐 I thought the four ([人]{ひと}) had been forgotten but my Japanese teacher told me this ...
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1answer
111 views

question about 午前n時

I'm learning Japanese and I just finished learning Hiragana and Katakana and now I'm moving to Kanji. In my studies I found that 午前8時 means 8 a.m Ok, that's cool but I would like to know how to ...
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1answer
402 views

How do you correctly use 'gesu' 下種/下衆/下司?

下種/下衆/下司 are all pronounced "gesu." According to various dictionaries "gesu" can be used to describe a sleazebag, a humble person, or a petty official. How can one differentiate between which to ...
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225 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 ...
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1answer
332 views

what is the logic for assigning Kanji characters to certain radicals?

Why is 富 character under 宀 40th radical? why isn't it under 102nd radical 田 ? Why is 仏 character under 人 9th radical? why isn't it under 28nd radical 厶 ? etc. what is the logic for assigning Kanji ...
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1answer
157 views

Is there any reference material for the origins of kanji on-yomi?

I wanted to know if there is any reference source or authoritative material about kanji pronounciations and when they were first imported into Japanese? Any book or electronic source, English or ...
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320 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
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170 views

Why does the right side radical of 踵 have different stroke order than 重?

Why does the right side radical strokes order 踵 are different than 重 alone?
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190 views

Why does 「大雨」mean 「大量に降る雨」?

I've been thinking about the word 「大雨」and can't seem to ignore the kanji「大」in it. Why does 「大雨」mean 「大量に降る雨」 (a great quantity of rain)? Wouldn't something like 「多雨」be more appropriate? When I was ...
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171 views

What does 中 suggest when it's used with another word? (e.g. 世界中 and 絶望中)

I've heard it thrown about in different contexts, but I never quite under neither what it does or what dictates when the sound changes to じゅう in a context, as in 世界中. Anyone have any ideas?
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324 views

Why is 着 used for both “to wear” [着]{き}る and “to arrive” [着]{つ}く?

The usual situation with multiple kun readings for a kanji is that they are closely related in meaning (like [上]{あ}がる, [上]{のぼ}る). But with [着]{き}る and [着]{つ}く I fail to see any semantic connection. ...
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116 views

The usages of 厚い and 篤い

From what I read, 厚い is used when something is thick or abundant and 篤い is used when describing a serious illness. But what confuses me is that in a dictionary (Tagaini Jisho) both of these are in the ...
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1answer
134 views

Acceptable use of 黄

I've noticed there appears to be a class of Japanese colors which are denoted by -色. Most of these literally translate to "noun-color" (brown = "tea color," grey = "ash color," etc.) It makes sense ...
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1answer
150 views

How to read 前 on its own?

For example, when you're on a homepage, and on the bottom, you can go to the previous page with the 前 button and the next page with the 次 button.
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Understanding the abbreviated labels on a Japanese driving license

I'm attempting to write a guide to understanding what is written on a Japanese Driving License for Wikipedia, but I've reached the limit of my reading comprehension abilities. Here's a labelled image ...
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350 views

What does おめでとう煜ございます mean?

At first I thought it was a typo, but inserting the character 煜 into birthday wishes or the like seems to be common, e.g. おめでとう煜ございます おめでとうございます煜 おめでとう煜ございます煜 I have several problems: What ...
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1answer
219 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 ...
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1answer
966 views

Why don't radicals have the same definition for all kanji?

A radical is the portion of a kanji that is used to list that kanji in a kanji dictionary. It could represent the "general" meaning (whatever that is), it could represent the sound, or it could ...
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755 views

Why censor this one kanji?

I was watching an old Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, called Night of the Moonies, making fun of the Unification Church by putting them in the context of the movie Night of the Living Dead. ...
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1answer
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Using 着 Classifier

One of the kanji we recently learned in class was 着. We learned it could be used for to wear [着]{き}る, to arrive [着]{つ}く, and as either a "classifier for arrival" or a "counter for jacket". In our ...
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631 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 ...
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607 views

Usage of kanji for words usually written in kana

From a small discussion on chat, I currently can think of three categories where the word is usually written in: Hiragana but have kanji (成る, 有る, [炬燵]{こたつ}, etc) Katakana but have kanji ([頁]{ページ}, ...
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1answer
184 views

Kanji pairs that mean and are pronounced the same by themselves

I have found several pairs of kanji that are pronounced the same and mean the same when they are used individually: 目 and 眼 足 and 脚 木 and 樹 This especially bugs me because, in Chinese (my native ...
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1answer
379 views

Usage of simplified chinese in place of some kanji in handwriting

Of course I'm talking about casual writing as opposed to formal or polite writing. There are many 新字体 that were kind of "half" simplified in to the equivalent simplified Chinese forms such as 関 and 広 ...
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How many Kanji characters are there?

I have been searching around, but all the sources give completely different answers ranging from 2,000 to 50,000. So my question is how many Kanji characters that have ever existed since the dawn of ...
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1answer
213 views

What does “一味一禪” mean?

I have found a small Shodo fragment stating "一味一禪" - which is not the classical "Zen and Tea are of one taste" (禅茶一味). What is this supposed to mean? Is it correct Japanese (I suppose it is, coming ...
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312 views

Is there some way that a Japanese (sur)name must be written for it to make sense?

I understand surnames and given names usually have some reason for existing, and have existed for several years. My question, I guess, really is: if someone were making up a completely different name ...
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1k views

When we should use kanji?

I just confuse about kanji. I just learn a bit of kanji. But I want to know when exactly we use it? is there a rule about that?