Google defines both of them as "beckon" and Jisho.org seems to define 手招く as "to beckon" and 招く as a whole lot of things like "invite" etc. Does the "手" simply indicate a "hand invite" of sorts i.e. to beckon exclusively, whereas 招く can have several different interpretations?

1 Answer 1


「[手招]{てまね}く」, as the 手 part would suggest, means "to signal a person using one's hand to tell that person to come near". The word, therefore, has a very limited meaning.

「[招]{まね}く」 just means "to invite" in general. To 「招く」 a person to a party, you may use the phone, email, snail mail, etc. You probably do not 「手招く」 someone to a "party" unless you are in the oldest profession in the world.

Thus, one could roughly say that 「手招く」 is one kind of 「招く」, but you should not use the two interchangeably at will.

Finally, 「招く」 has a few other meanings, the most important of which is "to cause" or "to bring about".

「[私]{わたし}のヘンテコな[回答]{かいとう}がOPの[誤解]{ごかい}を[招]{まね}いた。」 = "My odd answer caused the OP a misunderstanding."

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    FWIW, "invite" can be used metaphorically in the same sense of "to bring about": "My odd answer invited a misunderstanding [of something by someone]..." Feb 4, 2016 at 2:39

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