漢【かん】字【じ】: Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing as opposed to the hiragana and katakana syllabaries and romaji Latin letters.

Kanji have several defining characteristics, including:

  • a general meaning
  • 音【おん】読【よ】み readings derived from the character's historic Chinese pronunciation
  • 訓【くん】読【よ】み readings that are native to Japanese

Kanji are typically classified using the following characteristics:

  • Radicals: distinctive visual elements of the characters which are used to create logical groupings, often with related meanings
  • Stroke Count: The number of pen strokes needed to write the character. Stroke order for kanji is a rigidly defined concept, with a prescribed order that is considered "correct" for all characters.
  • On-Yomi: Where all other measures break even, kanji are usually then sorted by 音【おん】読【よ】み according to Japanese alphabetical order.
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