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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11
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2answers
8k views

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. ...
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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?
28
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6answers
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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          (...
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 ...
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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 (...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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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。 (...
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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 ...
9
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1answer
910 views

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 ...
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1answer
451 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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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 ...
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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. ...
9
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1answer
471 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 ...
17
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3answers
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About writing numbers using Japanese numerals vs using Arabic numerals

I noticed that even though Japanese language has kanji characters for numbers (e.g. 十、百、千、万 etc), there are many places where Arabic numerals are used instead, for example, prices for shop items are ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Why is 一日 'tsuitachi'?

Why is it 'tsuitachi' if the pronounciation can only be ichi, hito, or hitotsu?
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8answers
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Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
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4answers
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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?
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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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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.
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2answers
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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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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 ...
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4answers
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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 &...
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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
640 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. ...
16
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1answer
561 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 ...
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2answers
282 views

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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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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1answer
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When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる, やめる or とどめる?

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる or とどめる (and in the case of 止める, やめる)? I think 止めてください could be read as both やめてください and とめてください, which I think could maybe be translated as "cut it out" and "...
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1answer
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Why did Asahi Shinbun write “子{こ}ども” instead of “子供{こども}” in this headline?

I just happened across an Asahi Shinbun article with a headline that reads: 日本{にほん}の子{こ}どもの幸福度{こうふくど}は6位{い} 豊{ゆた}かさの一方{いっぽう}、深刻{しんこく}な貧困{ひんこん} (-) Compacting articles as much as possible is a ...
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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) There's a somewhat lengthy ...
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8answers
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What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in romaji instead of in kanji and kana?

Romaji is somewhat of a conversion from kanji and kana to the Roman alphabet. What are the disadvantages of learning only or mostly romaji aside from being unable to read/write in kanji? I don't ...
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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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2answers
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Use of 厨 on the Internet

If you visit ニコニコ動画 or any Japanese message boards often you are bound to see comments like ニコ厨 or 東方厨. Does anyone have good idea how did this originate and what do they mean?
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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 ...
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2answers
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Does every kanji come from a Chinese character? If so, where can I find the origins of a kanji?

I know that kanji are borrowed from Chinese characters but are all of them borrowed? As a Chinese native speaker, I am wondering the origins of modern kanjis. Most of them are exactly same as the ...
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1answer
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Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
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2answers
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Which kanji to use for saying ありがとうございます in emails?

When sending emails, I've noticed that Japanese colleagues use all sorts of kanji/kana combinations for the simple phrases ありがとうございました and よろしくおねがいいたします. For example: ありがとうございました 有難うございました 有難う御座いました ...
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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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Is the kanji/kokuji “taito” (たいと) with 84 strokes legitimate and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...