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I am currently learning Japanese and I started analyzing some anime images containing handwritten 漢字 in order to get used to reading these, in addition to learning new ones.

However I am stuck with 漢字 in this image:

enter image description here

taken from the first episode of Naruto anime. The 漢字 are quite blurry and I can't recognize them all.

Maybe the first one is 栗(chestnut) and the third is 菓(sweets)? And the second might be a repetition of the first? I can't figure it out...

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It just says 栗栗栗. I would guess it is probably a sign at a chestnut street vendor, repetition used simply for visual impact. (The slight variation in the way it is written is probably just due to it being drawn quickly and on a small scale.)

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  • Oh I didn't think it was that simple... but yes it totally makes sense now ! That's the proof I have yet to study a lot of these images in order to be able to clearly understand the characters in it. Thank you very much ! – NatsuDragon Dec 23 '20 at 15:03
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    FWIW I won't be surprised if it's 栗栗. The last character is too blurry for a native eye too, but either way it makes no sense. – broken laptop Dec 23 '20 at 16:35
  • You can be right too : for the last one we might guess, at top position, two little vertical strokes crossing an horizontal one, yielding to the "grass" radical and hence the 菓(sweets) character. – NatsuDragon Dec 23 '20 at 20:23
  • The 栗栗菓 could mean something such as "walnut sweets", outlining the walnut word with the repetition. In the whole image, there is another signboard with the word だんご(団子)written, so this could reinforce the presence of a sweets shop and maybe confirming the 栗栗菓 word. However, 栗栗栗 might be more eye-attractive, so it's difficult to guess which of the two the 漫画家 wanted to draw... – NatsuDragon Dec 23 '20 at 20:31
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    And I just noticed that, for this last character, the horizontal stroke of top part is actually longer than the part drawn just below (the middle part), whereas it is the opposite for the first two characters (shorter top horizontal stroke and longer middle part, still horizontally speaking), reinforcing the fact that this third character could indeed be 菓, while the first two, identical, could be 栗 – NatsuDragon Dec 23 '20 at 21:31

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