漢字【かんじ】 is the Japanese name for Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing together with the hiragana and katakana syllabaries and letters from the Latin alphabet.

Kanji have several defining characteristics, including

  • a general meaning
  • 音読み【おんよみ】 readings derived from the character's historic Chinese pronunciation
  • 訓読み【くんよみ】 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 brush 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 reading
    Where all other measures break even, kanji are usually then sorted by 音読み according to Japanese alphabetical order.

Related tags

See also

  • Kanji on English Wikipedia
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