According to jisho.org they have the same meaning. How to know which to use?

  • @Tsuyoshi_Ito I didn't know about that tag. Nice edit. – user458 Aug 16 '11 at 19:52
  • @sawa: Thanks. I did not know, either, before I tried to tag this question with the [kanji] tag. The auto-completer listed this tag and I learned it. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 16 '11 at 20:30

This is one of the many cases where ancient Chinese had finer distinctions for a single concept in ancient Japanese, which lead to the same pronunciation and varied ways of writing in Japanese. As usual, there is a general one, in this case 作る 'make'. Then, there are the specific ones: 造る 'craft', and 創る 'create'. Usually, the specific ones can be replaced by the general one, but not vice versa.

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