The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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work
JOK: 1055
This Jekyll and Hyde character represents both hard work and thievery, and the samurai may have given 稼 its shady connotation! Learn to say, “I earn my keep,” “Losing their breadwinner was a shock to that family,” “I’ll make a little money, and Mr. White will never know,” “The factory is running at full capacity,” “It seems you're raking in the money,” and “I wish I earned more money.”
everyone
JOK: 1064
Find out about a kanji that invites you to make sweeping statements. Rich in sample sentences, this essay teaches you to say, "They were all confused," "Our professor paid for us all," "I don't like any of them," "How's everyone at the Hong Kong office?" and "May I please have your attention." See how 皆 connects to Buddhist thought, fabric dyeing, health insurance, and eclipses.
clod
JOK: 1065
If you're a 'lump' of something in Japanese, you have too much of one quality, as if you were actually made of that thing. When lobbing such criticism, people combine 塊 with abstract nouns. For instance, "利己心の塊 (りこしんのかたまり: lump of selfishness)" means that someone is the very incarnation of selfishness. Learn about lumps, from the literal to the metaphorical. Also find out how to talk about clusters in space and time.
shore
JOK: 1069
Do you consider the horizon to be far away or close to you? It seems that English and Japanese have opposite takes on this issue. Find out about that in this investigation of 涯, which means "horizon." It also means 'outer limits,' so this character gives a sense of the lines that circumscribe one's world. For instance, if it's your lot in life to be stuck living near dreadful relatives, you can convey that with 涯 (well, actually, with 境涯).
above-stated
JOK: 1071
Find out how to say that something qualifies as X or is not applicable. Learn the Japanese for these sentences: “I’m a complete amateur regarding the matter in question,” “The said proposal has already been turned down,” and “Even officials in the relevant government office don’t know anything about the system.” Also see how ostriches connect to the themes of the essay!
approximate
JOK: 1072
People caution against generalizing, but to hell with that! The kanji 概 invites us to speak in generalities. Learn to say "in general," "on the whole," and "as a rule." Find out how to make approximations and rough estimates. And get the big picture with terms for all types of overviews, including summaries of film plots, introductory courses, and concluding remarks at lectures.
hedge
JOK: 1073
Find out which 垣 expressions convey something juicy about human behavior and which ones pertain to actual hedges and fences. See how bamboo fences connect to fishing nets and ships. Discover what role 垣 plays in the oldest tanka and in common proverbs. Learn to read lots of surnames containing 垣, including that of a legendary equestrian, a politician, a linguist, and a sumo wrestler.
shell
JOK: 1075
The flexible 殻 can represent shells from the sea, from trees, and from animals. It also helps to describe people's personalities and can symbolize remnants. Though remnants may seem worthless, the Japanese know how to put many to good use. Find out what coffee grounds can do for you! Also learn a word with 殻 that has become popular since the big earthquake of March 2011.
seize
JOK: 1079
It might seem from the primary definition of 獲 and from its “animal” radical that this kanji is mainly for trapping wild animals, rounding up strays, chasing prey, and catching fish. You can certainly use 獲 in those ways, but this kanji also enables you to talk about acquiring languages, capturing an enemy’s equipment, winning literary prizes, getting ahold of busy people, and much more.
menacing
JOK: 1080
A country poses a threat by expanding its military presence. Cats arch their backs to menace dogs. A type of crab intimidates a sea anemone by lifting it overhead. Parents issue threats to study harder, managers threaten employees with dismissal, someone threatens to reveal an ex's secrets, and you might resort to threats to get money back. Learn to say all of this with 嚇!
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