Questions tagged [kanji]

漢字. Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing as opposed to the two kana syllabaries and rōmaji (Latin letters).

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28
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6answers
3k views

Why are some lyrics' words written in kanji whose usual reading is not how it is sung?

Some song lyrics in the official lyric book that accompanies the CD is sung as another word. Usually, the way it is sung is given as a furigana on the kanji: Written: 君が希望に変わってゆく          (pardon the ...
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2answers
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How are the different pronunciations of kanji used, such as onyomi and kunyomi?

Even when I think I've memorized how to read a particular kanji, 人 (ひと) for example, and try to read other words I find that it's also pronounced じん...and I'm sure it probably has many other readings. ...
18
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2answers
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Where does the な in 大人 (otona) come from?

As far as I understand, the word 大人 (otona) uses the kanji 大 to represent お and the kanji 人 to represent と. According to this site the readings for 人 do not include な. Where does the な come from then?
19
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4answers
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When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?

In their comment to an answer on the question "Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?", user sawa says: ... Chinese names should be written in kanji rather than ...
35
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3answers
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Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are 雷 vs. 神鳴り (...
28
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4answers
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Distinguishing certain characters in handwriting and print (Similar-looking Kana and Kanji)

Japanese has some sets of characters which look very similar or even identical. Obviously, context is usually more than enough to distinguish which character is intended, but I'm wondering if there ...
34
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4answers
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What are the origins of ヶ?

The ヶ in e.g. 一ヶ月 is a bit of an odd character - it looks a lot like a small version of the katakana ケ, but is it derived from that katakana originally? Or is it a normal kanji? Or is it something ...
22
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2answers
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When should I replace kanji with hiragana?

When should I write 海山 and when should I write うみやま?
19
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5answers
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Can I use my Chinese name as my Japanese name?

Im Chinese and my name is 陈依仁 (Chén Yī Rén). Can I use this as my Japanese name, and if so how do I read it in Japanese? Or would it be better to use the Katakana version of my English name which is ...
8
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1answer
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Is there an “official” font or other writing standard that should be used when teaching kanji?

I'm working on an Android app that will help people learn Japanese kanji using a flash-card style study system. As part of this app, I need to show kanji on the screen both in plain-text form, and ...
21
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2answers
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When writing for general public, is there a general guideline for selecting kanji?

After reading numerous publications, I've spotted a trend or custom on determining whether kanji is or is not used for certain words. The most obvious ones are: こと・事 …が実は犯人だったということがわかる。 (haven't ...
19
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2answers
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Are there general rules on when to use kanji vs. kana?

This post is inspired by Tokyo Nagoya's comment in できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” asking why everyone was writing 出来る in kanji in their responses. As I mentioned in my reply to his comment, I ...
16
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1answer
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Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today. I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
26
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6answers
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Why are there two versions of the kanji for 冷?

The screenshot below is from Kotoba for iPhone. It shows the character for "cool", 冷 as used in the word 冷たい. However, the character in the stroke order diagram is slightly different to the main one ...
10
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3answers
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Why is there a difference between the hand drawn 道 and the pc font one?

I was studying this kanji and looked at the strokes order to figure out how to write it, only to realize the difference between the pc font one and the diagram. Why is the 3 look-alike only on hand ...
4
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2answers
851 views

Why is 未来 read as あした?

The slogan of the 2020 Olympics in Japan is 未来{あした} をつかもう (Discover tomorrow) Why is it read as あした? I did not find a standardised dictionary with that reading, however I found あす as a reading in ...
8
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1answer
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Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

I will take 客 as an example: Can 客 form a compound with 席, 娟, and all the other thousands of Japanese 漢字? If I put 席客, but not 客席, will the meaning be different? Or will it just have no meaning? Or ...
9
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1answer
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Kanji that don't use their specified readings

Hello I'm trying to understand something about kanji readings. As far as I understand each Kanji character has multiple readings and each of these readings can be used alone or in conjunction with ...
2
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1answer
545 views

What is the term for two kanjis, that when written in the reverse order, have the same meaning?

What is the term for two kanjis, that when written in the reverse order, have the same meaning? For example, "northeast". I have seen this situation occasionally.
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4answers
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How can I tell if a Japanese person's given name is male or female?

I am hoping that there may be some particular kanji and/or sounds used in determining if a persons given name is male or female.
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3answers
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Why are there many kanji that are read and mean the same?

My question comes from this case: 会う 逢う 遭う 遇う I see they all are read あう, and mean "to meet". So, why are there these many cases? And more important, which one should I use? I knew 会う, and when I ...
19
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2answers
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Japanese don't learn kanji meaning only readings? Does it make sense for a kanji to have a key meaning to identify it?

As I understand it works like this. By the time Japanese kids enter first grade they have more or less decent vocabulary of words they know. So when kanjis are taught I can't even imagine how to tell ...
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3answers
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Why censor this one kanji?

I was watching an old Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, called Night of the Moonies, making fun of the Unification Church by putting them in the context of the movie Night of the Living Dead. ...
16
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4answers
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History of 十干(じっかん)and modern uses

As I was studying vocabulary today, I happened to come across the titular 十干 which are as follows: [甲]{こう} • [乙]{おつ} • [丙]{へい} • [丁]{てい} • [戊]{ぼ} • [己]{き} • [庚]{こう} • [辛]{しん} • [壬]{じん} • [癸]{き} ...
8
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5answers
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Do we really need to remember the kunyomi and onyomi reading of each kanji?

I am learning how to write kanji using the obenkyo app. I am trying to remember the strokes of each kanji and how to read them (onyomi & kunyomi). But do I really need to remember the onyomi &...
9
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1answer
523 views

Origin of the kanji for 叶う

One thing that has always confused me is how the word 叶【かな】う took on the meaning of for a (wish) to come true. I find this perplexing because in Chinese, the word has never had this meaning. 叶's ...
12
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1answer
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How often do single dots stick to the top of kanji?

In Chinese, characters with a single dot on top stay separated from the rest of the character. (Eg. Chinese 宝) In kanji, this is frequently not the case - virtually all 宀 characters I see have dots ...
11
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3answers
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Can I write Japanese name “Midori” this way - 緑?

There is female Japanese name "Midori," and I want to know the ways I can write it. I know it means "green," but maybe the name and "green" are different words sometimes. I used google-translator to ...
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2answers
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What's the difference between the kanji forms for わかる?

The verb わかる can be written using either 分かる, 判る, or 解る - what's the semantic difference between these forms, if any?
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On the replacing of kanji made obsolete in the 1946 reforms with similar-looking kanji.

This is my understanding but please correct me if some of my details are wrong: In 1946 the Japanese language underwent a reform and standardization process A set of 1850 kanji were made official and ...
17
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2answers
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Why is 一日 'tsuitachi'?

Why is it 'tsuitachi' if the pronunciation can only be ichi, hito, or hitotsu?
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4answers
9k views

Is there any reason a lot of body parts use the Month/Moon radical?

腕、胸、お腹、肘、脇、肩 are all body parts, and their radical is 月. I wonder how that came to be?
17
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6answers
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What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?

I was reading this article on Japanese numerals and I first encountered the whole On reading/Kun reading thing, with an additional column on "Preferred reading," which was almost always the On reading....
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3answers
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Stroke order for left and right

Why are the stroke orders for 右 and 左 different? 右 starts with the vertical stroke, and 左 starts with the horizontal one.
18
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2answers
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Etymology of 出来る dekiru

An entry of Tae Kim's blog suggested that 出来る came from Chinese word 出来 that does have the nuance of potentiality, but the most recent visitor's comment claimed that the usage of 出来 in Chinese to show ...
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3answers
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Usage of kanji for words usually written in kana

From a small discussion on chat, I currently can think of three categories where the word is usually written in: Hiragana but have kanji (成る, 有る, [炬燵]{こたつ}, etc) Katakana but have kanji ([頁]{ページ}, [米]...
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3answers
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do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す?

Part 1 I understand 探す to be to search for something (general) and 捜す to be to search for something lost But do people actually care about the difference in nuance when they use it? I mean do ...
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2answers
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How is the wind related to illness?

I've seen the kanji 風 appear in several different illnesses: [風邪]{«かぜ»} (a cold), [中風]{ちゅう・ふう} (paralysis), and [痛風]{つう・ふう} (gout). Conceivably there may be others, but I haven't seen them. What ...
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1answer
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What are the origins of the Chinese derived words?

By "Chinese-derived words" I mean words that are read solely in 音読み, e.g. 自転車, 会社, 選択 etc. As a Chinese speaker, I find some of the Chinese-derived words not really Chinese. We don't call a bicycle a ...
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1answer
714 views

Intuitive or logical way to know when to use a kanji spelling vs hiragana spelling?

A recurring theme on this site is that foreign learners of Japanese use too much kanji. Often the reaction is puzzlement that we can't "just know the right way". Native speakers literally say they don'...
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3answers
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Is there a difference in drawing between the “mouth” and “enclosure” kanji radicals?

The two kanji radicals from the image are supposed to be 2 different kanji radicals, one meaning "mouth", and the other meaning "enclosure". I'm not sure if they are supposed to look different or not. ...
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3answers
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Why do some kanji have furigana that are not valid readings?

In my text I read the sentence: あなたが体験したよりもっと[巨]{おお}きく、もっと深くさせてくれる力があるからだ。 (furigana is from the text) I understand 大きく, and I understand some words with 巨 like 巨大. However, when I looked up 巨きく ...
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3answers
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If 校 is the kanji for school, why do I need 学 to actually say school?

Perhaps a dumb question, but something that I was wondering and couldn't find a clear answer via search. Since 校 is the kanji for school, why do we also need the kanji for learning 学 to say "school" (...
8
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2answers
502 views

Seeing the invisible の in old names and words

In many place and people names, there is an "invisible の", e.g., 三宮 is read さんのみや and 中大兄皇子 is なかのおおえのおうじ. This can also happen in words: 班田収授法 is read はんでんしゅうじゅのほう, which I am less comfortable with ...
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3answers
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Are kanji typically used in times and dates?

Are kanji typically for numbers used in times and dates? For example, would "七" and "十五" in the first sentence, and "九" and "三" in the second sentence be normal Japanese? (I'm aware that the ...
17
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1answer
627 views

About ご[馳走]{ちそう}: two “runs” would give you “a feast”?

ご[馳走様]{ちそうさま}でした is the greeting that people say after being offered a meal while ご馳走 by itself means “a feast”. I looked up this word in the dictionary to learn more about the kanji characters. It ...
8
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1answer
506 views

Why is hiragana used in the middle of this compound word? (障害者 vs 障がい者)

I saw this article on Gizmodo Japan: だれもがスマホの便利さを享受できる第一歩。視覚障がい者がiPhone操作を学べるアプリ Obviously, this is 視覚障害者 (or possibly, 視覚障碍者). It is in the title of the article, as well as several places within ...
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2answers
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Why is the place's official name written as “なら工藝館” (rather than “奈良工藝館”)?

When I visited Nara, I noticed that on the bus stop lists, the Nara Craft Museum's name did not use Kanji for "Nara" but spelled out with hiragana, as "なら工藝館". As it turns out, in almost all other ...
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4answers
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不 and 非 and 無 and 未 usage difference/rule

Is there any rules that govern when to use 不 and 非 and 無 and 未 in regards to the meaning of "not" or "un-" for instance 非表示, 不満
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2answers
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What does the highlighted portion of this handwritten Kanji say?

知恵袋で***いてるし… I tried searching Google, hoping it's a phrase that might come up more often, but none of the Kanji that came up looked even remotely like the one written here. Thank you!

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