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Indeed there are very many words like this, but here is my favourite example. Consider the following statement about a choir: 女声は下手、男声は上手! It might mean that the men are more skilled than the ladies (reading the characters as [下手]{へた}・[上手]{じょうず}) but actually more likely tells them which side of the stage to come on from ([下手]{しもて}・[上手]{かみて}).


There are a number of words like this. The most obvious one that comes to mind is 方, which can be read かた (polite "person") or ほう ("alternative", perhaps). Another example is 青山, which can be read あおやま ("a lush mountain") or せいざん ("a lush mountain" OR [metaphorically] "where one dies"). Also 心中, which can be read しんちゅう ("one's heart" or something like that) ...

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