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

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Relation between kanji readings and meanings

I understand that a kanji can have several possible readings and several (typically related) meanings. Furthermore, I've noticed that a single reading typically corresponds to some subset of the ...
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不被下候: When was it common, and what were the rules?

In a shrine graffito written in 1559, two carpenters complain: 其時座主ハ大キナコスデオチヤリテ一度モ焼酎ヲ不被下候 'At that time, the high priest (stingy bugger!) gave us not even a drop of shochu to drink.' The form ...
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200 views

Are the meanings of 煙 and 烟 identical?

I noticed that 煙 in the phrase 茶煙永日香{ちゃえんえいじつかんばし} sometimes appears as 烟. For example, here is a teapot with 茶煙永日香 and a scroll with 茶烟永日香. Is there a difference in meaning between 煙 and 烟? 煙 and 烟 ...
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How does one know how to read 堪える? Is it 「こたえる」、「こらえる」 or 「たえる」?

The verb 堪える has three different readings: こたえる, こらえる, and たえる, and as far as I can tell they all mean "to bear, to endure, to put up with", with slight variations. Is there a way to tell which ...
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778 views

If 鳥肉 is chicken meat, what is duck meat?

鳥 means bird or poultry. It's understandable that 鳥肉 would be chicken meat since chicken is the most popular "bird meat". But in this case where chicken has monopolized the meaning of bird, how would ...
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149 views

Why was 邪 chosen to spell the names of 伊邪那岐神 and 伊邪那美神 in the 古事記?

I had been wondering about this for a while. Consider the spelling of he names of Izanagi and Izanami in the 古事記: 伊邪那岐神【いざなぎのかみ】 and (妹【いも】)伊邪那美神【いざなみのかみ】 (source) Both of their names ...
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Why “greengrocer” kanjis are 八百屋 (やおや)?

I've seen the last one (屋) many times before meaning something along the lines of "establishment where you can buy things or services". However, the rest of the word confuses me. Doesn't the word 八百 ...
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五年ぶり、ぶり返す、。。。What does ぶり mean?

Where does the ぶり in 五年ぶり (Five years ago?) and ぶり返す come from, does it have a kanji, and what does it mean?
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258 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 ...
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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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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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189 views

Why are there two readings of 留める

It seems like 留める can be read as either とめる or とどめる. JED, my Android dictionary app, cites とどめる, and so does wiktionary. But wiktionary's kanji entry for 留, it lists とめる, とどまる, and とまる as kun ...
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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 ...
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702 views

Is “豪斯多拉利” an ateji way to write “Australia”?

Several years ago I invested some time and energy digging up more ways to write "Australia" in Japanese than I ever expected would exist: オーストラリア is the usual spelling these days 濠太剌利 is a rare old ...
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What is the difference between 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, and 壽司?

It is likely that this is due to my poor understanding, but why are there so many names for「すし」? I think for the most part I have only seen the first three (寿司、鮨、鮓). For whatever reason in some ...
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What differences, if any, are there between 婦 and 女?

I came across 婦 from this English-language Wikipedia article. Jisho.org says that 婦 (which contains 女 in it) can mean married woman, but it can mean woman or lady, and it then lists words such as 婦警 ...
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Is Taito (たいと) (kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes) legit and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...
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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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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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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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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} ...
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Rust: 錆 vs 銹 vs 鏽 vs 鏥

In doing some looking around today I found four characters that all mean rust and are all read さび. Is there any distinction that can be made between these characters? 錆 銹 鏽 鏥
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Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
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What is the meaning of this kanji 摑?

Could someone let me know the meaning of the kanji 摑 that is the first character in this phrase? It's in a dialog from a movie scenario. It doesn't seem to be a 常用漢字 as far as I can tell.
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Is there a kanji for “hacker”?

As I understand it, most foreign words in Japanese are written in Katakana. However, I am curious as to whether in contemporary written Japanese, hacker is written as a literal adaptation of the ...
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What is “Sino-Japanese word order”?

In the answer to the thread What's the difference between 腹切{はらき}り and 切腹{せっぷく}? in the 1st paragraph, 2nd line, the author mentions "Sino-Japanese pronunciation and word order". I assume that ...
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Are kanji typically used in times and dates?

Are kanji typically for numbers used in times and dates? For example, would "七" and "十五" in the first sentence, and "九" and "三" in the second sentence be normal Japanese? (I'm aware that the ...
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Kanji reading: 一人KY、実?中

This morning I took this picture, finding the 一人KY poster amusing: QUESTION: What is the kanji before 中 ? In Gjiten I can't find it by combining the radicals of 止 and 残, nor by number of strokes ...
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Can Hiragana or Katakana stand alone?

Writing Japanese requires a mix of Kanji and Hiragana, usually some Katakana as well. I have read that some Kanji characters can be replaced with Hiragana characters for easier writing. My question ...
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Is 門 read as かど or もん?

Is it more common to read 門 as かど or もん? e.g. how would we pronounce the 門 in 彼らは門が開くのを待っていた。
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How and when do Japanese children learn kanas and kanji?

I wonder how exactly Japanese children learn to write. It may help a foreigner to know what is important to memorize or not. The only thing I know is that first of all, hiragana are learnt, and then ...
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Why is the order of bottom-left radicals different for some kanji?

In the kanji 道, 週 and so on, the ⻌ radical is written last, then the main element. The same for 建 and 延, in which the top-right component is written first, then the 廴 radical. But in 起, 走 is written ...
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What is this kanji ? Looks like 七 three times

Tonight I went to a sushi restaurant. It's called かね喜{き} as is visible on their inkan and in the company name. However, on their website it seems calligraphied differently but maybe I am just bad at ...
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ムダ足だった == useless leg?

When I look up the phrase 無駄足だった, I see it translated as "It was a Wild goose chase." I found this bizarre, since it seems like it would mean "It was a useless foot/leg." is this some sort of figure ...
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What is the correct syntax for large numbers in kanji?

Say I was trying to write the number 3,476,521,893,421 in kanji. How would I go about this? My guess was 三万四千七百六十五億二千百八十九万三千四百二十一 but it looks really wrong to me because it feels too Western to be ...
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Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

I will take 客 as an example: Can 客 form a compound with 席, 娟, and all the other thousands of Japanese 漢字? If I put 席客, but not 客席, will the meaning be different? Or will it just have no meaning? Or ...
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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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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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Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 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 ...
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187 views

How many Jōyō Kanji are identical to simplified Hanzi?

How many Jōyō Kanji are identical to simplified Hanzi? If we need to define a restriction for the simplified Hanzi, I would suggest List of Frequently Used Characters in Modern Chinese.
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「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」 - is there a difference?

In the short story I'm reading now (「ドライブ・マイ・カー」 by Haruki Murakami) there are two very similar phrases to express what I would translate as "too cautious": 「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」: ...
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120 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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Question on mnemonic device for characters such as 恋, 変, and 湾

I am currently studying kanji by using a number of sites, some of which provide mnemonics to aid in learning. While not a specific radical per se (I think), the top portions of the following ...