I started finally learning kanji's readings not only meanings and words. And in two sources I use I see that 何's kun'yomi is なん、なに and on' is カ.

I've seen 何 in many words as

なん: 何度、何と、何で

なに: 何人、何か

ど: 何処、何の

何れ (いずれ)、何時(いつ)

  • I know, that ど and い readings can be exceptions.

But never as カ. Are there any words that is it as カ?


You are correct that there are many more common uses of the 訓読み なに or なん for 何 when compared with the words which use the 音読み .

But here is one example: The word for 'geometry' is:

幾何学 (きかがく) - definition

Although it also seems to appear in words like 如何せん (いかんせん) or 如何 (いかが), I don't think those are strictly standard usages of the readings but more of a jukujikun type (reading by meaning). For example, is not a standard reading of the kanji 如 (see here for details). Therefore I'm not sure that 如何 qualifies as a usage of the 音読み here.

There are probably more examples - I will check and edit in others if I find them.

  • 大辞林 also has 無何有{むかう}, as in 無何有{むかう}の郷{さと} or 無何有郷{むかうきょう} (「作為のない自然のままの世界。理想郷。ユートピア。」) I doubt these are very common, but 無何有 does pop up as an option when I type むかう on my iPad.
    – Nanigashi
    May 29 '19 at 18:39

According to kanshudo.com counts, 幾何 and its derivatives are the only words that can be encountered among the frequent lexicon. However, there is at least [誰何]{すいか}する “challenging (an unknown person); asking a person's identity” which is rare but still completely recognizable.

Of course, any (Classical) Chinese word can theoretically be a Japanese one read like this; from the 四字熟語 list at http://www.edrdg.org/projects/yojijukugo.html I find [無何之郷]{むかのきょう} [無何有郷]{むかゆうきょう}.

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