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

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Are there kanji which are NOT words by themselves (written standalone)?

In other words, are there kanji, which can only be used as a part of a kanji compound and/or with okurigana? For example: 見 - standalone kanji, a word which means "view", "outlook" 見物 - kanji ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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1answer
239 views

Etymological connection between 門 and 円?

I'm curious if there's any historical link between the kanji for "gate", 門{かど}, and the kanji for "circle" or "yen", 円{えん}. If 門 is gate, 円 looks like a closed gate. Am I being whimsical and seeing ...
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4answers
3k views

What's the best utility for identifying kanji? [closed]

I often run into kanji that I don't recognize and need some way to translate them into kana, so that I'm able to look up the meaning. What's the most useful utility (in any form, web-based, ...
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2answers
442 views

How do you read 麻色?

Don't know if it should be read as まいろ, まあいろ, あさいろ or in some other way. Couldn't find it in any dictionary. Context:
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1answer
100 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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105 views

How do you know what word to write in its kanji correspondence?

My study book writes some words like あまり and おおぜい in pure hiragana and I can't figure out whether it is common to write these words in hiragana as the books says, or I'd better write them in their ...
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1k views

Is there a list of kanji ordered by usage in novels?

I have found many lists of kanji ordered by their usage in newspapers, but are there any lists that order by their usage in novels and other fictional material? This might be useful to have because ...
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1answer
249 views

What is the correct way to read chapter numbers? (e.g.: 第1話)

I see this form often in manga book indexes. My dictonary gives me ダイ and テイ as possible readings for the first kanji, and I'm also not sure if the number should be read as a counter (like 一つ is read ...
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1answer
100 views

Multiple common kanji for a word: which to use?

I have been using jisho.org and aedict (android) to look at the definition, kanji and reading of words. Sometimes though, they list words that have multiple kanji in use and they are all indicated as ...
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104 views

Difference between 運命 and 命運

To my knowledge, 運命{うんめい} is the more common of the two terms, meaning fate / destiny. 命運{めいうん} is clearly the same 漢字 reversed, and translations give the same meaning of fate / destiny. I was ...
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4answers
1k views

不 and 非 and 無 and 未 usage difference/rule

Is there any rules that govern when to use 不 and 非 and 無 and 未 in regards to the meaning of "not" or "un-" for instance 非表示, 不満 
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1answer
86 views

Is there a difference with 胃 and おなか?

I checked around and it says here about the usage of 胃, however, I didn't see おなか there. What is the difference in おなか and 胃, in pronunciation and usage?
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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
239 views

Which radical name should I study for the kanken?

I love learning kanji, so I thought about taking the kanken (probably level 6). So I started to look for information here and there, and it seems I'll have to learn radical names. I'm totally fine ...
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What does 花つ月 mean?

緋【あか】色【いろ】の花【はな】つ月【づき】 I'm trying to figure out the meaning for this part of kanji in a title for a series. The red flower month? The red flower moon? The month of blossoming red flowers? I'm ...
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3answers
302 views

Why is “学生” made “plural” in this newspaper article?

The ending of the first line of the first paragraph in the newspaper article titled さくら市の歩み一冊に reads ... さくら市の記念誌を文星芸大(宇都宮市)のデザイン専攻の学生たちが制作した。 My understanding is that that means: The students who ...
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2answers
132 views

Seeing the invisible の in old names and words

In many place and people names, there is an "invisible の", e.g., 三宮 is read さんのみや and 中大兄皇子 is なかのおおえのおうじ. This can also happen in words: 班田収授法 is read はんでんしゅうじゅのほう, which I am less comfortable with ...
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森 vs 林 for forest

According to A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, 森 (38) is woods and 林 (75) is forest. But some material I've found online related to Japan seems to indicate 森 is the more correct Japanese ...
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2answers
166 views

木 vs 樹 for trees

It seems that one difference between the usage of 木 and 樹 is that while both mean tree, the former is also used to mean wood. My question is, is there a further distinction for living trees? I'm ...
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65 views

Can anyone help translate this Kanji? [closed]

Can someone please help me translate this kanji? I saw it on a tattoo and would like to know what it means. Thank you so very much in advance!
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110 views

Using the Nelson index# as a means to order kanji? What do natives use?

What is the universal standard used by Japanese natives to assign ordering to a group of kanji that might be as simple as: [決、元、川、湖] As a non-native, my thinking is that I can use the index# of ...
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2answers
188 views

Difference between 類 and 類

What is the difference between 類 (unicode: 985e) and 類 (unicode: f9d0)? They look virtually identical (at least as rendered by my computer). Rikaichan says that the former has 18 strokes and the ...
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0answers
91 views

Usage of Heisig radical “big”

I'm using RTK to learn the Kanji and yet am pretty happy with it. To review the Kanji I am using an Anki deck. My question is about the usage of Heisig's 大 radical for example in 器. In the book ...
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1answer
161 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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117 views

What does 兼 mean when it appears next to a person's name in an organizational chart?

The 兼 character appears next to some people's names in the organizational chart of the company I work at, as shown below. 田中 太郎 (兼) What meaning does the 兼 character signify in this context?
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
133 views

Radicals : How to remember suffix-es, readings and positions?

There are 214 radicals, and their positions can be either Hen, Tsukuri, Ashi/ Ashi Variant, Kanmuri, Nyō, Tare or Kamae/ Kamae Variant. One example 衝(oposition), so this kanji is made of the kanji ...
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Radicals: がしら (gashira) endings?

Does somebody know for what the [がしら]{gashira} ending stands in radicals like: eight (はちがしら{hachigashira}) winter (ふゆがしら{fuyugashira}), or short thread (いとがしら{itogashira})? Is it part of あし{ashi} ...
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1answer
402 views

Looking for a kanji/symbol used for counting noodles

Just to add some context: I was with a Japanese friend at a うどん and そば restaurant in 浅草 where they had a small sign by the counter to buy their fresh noodles. However, the size of the portion was not ...
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1answer
95 views

What are kanjimaniacs? [closed]

I've seen that there are people obsessed with kanji, and they are seen as kanji lovers, could you explain me why? and give me some examples of it? where is better to use hiragana or katakana instead ...
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181 views

What does 回 mean in 回答?

What does 回, the kanji for "turn", mean in 回答 "answer"?
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7answers
3k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
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5answers
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Why are there two versions of the kanji for 冷?

The screenshot below is from Kotoba for iPhone. It shows the character for "cool", 冷 as used in the word 冷たい. However, the character in the stroke order diagram is slightly different to the main ...
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2answers
264 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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2answers
184 views

Is there a name for kanji compounds consisting of kanji with the same radical and for compounds with repeated kanji?

There are lots of 二字熟語, say, where both characters have the same radical, e.g., 明日, 機械, and 往復. I find these interesting as often the common radical is strongly associated with the meaning of the ...
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1answer
3k 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?
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174 views

Nanori reading needed for JLPT?

I understand that the On- and Kun- readings are important to know and understand. However, what about the Nanori readings? Are they worth studying if I am aiming to just take the JLPT tests?
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195 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 ...
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3answers
348 views

My name is Midori, but I have never known the Kanji

My parents are not Japanese but they named my sister and me with Japanese names for the meanings they had: Mariko - Child of Truth Midori - Youthful Immortal. With these definitions as guidance, can ...
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1answer
169 views

due to kanji variants, are 器械、海外、劍道 even words?

I am interested in kanji variants. Please consider these three variant pairs: (normal kanji) 剣 ---> (variant) 劍 (normal kanji) 海 ---> (variant) 海 (normal kanji) 器 ---> (variant) 器 ...
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Translation and kanji help

I was reading a text but somehow my brain managed to freeze and I have utterly no idea what was said. In the image is the text itself, and I figured the first kanji should be 抱, but I'm not sure of ...
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129 views

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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1answer
434 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
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1answer
169 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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2answers
136 views

What part of the kunyomi must be learned?

I've just started learning kanji but I don't understand what part of kunyomis I should memorize. This is the first kanji in kanjidamage.com: 一 Its kunyomi is this: ひと*つ According to howto page of ...
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344 views

What is kanji pronounciation used for?

I don't understand the reason to learn Onyomi and Kunyomi of the kanji. Do they have any use besides reading out loud? Can't a person just learn the meaning and read?
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What is the connotation of 焦点? [closed]

I'm trying to figure out the specific connotation of this kanji. Can anyone help?
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175 views

Did ある and いる once have kanji?

I'm surprised I haven't been able to turn up anything, but I'm sure you'll notify me if there's a dupe I missed. Did the verbs ある and いる ever have kanji? I recognise that it won't be in use today.
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1answer
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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 ...