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

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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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115 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 !
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249 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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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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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 ...
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291 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 ...
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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 ...
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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" ...
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131 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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", ...
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199 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 ...
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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 ...
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金 pronunciation

I read that the kanji 金 ("gold") can be pronounced both as kon and as kin. When should it be pronounced kon and when kin? Is there any rule about picking one or the other? Thanks.
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how to say a kanji is ON-yomi ONLY

how best to say that a kanji such as 句 has ONLY 音読み , i.e., there is NO kun-yomi. 読みは音読みのみ ?? I want to tag posts at https://www.facebook.com/kanjirecog to indicate this without using romaji or ...
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On the replacing of kanji made obsolete in the 1946 reforms with similar-looking kanji.

This is my understanding but please correct me if some of my details are wrong: In 1946 the Japanese language underwent a reform and standardization process A set of 1850 kanji were made official ...
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322 views

Decomposition of kanji

I noticed that Unicode has slots for the decomposition type of kanji. I have been wondering why it has only 12 slots (and doesn't even include a slot for "indecomposable", an empty box for a character ...
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208 views

無茶 - “bad tea” = absurd; unreasonable

I have the following in a Zelda guide book I am translating. It is talking about being faced with a problem and trying various ways to solve it (you know the Zelda games). I am interested in "むちゃな". ...
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Is “琉語解釋” Japanese?

Today I bought a hundred year old book in a secondhand bookshop in Naha, Okinawa. It's a handbook of the Ryukyuan language in Japanese, though it has both Japanese and English titles there is no ...
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Using appropriate old characters with people's names

What is the general etiquette about about using the newer characters (新字体) or even a more modern version of the old character (旧字体) when used in names? Is it generally considered rude? For example, ...
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646 views

What’s an authoritative source for a complete list of official shinjitai kanji?

I found quite a few website tables and software conversors, but none that was both complete and authoritative. Is there any place I can find such a list in digital format? 拡張新字体 would be a nice ...
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323 views

Meaning of font variation in the case of the character 賭

Some Kanji characters are written slightly differently in the Mincho/Gothic typefaces or handwriting. Ones that come to mind are 令、心, and these have been discussed before [1]. This font-dependent ...
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324 views

Yakiniku (焼き肉 or 焼肉) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there any difference for compounds with/without okurigana? I was reading the wikipedia article about yakiniku. I noticed that in the title they use: (焼き肉 or 焼肉). The ...
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472 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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Distinguishing certain characters in handwriting and print (Similar-looking Kana and Kanji)

Japanese has some sets of characters which look very similar or even identical. Obviously, context is usually more than enough to distinguish which character is intended, but I'm wondering if there ...
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137 views

Multiple readings for singular 魚

In what situations is 魚 pronounced as 「うお」 vs. 「さかな」? I personally like 「うお」 better, but I don't know why. Is it reserved for only certain scenarios?
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736 views

Recognizing Japanese handwriting and translating

I have found an old Japanese note that I would very much like to translate. Background info: I found it in an old gaming console where you're supposed to scan barcodes (barcode is at the back of the ...
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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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Are many hiragana and katakana found in kanji?

I've noticed a few kanji that appear identical to a kana. 二 is the only example I can remember, where it represents both the kanji ni and the katakana ni, although I'm sure I've seen others. Are there ...
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Meaning of 員 - Heisig vs world

I'm studying the kanji on the Heisig's book "Remembering the Kanji" and yesterday I came across the number 56: 員 which is translated in the book as "employee". I also have a subscription on ...
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When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?

In their comment to an answer on the question "Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?", user sawa says: ... Chinese names should be written in kanji rather than ...
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when 澤 has a kunyomi of うるお

I'm working on another kanji riddle. 澤 has a kunyomi of うるお (followed by い or す). I've been digging around to try to figure out what this adjective(?) means. Swamp-like? Is this word the same as ...
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What's the deal with/origin of the character 曰?

I'm talking about the 曰 from 曰【いわ】く, not the common 日【ひ】 we all know and love. Why would they "make" two characters that look (for all intents and purposes) exactly the same? How do you really ...
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How did 革 “leather” come to mean newness?

How did the character for "leather" - [革]{かわ / カク} - come to also convey the meaning for "newness"? 広辞苑 lists one of the definitions (under かく) as あらたまること, あらためること, and we can see this in some of its ...
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What does 兜 mean in 黄緑彩兜唐草?

The text I'm asking about comes from a brochure selling pens with bodies of traditional decorated Imari porcelain. Here's the pen design, with its name: 黄緑彩兜唐草 From another brochure, I gather that ...
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What does 目 mean in 勝ち目?

The word 勝ち目 means "odds / chance of success". It is made up of two nouns 勝ち and 目. 勝ち obviously means "winning / victory". But what does the kanji 目 mean? Does 勝ち目 mean something along the lines of ...
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Kanji question: the onyomi of 江 is found

The onyomi of 江 is コウ. Can someone give me a real-life example of when this is read this way? It seems that most of the time its pronounced え... I should also clarify, yes, I can look this up in a ...
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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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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?
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kanjis have 音読み{おんよみ}、訓読み{くんよみ}、and something like “人名読み{じんめいよみ}”. But, what is the real term for “人名読み”?

sorry that I could not come-up with a better title... The readings of the kanjis in a person's name, is theoretically arbitrary. But in reality, a kanji tends to have a set of maybe 3 or 4 probable ...
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Is the convention to use a single quote to divide the “on/kun” readings in"重箱読み{じゅうばこよみ}?

When I have written "音読み{おんよみ}" and "訓読み{くんよみ}" in romaji as: "onyomi" and "kunyomi" I have been almost always corrected. "Onyomi" is changed to "on'yomi", and "kunyomi" is changed to "kun'yomi". ...
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Are all “on'yomi” monosyllabic?

I think that the Wikipedia entry for "kanji" has an error. Please look at the last sentence in the third paragraph underneath the "kun'yomi" heading. quote: "...This contrasts with on'yomi, which ...
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Reading of 退く meaning “Go away”

Here is a passage from my Japanese Bible 更に、悪魔はイエスを非常に高い山に連れて行き、世のすべての国々とその繁栄ぶりを見せて、「もし、ひれ伏してわたしを拝むなら、これをみんな与えよう」と言った。すると、イエスは言われた。「退け、サタン。『あなたの神である主を拝み、ただ主に仕えよ』と書いてある。」 - ...
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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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“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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Can I write Japanese name “Midori” this way - 緑?

There is female Japanese name "Midori," and I want to know the ways I can write it. I know it means "green," but maybe the name and "green" are different words sometimes. I used google-translator to ...
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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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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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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