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

6
votes
2answers
127 views

About 忙 and 忘 using same radicals but having different meanings

Today I confused 忙 with 忘 and now I can see why: they are made of same radicals and yet they have different meanings. Is there a logical reason for this?
6
votes
1answer
144 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?
6
votes
1answer
614 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
396 views

Distinguishing 沙 from 砂

I looked up both 沙 and 砂 in my 学研{がっけん} 漢和辞典{かんわじてん} today. It appears that they share the same list of readings (サ、シャ、すな、いさご). I also see that some words can be written with either kanji. Here are ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the name for kanji that only have ON reading, but no KUN reading?

I have learnt that there is a name for kanji that were invented in Japan - kokuji. Most of them only have KUN reading and do not have ON reading. I know there are kanji that only have ON reading(s) ...
6
votes
1answer
437 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。
6
votes
1answer
267 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

What Does 火信 Mean? [closed]

I saw 火信 tattooed on a gentleman's neck. I looked up the words, but couldn't make sense of their combination... What does it mean?
5
votes
5answers
258 views

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
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What on Earth is this kanji character?

I was watching a Japanese YouTube video and the ending screen that says the usual ご視聴ありがとうございます followed by talking about what the next video was going to be, etc... I understand the context of this ...
5
votes
2answers
766 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: ...
5
votes
2answers
969 views

What does「英」really mean?

I know that the kanji 英 now really has the exclusive meaning of "English", such as in 英語, but I'm wondering what the original meaning was. It's used in words like 英雄, which obviously don't have ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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?
5
votes
3answers
232 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
386 views

Most egregious examples of the reading of a kanji changing due to (textually) distant characters

I've been thinking about how Japanese people can read a text (out loud, say) when the readings of the kanji can be so variable depending on okurigana, suffixes, or prefixes that change the meaning ...
5
votes
3answers
400 views

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。
5
votes
1answer
273 views

What does 回 mean in 回答?

What does 回, the kanji for "turn", mean in 回答 "answer"?
5
votes
1answer
334 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
216 views

Difference between 颜 and 顔

I have seen both used like 笑颜 and 笑顔 to mean smile (noun). afaik both are pronouced as えがお (somebody correct me if I'm wrong, ビギナーだ). So what exactly is the difference?
5
votes
1answer
211 views

Health related kanji compound: 了承群

I'm currently trying to plug my way through a Japanese article about end-of-life care for the elderly. So far I'm getting the jist, but one compound has stumped me. Here's the full sentence: ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today. I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

When is よう written in kanji as 様?

We have been taught a lot of uses of よう pattern like ように, Vます ように, sentence ending with ように, ようだ for comparison, etc. But everywhere in textbooks, the よう is written in hiragana. I recently found out ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 上{あ}げる and 挙{あ}げる?

I searched examples for the verb "ageru - raise" and I found it written with two different kanji: 挙げる 上げる Mostly their meaning is "raise". I found them with the following examples: 棚に箱を上げる。Put a ...
5
votes
2answers
860 views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...
5
votes
2answers
272 views

What's the reading of 二人 in this sentence?

The sentence is 二人間がしっくり行かない i'm confused when to use ににん and when to use ふたり
5
votes
1answer
416 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
706 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
265 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". ...
5
votes
2answers
460 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
807 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
483 views

Is 胡 missplaced in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary? [closed]

I recently tried to look up the kanji 胡 in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which uses the SKIP method to look up each kanji, and I couldn't find it. It seemed to me a relatively ...
5
votes
2answers
120 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
365 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
651 views

Difference between Japanese words for illusion with 幻

I was reading about the kanji 幻, which I take to mean illusion or vision(not 見 vision), and looked at words with it. I saw the words: [幻滅]{げんめつ}-disilusion 幻想{げんそう}-illusion 幻覚{げんかく}-hallucination ...
5
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
526 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
187 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.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is “kanji illiteracy” (kanji yomenai) in the context of native Japanese speakers?

In the context of native Japanese speakers (not non-natives), is there a concept that roughly translates as "kanji illiteracy"? If so, what are the Japanese terms for it? Also, what does it mean? Does ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Difference between the kanjis for “tears/なみだ”: 涙 and 泪

I found here that 涙 is a semasio-phonetic character (形声文字) while 泪 is a more visual version. Apart from that no big differences should be between this two ways of writing "namida". Anyway I would like ...
5
votes
1answer
484 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 jōyō 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
283 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

What is this strange kanji that looks a bit like 侍, but isn't?

Staying at a ryokan recently, I received some postcards with the following little poem: What are the characters that I have highlighted in red? They look a bit like [侍]{さむらい}, but based on the ...
5
votes
1answer
335 views

How is 家 in [name]家 pronounced?

How would [name]家, for example 田中家, be pronounced when referring to somebody's home in an informal or casual way? I think I've heard it pronounced ち but it could have been うち too. Perhaps both are ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Significance of 「温」 in 「温故知新」

This question came to my mind while playing 漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time. 温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning to learn from the past. It is a Chinese phrase* and ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is using 笑 to mean “lol” feminine or gender-neutral?

On Facebook, you see 笑 getting used a decent amount to mean "lol". To my American eyes, using something that literally means "smile" - and even looks semi-subconsciously kind of like an advanced ...
5
votes
2answers
575 views

Few hard to recognize handwritten characters in miniature umbrella

There are a few characters handwritten in a miniature umbrella acquired in Hakone mountain in the mid 60’s that I don't understand. Could you please help me with those characters? I’ve transliterated ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
398 views

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 ...