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I get that this might be subjective since 略字 themselves originated (mostly) subjectively, but are there any rules for being able to create/use new ones? For example, the 广+マ representing 魔 or 摩 is quite common. This blog post shows 木 + キ to represent 機 (which I've seen), but it also shows 艹+ヤ for 薬 (which I hadn't seen).

So can you just make up and use something that would be easily recognizable? Like the other night I was having trouble remembering the stroke order for 華. I thought, "Could I just write 艹+カ for 華・花? And would people understand it?"

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Something like "木+キ" is an outdated convention used before 1970 when no one had a computer (the tweet clearly says how retro it looks). "广+マ" and "simplified 門" are still sometimes seen in manga, but I feel even these have started to look a bit old-fashioned now. As for others, you should not use them unless you are making an early-Showa film or something. It is not recommended to create such abbreviations simply because some kanji are hard to remember. If you use "艹+カ", young readers probably can't even understand what you are trying to do. In most cases, you should simply use kana (or if you're feeling adventurous, invent a KY語).

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  • FWIW I haven't seen 艹+ヤ for 薬, either.
    – naruto
    Sep 1, 2022 at 2:29
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So can you just make up and use something that would be easily recognizable?

Theoretically you can, but practically that sort of creating kanji is not productive (like other ways of creating kanji). That is, it is unlikely to be understood.

More precisely, there is nothing official about the kanjis of that sort, so you could create a kanji like 艹+カ, but it is a different matter whether people understand it (which should have been the case in China thousands of years ago when original kanjis were made anyway).


As this says, those kanjis were mostly used/understood in specific circles.

薬の略字で草冠にヤ

機の略字で木偏にキ

議の略字で言偏にギ

館の略字で食偏にK

厩の略字で雁垂にQ

図書館の略字で国構えにト

Some others I found by googling include : ⼫+ソ = 層;⼴+K ⼴+O = 慶應 (a major university).

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