I would like to know whether a Japanese word combining at least two kanji can combine both on'yomi and kun'yomi characters, within the same word.



The Answer is yes. There are "重箱読み (ju-bako-yomi)" and "湯桶読み (yu-tou-yomi)" in Japanese vocabulary (in 2 kanji words only).

重箱 is read as Ju-bako. "Ju" is on'yomi and "bako" is kun'yomi. Like this, it is called 重箱読み when 1st kanji is on'yomi and 2nd kanji is kun'yomi.

湯桶 is read as Yu-tou. "Yu" is kun'yomi and "tou" is on'yomi. Like this, it is called 湯桶読み when 1st kanji is kun'yomi and 2nd kanji is on'yomi.

Other example:

王様(ou-sama) : on + kun --> 重箱読み
味方(mi-kata) : on + kun --> 重箱読み
丸太(maru-ta) : kun + on --> 湯桶読み
見本(mi-hon ) : kun + on --> 湯桶読み
  • Why does my Takoboto dictionary find the entry for yutouyomi but not the one for jubakoyomi. Presumably, these are not one word, but the words (otherwise they would break your 2 kanji word only rule in your above answer)? – Jack Maddington Oct 28 '16 at 11:59
  • 1
    Oh, sorry. I found 重箱読み by the search word "juubakoyomi" in that dictionary. Hmm, its not easy to present Japanese sound in English, I thought "じゅう" can be written as both "Ju" and "Juu". – sii Oct 28 '16 at 12:53
  • Thank you, I can now find the entry. You may want to update your post with this piece of information. Thanks. – Jack Maddington Oct 28 '16 at 19:45

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