漢字. Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing as opposed to the two kana syllabaries and rōmaji (Latin letters).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji

As I started peeking into Japanese, I see lots of characters in hiragana and kanji where the latter uses Chinese characters that are similar to traditional Chinese ones (I'm familiar with hanzi). For ...
6
votes
1answer
404 views

How to read this kanji?

Please tell me how to read this kanji. What does it mean?
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are 雷 vs. 神鳴り (...
6
votes
1answer
370 views

If 'little girl' is 「少女」, then why is 'little boy' 「少年」?

Question 少女 means little girl because 少 means little/small and 女 means lady/female. It makes sense here. However it does not make sense when I read 少年 because 年 means year. Is there any reason why 年 ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Are most kanji characters morphemes?

I've always assumed that kanji characters are almost always morphemes, but I've hardly seen anyone explicitly state that. I think the idea that kanji usually represent ideas, not pronunciation, played ...
-3
votes
2answers
202 views

Is knowing Kanji vital? [closed]

I'm, as a beginner, pretty bad with Kanji. I've heard that even some native japanese are. Is it really necessary to get the hang of it to be able to read/write in Japanese?
10
votes
1answer
276 views

How can one stop “去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】” from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

In writing, sometimes you get the illusion of a 4-character compound: Xさんは去年教職を退【しりぞ】いた。 This bothers some non-natives. To correct the "problem", can I always just place a comma between the ...
8
votes
2answers
202 views

Japanese novels 上・下

I have a couple of Japanese novels and textbooks that have the kanji 上 & 下 on them. Now, intuitively, I would say that the 下 kanji would be the book I start with. Whereas the 上 would be the one I ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning of 散斎条 in this context?

I'm trying to translate the following sentence, 八世紀の「養老神祇令」散斎条に、唐の令にはみられない肉食禁止条項が挿入されていること , but can't figure out the meaning of 散斎条. Searching the almighty google didn't yield any results either. It'...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

The kanji 一 in 神の一手

In the game of go (囲碁{いご}), the expression 神{かみ}の一手{いって} refers to the perfect game of go, and it is referenced multiple times in the anime Hikaru no Go. My question: Why 神の一手 and not 神の手? I can't ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Difference between 鳥肉 and 鶏肉

What is the difference between 鳥肉 and 鶏肉? A friend said that 鶏肉 is cooked chicken and 鳥肉 is raw chicken. That doesn't seem right to me since I've rarely seen 鳥肉 used.
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What does “扎し魔神” mean in this epiphet?

What does "扎し魔神" mean in this epiphet? I think it says "かつて魔法石を統ベる者と呼ば扎し魔神", but I'm not sure because the font has strange kerning... So, I'm having: "かつて魔法石を統ベる者" == "Former Magic Stone Lord" "...
6
votes
1answer
145 views

How to read 資格外活動許可?

I know 資格 is しかく, 活動 is かつどう and 許可 is きょか, but the 外 puzzles me here. Is it just がい?
4
votes
2answers
258 views

Why wasn't 欒 simplified to 栾, when 戀 was simplified to 恋?

A few pre-simplification kanji (旧字体) that had the 䜌 "radical" in them were simplified such that they instead used the simpler 亦 "radical" in its place, as with 戀 to 恋, and 變 to 変. However, 欒 (as in ...
13
votes
2answers
895 views

How did we get “Foreign Carrot Regime”?

How is it possible to naively get both "Foreign Carrot Regime" and "Foreigner Suffrage" from "外国人参政権"? I'm interested in how the same kanji can be combined in different ways to create a different ...
5
votes
2answers
127 views

The Kanji for ありがとうございます

有難う御座います is one Kanji spelling. However, I thought, 'is ございます here an auxilliary verb, and thus are the Kanji incorrect?' Should the proper spelling be 有難うございます?
5
votes
2answers
374 views

What really is 人身事故?

What really is 人身事故【じんしんじこ】 (jinshin-jiko) we often hear at train stations? Some say that it always means that somebody just threw him/herself onto a train track and got killed. Others say that it's ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Confusion regarding writing a word in Kanji and Katakana

In the One Piece manga, it's quite common to see the names of character's attacks written in both Kanji and Katakana. Take as examples: Gekko Moriah's Doppelman (影法師(ドッペルマン) Dopperuman, literally ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Should hibakusha be written in kanji or kana? [closed]

I typed hibakusha as "被爆者" in "被爆者:食べ物はあまり持っていませんでした。", and someone hesitantly suggested that I use kana. Neither Wiktionary nor jisho.org suggest using kana. Is there any linguistic or stylistic ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

How to read 向う?

This is a sentence from 「ふたり」 by 赤川次郎 向うは、やっぱり寒い? Does it read as むこう?If that is the case, then what is the difference between 向う and 向こう?
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Origin of the kanji for 叶う

One thing that has always confused me is how the word 叶【かな】う took on the meaning of for a (wish) to come true. I find this perplexing because in Chinese, the word has never had this meaning. 叶's ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

I assume this means next episode number 6 “第 六話”

I've noticed this season two shows end the preview with the episode number and title underneath - 第六話 - but this confuses me. How should I read this? Is 話 still はなし or is it something else? What is ...
1
vote
0answers
76 views

What is the difference between 判{わか}る and 分{わ}かる? [duplicate]

Until now, I though the only verb for "to know" was 分かる. I saw the verb 判る used for the same meaning today. 判{わか}ってるから言{い}ったんだけどね。 I knew that. That's why I said it. (source) It has the same ...
4
votes
1answer
348 views

Kanji or kana in お待ちください

It's considered proper (though often ignored) to write ください in 待ってください and 下さい in 赤いのを下さい, i.e. Kanji as a main verb and kana as an auxilliary. But a thought came into my mind: in お待ちください, is it an ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

How has japanese writing changed in the last century? [closed]

This is a fairly vague question and I will try and make it more specific, but, if possible, could you list the changes that have occured in japanese writing in particular? (e.g character change, ...
0
votes
1answer
426 views

Heisig story #30 (Nightbreak) 旦, shouldn't it mean “daybreak” instead?

I believe that the tittle already covers my question, but I will explain it better here. When I was reading the Heisig book (Remembering the Kanji, the sixth edition I believe) I came across the ...
1
vote
5answers
132 views

Which is the difference of meaning beetween 業 and 行?

I was looking at the 20 precepts of karate and I really like this one: 空手の修業は一生である The translation should be something like: Karate is a lifelong pursuit. Looking for it on google.co.jp ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

Why importing words from other languages rather than building new ones from existing kanji? [closed]

I would like to know why, in general, new words are imported (from English among other languages) rather that created with respect to the concept/thing they represent. For example, "computer" could ...
15
votes
2answers
13k views

When should I replace kanji with hiragana?

When should I write 海山 and when should I write うみやま?
5
votes
2answers
800 views

How to read 二、三日 [duplicate]

If you have the two separate words, it's 二日{ふつか} and 三日{みっか}. But how are they read together? ふた、みっか, に、さんにち, some combination thereof or something else entirely? Source sentence for the curious: ...
2
votes
3answers
219 views

母 stroke order irregular compared to 日

As I have learned kanji, I have been under the impressions stroke order for box kanji like 日 should be left to right, top to bottom. Most kanji seem very consistent, or so I thought. I recently ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

How to write 'seaweed'?

This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8fVS78tvzU) says that seaweed is written like 海草、but Google Translate later told me it's instead 海藻, with 藻 as the second Kanji instead of 草. I know GT ...
4
votes
2answers
996 views

Which reading is more common for 剣: tsurugi or ken

剣 by itself can be read either way. What's the difference? Clarification: In particular, when 剣 refers to a 諸刃 sword, which reading are natives more likely to use?
8
votes
2answers
763 views

名 versus 名前: Why is this seemingly redundant Jukugo used?

For example I came across a Jukugo like this: 名 (name) + 前 (before) = 名前 (name) What is the point in having this Jukugo when you apparently can just use 名. Can someone explain this to me?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Are all kanji compounds considered words?

A friend once commented to me that Japanese has a larger vocabulary than English. I said I didn't think it did, because it wasn't really accurate to call all kanji compounds "words". My friend said I ...
0
votes
1answer
326 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
265 views

Is it hard to write Japanese? [closed]

I see the Japanese symbols, but never asked myself how hard is to write using these symbols. It seems very inviable. How do you guys do when writing at Japanese? Is it really harder than, for example, ...
7
votes
1answer
319 views

What do you call the hooked tip of a kanji stroke?

When writing a kanji, some downstrokes have a clean end (such as in 木) while others end with a little hook (e.g. the center stroke of 小). What are the names of such stroke tips?
0
votes
2answers
450 views

口ロ Those are supposed to be different characters. How can you tell? [duplicate]

The first is supposed to be the kanji for mouth, "くち" and the sencond is supposed to be katakana. When I typed them in google translate, the sizes were different so I could differentiate them that way,...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Could someone help me identify this kanji? [duplicate]

There is 格, then that kanji that i can't recognise, and then 内 and 庫. What kanji is that one in the between the first and the third one?
2
votes
2answers
113 views
4
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
142 views

中{なか} vs 中{ちゅう}

When to read a character as 中{なか}, and when to read it as 中{ちゅう}?
5
votes
1answer
232 views

Why is hiragana used in the middle of this compound word?

I saw this article on Gizmodo Japan: だれもがスマホの便利さを享受できる第一歩。視覚障がい者がiPhone操作を学べるアプリ Obviously, this is 視覚障害者 (or possibly, 視覚障碍者). It is in the title of the article, as well as several places ...
6
votes
1answer
392 views

Where does “gold day” originate from?

Recently I learned what the days of the week are and noticed "kinyobi" 金曜日. I'd like to know where the term "gold" relates to. Were people in ancient Japan paid at Friday each week?
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Can't find this kanji

Normally, I don't have much trouble finding written kanji. However, this one has me stumped: The closest character I can find is 逃.
0
votes
1answer
127 views

What kind of kanji is this?

There is 格 , then THAT character that i can't recognise, and then 内 . Does someone have any idea of what that kanji is?
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Difference between「広げる」、「拡げる」

These have the same reading as ひろげる, but a different kanji. Is there any variation in connotation between these, or is it just variant spelling? Is 広げる then, as I believe it is, the more commonly used ...
1
vote
3answers
235 views

Would 日末 be a reasonable opposite to 日本?

As Japan is 日本, the origin of the sun or "Land of the Rising Sun" as it's sometimes put in English, would 日末 make sense as the "Land of the Setting Sun" as a west to Japan's east? For instance, ...
0
votes
1answer
512 views

What's the story behind 黒 and 黑? Why are they different?

In Chinese 'black' is 黑 and in Japanese it's 黒, but the kanji are not the same. In traditional Chinese it's exactly the same as in simplified so both are 黑 but Japanese is different. Was 黒 simplified?