1

I just learned that Ukraine can be written as 烏克蘭, rather than the typical katakana ウクライナ. Why was this country important enough in japanese politics or culture to get kanji?

2

Oh, that's what you call ateji. Almost every country gets that. For example, Philippines = 比律賓. The only places that have real kanji names are the ones in the 漢字圏

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