12 votes

How to read this kanji?

It looks to me like [舞]{まい} (dance)...
  • 62k
12 votes
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Understanding Basho haikus in difficult calligraphy

The problem is that the writing is not only old and cursive, but using a lot of obsolete variant kana (hentaigana) that you'd no longer see in the modern documents. Using hentaigana supported by ...
12 votes
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Sharp vs rounded (tomed) vertical stroke in kanjis

A recent guideline from 文化庁 clearly says this distinction is not important in most cases. See page 53 of this PDF (常用漢字表の字体・字形に関する指針(報告)(案)) (2016): As for 木, you can also use はね (). Some recent ...
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11 votes
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Is top-to-bottom, left-to-right writing order common in Japanese calligraphy?

This text is written left-to-right because the person in the picture is facing to the left. There was a rule that when you put some text (chinese poem, haiku, etc.) in a portrait, the first line must ...
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10 votes
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What is this script called?

There are five distinct scripts in that picture, all reflecting forms of the Chinese writing system. From left to right, we have: oracle bone script (甲骨文{こうこつぶん}), bronze script (金文{きんぶん}), seal ...
  • 5,437
9 votes
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Is there a reason why the 濁点【だくてん】( ゙)are placed below the stroke at ぐ and で as opposed to the other hiragana characters?

The position of a dakuten is not as strict as you think. It has to be placed near the top right corner, but it may be moved or rotated according to the font designer's choice. Here are some examples ...
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9 votes

What does this wish stroke mean?

「趣味{しゅみ}の風{ふう}りん」 a wind-bell as a hobby This phrase seems only a sales message, not someone's wishes. The main purpose of the hanging is to have the bell ring by the wind's breeze, not to write ...
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9 votes
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Kanji in the Fox Engine logo

This looks like it isn't really related to foxes, but is オタ魂 written as one character. (I would read it オタ[魂]{こん}.) オタ is the abbreviation of オタク otaku 魂 meaning "soul" or "spirit" So, loosely ...
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7 votes
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What does it say on this drinking game?

It seems to say (thanks to @brokenheadphones & @Shoko) 手のなる方へ = 手の鳴る方【ほう】へ alluding to 『鬼さんこちら、手のなる方へ』, a phrase used in tag-like game with a blindfolded 鬼 (the person who is "it"). (See 目隠し鬼 ...
  • 47.7k
7 votes

Is this an old, alternate or incorrect way of writing 考?

Glyphwiki has as an alternative glyph of 考󠄂, so it looks like more than one person write the character that way. I have never seen that, but perhaps it might not be so rare in calligraphy? (Bear in ...
6 votes
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How to express "Stone Master" as a compliment

The kanji 主 means "master (of a slave)", "master (of a pet)", "owner", "governor", etc., but it does not mean he is an expert of something. If you simply want to say "grand master (of martial art)", ...
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6 votes

What does it say on this drinking game?

For the bottom picture, the writing indicates the sizes. From small to large: 壹{いち}合{ごう} Archaic form of modern 壱合, itself the fancy form of 一合. This means "one gō", where a gō is an old unit of ...
6 votes

Help me identify this kanji on my knife box

It's 御 (generic honorable prefix) written in cursive style. See picture here: http://www.fan.hi-ho.ne.jp/chikusui/newpage18.htm
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6 votes
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Rei 令 handwritten variant

The glyph 令 has, generally, three distinct regional forms: The type with マ and a dotted bar is used in mainland China, the type with マ and a horizontal bar is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, ...
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6 votes
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Does these Kanjis with "supposedly" English alphabets inside exist?

The kanji are "real" in the sense that anyone who can read Japanese would recognize what they are supposed to be. 齋, 藤, 愛, and 結, respectively. However, the correct way to write them does ...
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5 votes
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What kind of script is it? (photo attached)

It's kanji written in a different style. I don't know enough to identify exactly which style, but it looks like a type of 草書体 (you can compare different styles here) The characters are: 鳩ヶ峰國分寺跡
5 votes

Understanding Basho haikus in difficult calligraphy

As a complement to answer above, the old Japanese writing has thrown another monkey wrench into your way to conquering the Japanese literal world: Kuzushiji. So, you get to make sure aren't any of ...
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5 votes

Squareness of kanji characters

Was making circles with early day tools too clumsy? Yes, exactly. Kanji derived from oracle bone script used in ancient China, and it was indeed difficult to make circles on bones or turtle shells. ...
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5 votes

Does these Kanjis with "supposedly" English alphabets inside exist?

Supplementing Leebo's answer, the real one using a close enough font looks as follows. Most probably it will be recognized as a female name (read e.g. Saito Ayu).
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4 votes
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How to read this sign and what it means?

It is an older style of formal writing that today no one practically use except in those traditional circles. The content is an entrance permission to an ikebana school, which probably retains the ...
4 votes
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What exactly does くずし字 refer to?

くずし is obviously from 崩し. My understanding is that 行書/草書 refers to only (semi-)cursive kanji. It's used for Chinese documents written in cursive styles. According to this article and others, くずし字 ...
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4 votes

What is the proper term for the use of archaic kanji?

It is 篆書 (Mandarin //tʂʷan ʂu//), and more precisely it is 小篆 (Mandarin //ɕʲɑu tʂʷan//). 篆 means write, seal 書 means write/writing, books etc. 小 means tiny, small. There exists another kind of 篆書 is ...
4 votes

What does it say on this masu?

The character is 「曽」. [木曽]{きそ}[桧]{ひのき}
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4 votes
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What are these kanji? (Image)

I think the words on the left side are 水間寺主 東光坊春聽 ("the head of Mizuma-dera temple, Toukou-bou-shuncho"). Mizuma-dera's official website says 今春聴東光 had been the head of Mizuma-dera from ...
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4 votes
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Is this an old, alternate or incorrect way of writing 考?

考(father) has similar meaning and pronunciation with 老(old men in family) in its original usage in Chinese. It's written like or in 《說文解字》. The ㄎ part is a cane or walking STICK supporting an old ...
3 votes
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How strictly does calligraphy typically abide by stroke rules?

Depending on the style of calligraphy, creative liberties may be taken, and the stroke rules aren't as iron-clad as people like to think. But in this particular case, the reason the final character ...
  • 9,994
3 votes
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Meaning of Calligraphy Phrase "sumi tsugi"

Wikipedia has a list of calligraphy terms in which sumi tsugi is 墨継ぎ(すみつぎ)とは、文の途中で筆に墨を付けること。 Which means dipping the brush into ink a second time while writing one sentence. The 日本国語大辞典 confirms ...
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